The Importance of Having a Will Even if You Have Trusts
Everyone needs a will, regardless of how large or complex their estate is. Whether you are just getting by, or you have a detailed portfolio of real estate and business holdings, a valid and up-to-date will must be part of your estate plan.
Many people with sophisticated investments and assets already make use of a variety of tools to control how their property will be passed on once they have died. Joint bank accounts, jointly owned property and payable-on-death accounts all allow people to instantly transfer assets upon their death. Revocable and irrevocable trusts can be used to manage property and direct funds to chosen beneficiaries or purposes. No matter how many tools you are using to manage your estate, however, unless you have a will, any property that hasn’t been placed in a special account or a trust at the time of your death is subject to Florida’s intestacy laws. This means that if you purchase a home or a business but die before placing it into a trust, the law determines what happens to it.
These laws decide who gets your remaining property without taking your preferences into account. Florida law generally gives your entire estate to your spouse, unless one of you has children with a different parent. If you have no surviving spouse, your estate passes to your descendants. If you have no descendants, it can pass to your parents and then to your siblings. If you don’t want the state deciding where your property should go, however, all you need is a valid will.
To learn more about creating an optimal estate plan for your assets and your goals, contact a knowledgeable Tampa wills attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.