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Wills and Trusts is the process of planning for the disposition of assets at death. The last will and testament can be used to disburse assets in probate or it can be drafted as a pour over into a revocable living trust. Depending on the amount of assets you own, Capital Planning Law, PLLC advises utilizing the benefits of the pour over last will and testament as it allows you to avoid the Probate process. If your total assets do not exceed $75,000, a long will may be utilized to achieve the same results.

The last will and testament is used for many reasons including but not limited to: designating a personal representative (or executor) for your estate (to handle your assets), selection of heirs to receive your assets (as opposed to distribution based on state intestate laws), providing for burial instructions, providing for payment of creditors, gifting specific personal items to your loved ones (such as a gold ring to your niece), allowing for the creation of post-mortem trust planning and providing additional instructions post-death.

The last will and testament is a document created by Florida laws. It appoints a personal representative (or executor) who has the responsibility of administering your estate. The personal representative must file your last will and testament with the Probate Court and then must oversee the administration of your estate. Beneficiaries for your assets are either named in the last will and testament or named in the trust document your assets pour over into (depending on your estate planning). The personal representative may also have the authority to create post mortem trusts (testamentary trusts).

The pour over last will and testament has become a great tool in the estate planning arsenal. The pour over last will and testament is used with a revocable living trust and allows you to avoid the probate of most, if not all of your assets. Accordingly, the major disadvantage to the traditional last will and testament (last will and testament without a revocable living trust) is that probate administration cannot be avoided.

Every individual and family should have a last will and testament in place describing their wishes with regard to their assets and detailing post-death instructions so that the probate court doesn’t have to make those decisions for you and for your family members.

Learn more about the different estate planning strategies below:

Contact Capital Planning Law, PLLC for your complimentary consultation to discuss your business law and corporate transactions, estate planning, probate, guardianship and/or real estate needs.