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Problems with Having a Simple Will in Florida

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Many people are tempted to create a simple will by using forms to do the will themselves. Maybe they’ve seen such forms advertised on television or on the internet. But are they a good idea? Definitely not. The intent is good. A person tries creating a will so that their property goes first to their spouse and then on to their children. It seems easy enough, but there’s much more to it.

We’ve seen simple wills that end up having big problems that end up costing the family a lot more stress and money than if they had just had the will done by an estate planning attorney from the start. Below are four problems that are often seen with simple wills:

  1. Adult Child That Poorly Manages Money – While most of us want our money to go to our children, we don’t want it to be sent to our child’s credit card company to pay off debt. There are legal options available to ensure that your money is used in the fashion you want it to be and not wasted in another manner.
  2. The Will Must Go Through Florida Probate – Probate is somewhat like a lawsuit, and it is generally slow because it is a bureaucratic process that requires a probate attorney. You are not allowed to act as your attorney except in very limited circumstances. A will must be validated by filing a petition with the court and proving that the will is the last valid will of the deceased. Simple wills cannot always hold up to this process.
  3. Adult Child in an Unstable Marriage – Just like an adult child who manages their money poorly is a problem, so is the adult child that is in a marriage that could result in divorce. Few people want their son or daughter-in-law to be a main beneficiary of a will. There are ways to avoid this, but a simple will doesn’t allow that to happen.
  4. The Issue With Minor Children – You should never give a minor child an outright distribution because then the court will have to appoint a second attorney to act as a Guardian Ad Litem for your child. This attorney will act as a guardian until the child is 18 years old. None of us want to have our child blow their money on a fancy car instead of paying their college tuition, but that’s exactly what can happen with a simple will.

The Solution to the Problems 

Nearly everyone wants to be able to pass on the money and things that they have worked so hard for with the least amount of cost. Although there is a bit more cost up front, the long-term savings in the end is worth hiring an experienced estate planning attorney to guide you in what is the best way to protect your estate and ensure your wishes. Tampa attorney David Toback can help guide you through setting up the right estate plan that will ensure your finances and property are handled the way you would want them to be. Contact him today to schedule a consultation.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0731/0731.html

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