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What is a last will and testament?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2022 | Estate Planning

Most people thinking about writing a will likely focus on what assets to leave to specific beneficiaries. However, some might have assets that require special consideration, so devising an irrevocable trust might be preferable. The trust could give the grantor more say over things after they pass. However, most Florida adults may find a last will and testament to be their preferred option.

Writing a last will and testament

A will allows someone to direct what happens to their estate’s assets after they pass away. Consider it advisable to perform an inventory of all assets before making any decisions on bequests as part of the estate planning process.

Some testators may use a generic will that they download online. Such steps might be regrettable since the document could be invalid under state law. Attempting to write a will by themselves might lack knowledge about legal requirements. The document may need to include elements necessary for the probate courts to consider it valid. Florida’s intestate laws will direct the actions if the will is invalid.

Other points about a will

Writing a will involves more than directing assets to particular beneficiaries. The document would also name an executor, the person serving as the estate’s representative. The executor handles many responsibilities for the estate, including filing taxes and settling debts before distributing assets timely.

Sometimes, writing a will involves knowing what can pass outside probate. Planners wishing to keep some assets out of probate could consider naming transfer-on-death beneficiaries on financial accounts. Maybe a planner could purchase a life insurance policy, as named beneficiaries could file a claim on the policy before probate ends.