When it comes to estate planning, some of the most basic questions are also some of the most important. Anyone beginning an estate plan in Florida needs to have a good understanding of what each piece of your plan does before you go about making the individual pieces. Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to take a look at some of these basic questions so you can go about the estate planning process armed with the knowledge you require. Today, we will start by looking at what a will is, and what it does for you and your estate plan.
Basic Question 1. Why do I need a last will and testament?
Everyone who creates an estate plan will create a last will and testament as an essential part of that plan. Wills are most well known for their ability to allow you to make inheritance choices. When you create a last will and testament you will be able to make decisions about how you want to leave your property after you die. Do you want to give property to friends, relatives, and loved ones? What about charitable organizations? Through your last will and testament you can answer all of these types of inheritance questions in as much detail as you like.
Basic Question 2. Why do I need to include an executor? What is so important about them?
Executors, also known as personal representatives or estate administrators, are people who have the legal responsibility to manage your estate. Your estate is the collection of property you leave behind after you die. Because you, the former owner, are no longer around, someone will have to step in to begin managing the estate property. This person is known as an executor.
When you write your last will and testament you have the ability to choose who you want this executor to be. You can choose almost anyone you like as long as that person is a capable adult who is willing to serve. It’s also important to point out that executors can also be organizations, such as a bank or law firm.
Basic Question 3. What else should I know about my will?
If you are a parent of a young child, or are considering having children in the future, one of the most important elements of your last will and testament will be the section in which you appoint a guardian. Should you die before your children become adults, the guardian will receive the legal authority to care for your children in your absence. Like executors, guardians must also be capable adults who are willing to serve.
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