Writing a will in Florida might not seem like a big deal. The will won’t be read until after you’re gone, so how does it affect you? But while you might not be around to deal with the consequences, dying without a will can make the process much harder for your friends and loved ones.
What happens if you die without a will?
When you die without a will, you lose the opportunity to decide how to divide your assets. A judge will divide your assets according to state laws. This might not be the best option for your family members, but once you’re gone, nothing can be done about it. They’ll have to accept whatever the judge gives them — if they get anything at all.
You also won’t be able to distribute assets to friends, charities and other people or entities that aren’t immediate relatives. Most state laws divide assets among living family members, with spouses and children taking priority. Your friends will have no claim over your estate unless you include them in your will.
If you have underage children when you die, the situation becomes even more complicated. A judge will decide who becomes the guardian of your children, and it might not be the person you would have chosen when you were alive. Unfortunately, you can’t assume that your children will be adults when you die. It’s important to make these types of decisions now even if they’re hard to think about.
What’s the best way to plan your estate?
A good estate plan protects your family members, plans for future scenarios and divides your entire estate with little room for challenges or debate. An attorney could help you with all aspects of the estate planning process, whether you’re writing a new plan or rewriting an existing draft.