Naples Wills Lawyer
If you don’t have a Will, it’s time to draft one. If you made a Will years ago, it’s time to review it and possibly revise it. If you’ve remarried or there have been marriages, divorces, births or deaths among your heirs, you may even want or need to revoke your current Will and draft a new one. At Nici Law Firm, P.L., in Naples, you’ll find an experienced Florida board-certified Wills, Trusts & Estates Estate Planning specialist ready to sit down with you and understand your needs and desires regarding your estate. You can count on Naples wills lawyer James R. Nici to draft a valid will that will be accepted into Probate and accomplish your goals for distributing your property according to your wishes.
Why do I need a Will?
Even if you are planning to leave all of your property to heirs and beneficiaries through one or more Trusts to avoid probate, maximize tax benefits and provide for special needs or lasting charitable gifts, there are still important reasons to have a will as a central part of your Estate Plan. A Will can be an important instrument to accomplish the following:
Appoint a Personal Representative for your estate. Estate administration can be a complicated and thankless task. You want to appoint someone you trust to handle your estate administration smoothly and competently, including hiring accountants, attorneys, appraisers or other professionals as needed. Without a Will, the probate court will appoint someone, likely a surviving spouse, to act as Personal Representative.
Designate a Guardian for any minor children. You may have children now, or you may be planning (or not planning) to have children in the future. Regardless, it’s vital to think about who will care for your kids if you can’t be there for them. If you haven’t named a Guardian for your children, the court will place them with family members or the state according to legal procedures, and the placement the court chooses may not be the one you would have chosen.
Make specific gifts. In a Will, you can devise or bequeath specific pieces of property, jewelry or other assets to family members or friends who will most appreciate their meaning or significance. Creating a Trust just to make a specific gift of property may not be practical.
Make sure nothing gets left out. Even if you established one or more Trusts to dispose of your property, you might not have accounted for everything in your estate, including personal items or property you acquire after your trusts are created. A “pour-over” provision in your Will can make sure those assets are captured and funneled into the appropriate Trust.
Do I need a lawyer to make a Will?
If you’ve been researching Estate Planning, you might have seen ads for software or kits you can buy online to make your own Will. You may also have seen offers from people who are not lawyers to draft your Will at a cut-rate. Any Will you create using these methods will only meet the most basic and general requirements for a Will. Only a licensed Florida lawyer can give you legal advice regarding a Will, and only an experienced Estate Planning attorney has the knowledge and skills to craft a will that meets your specific needs. Depending on your needs, a Will may be only one piece of your overall Estate Plan. You’ll benefit from an expert in Estate Planning who drafts a Will that fits in with your Trusts, non-probate assets and overall plan in a way that makes sense and meets your needs.
Who can draft a will in Florida?
To make a valid Will in Florida, you need only be 18 years old or an emancipated minor. You must also be of sound mind, which essentially means that you know that you are making a Will that will dispose of your personal or real property.
To be valid, the Will must be typed or written and signed at the bottom in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses also sign the Will in each other’s presence and the testator’s presence. If the testator cannot physically sign the Will, he or she can have another person sign on the testator’s behalf, which should be done in the presence of the testator and the witnesses. If a duly notarized affidavit is included when the Will is executed, the Will may be “self-proving,” meaning it can be accepted into Probate without the court requiring witness testimony or further proof of the Will’s authenticity.
Call Nici Law Firm, P.L., in Naples to Discuss Your Will with a Board-Certified Expert in Wills, Trusts & Estates
For many, the Will is the foundational document of their Estate Plan. To discuss drafting, revising or revoking a Will to meet your important Estate Planning needs, call Naples wills lawyer Nici Law Firm at 239-449-6150, or contact us online for a complimentary review and consultation.