Making a proper will or estate plan is so crucial because without these documents, your property will go through a set of default rules listed in the state’s intestacy statute. While these rules try to keep your property within the family, they generally attempt to give property to the closest family member, like a spouse or a child, then extend gradually out into the rest of the family if these people are unavailable. In some situations, this can be problematic when the wishes of the dying person were to do something else with their estate. 

Is a will or estate plan better?

For many families, a will is sufficient, but an estate plan may be necessary for those with extensive assets or larger families. An estate plan does generally have a benefit of avoiding costs and taxes associated with a will and keeping the property distribution out of the public eye. 

Experts agree that estate planning is one of the most neglected areas of personal finance. This is because most people do not want to think about their own death. At least half of all Americans do not have a valid will, and even less bother to look into estate planning.  

Estate planning is especially important for those who want to provide for young children or extended families. A bank or brokerage firm can gradually distribute assets over the course of years to younger family members if necessary. There are also things like payable on death accounts or transferable on death accounts that avoid the probate courts and associated expenses. Trusts are another form of estate planning that benefits families that need something beyond a simple will. A trust can be managed by an administrator if the beneficiaries are minors.

Why is probate an important legal concept? 

Probate is the general term for when a special type of court looks at a will or other documentation to determine property interests. There are some types of estate planning that are considered more efficient because they can avoid having to go through court formalities. Depending on your personal situation, there may be a number of ways to dispose of your property through a will or estate plan in Florida, but it is important to get legal help from a professional probate litigation attorney rather than trying to figure out these laws and procedures on your own. Just one simple mistake can cause a will or other document to be invalidated. 

Get help from a Fort Walton Beach probate litigator

If you are preparing for a property dispute in court or want to create documentation that will avoid the possibility of extensive litigation, speak with a local attorney. The lawyers at ASG Legal assist clients in the Fort Walton Beach area. 

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