The Importance of a Last Will and Testament

A Jacksonville, FL Estate Planning And Family Law Attorney Discusses The Importance Of A Well-prepared Will

It’s an unfortunate fact that most people in the State of Florida are currently intestate—without a will. Many individuals feel that will preparation is something that can wait until they are of retirement age, or they don’t believe that they accumulated enough assets for a will and testament to be necessary. Some people are even under the impression that the probate laws of the State of Florida will “more of less take care” of their estate planning needs. As a veteran estate planning attorney in Duval and Saint Johns counties, I advise all of my clients to prepare a will and testament regardless of age, income, or wealth.

Why Everyone Should Draft a Will

A will is a document that instructs a predetermined person—your executor—exactly how you would like your final wishes to be carried out. In addition to defining the allocation of your assets, your last will and testament can document:

  • How your would like your remains to be handled (i.e. burial, cremation, et cetera)
  • Who you would like to raise your children (should the other parent also pass)
  • What educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and places of worship you would like your children to attend
  • Who you would prefer to care for your pets
  • Any other final instructions that you may have

As a family law attorney, I strongly encourage parents to prepare a will to ensure the safety and security of their children.

What Constitutes a Will in Florida?

The State of Florida’s requirements for a legally valid will are surprisingly minimal. In order to form a will in Florida:

  • You must be eighteen years of age,
  • You must be of sound mind at the time that the will is formed,
  • The will must be written, and
  • Your will must be witnessed and notarized.

Despite these seemingly basic requirements, to avoid confusion or legal complications, it is always advisable to have your will and testament drafted and executed by a reputable estate planning attorney.

Whether you reside in Jacksonville, Saint Augustine, or anywhere else in the State of Florida, do not allow yourself to remain intestate. Give yourself the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your final arrangements have been predetermined. Contact a professional estate planning attorney to discuss drafting a will at your earliest convenience.