Wills and Revocable Trusts

Both a Will and a Revocable Trust are written documents that direct how your property will be distributed at the time of your death, according to your wishes. As opposed to a trust that is in effect during your lifetime, a Will is only in effect after your death. Both documents are effective to pass your assets to your loved ones. However, only a Will is administered through the Court in a Probate Administration.

Who needs a Will or a Revocable Living Trust?

Many people think that only older and more affluent individuals should have a Revocable Trust. However, the question of whether an individual needs a Will or Trust is an individual matter and must be discussed with an attorney. The types of assets one has, as well as family circumstances can influence the decision of using a Will or a Trust as the primary dispositive document.

I do not have a Will, therefore, I do not have an estate plan?

Incorrect. Florida law supplies an estate plan for individuals who do not have a Will or a Trust. The downside is that Florida law may not honor your particular wishes, particularly if you have a non-traditional family composition, a significant other to whom you are not married, or if you have natural heirs whom you do not want to name as your beneficiaries. Further, without a Will or a Trust, you cannot state who you would like to serve as your Personal Representative and/or Trustee. Preparing a Will or a Trust should be considered a privilege instead of a chore.