The passing of a loved one can be difficult for everyone close to them. Cherishing their life and providing comfort to one another should be the focus during this time. The last thing anyone needs to be concerned with is hammering out the details of assets or papers left behind. How can we make it easier on our loved ones? We can establish a will.
A last will and testament is a legally binding publication that documents the assets, liabilities, and responsibilities of an individual that, in the event of their passing, allows these items to be settled or transferred into the possession of someone else. Normally, an individual is named to oversee that the provisions made in this document are carried out or secured. This individual is named the “executor”.
The responsibilities of an executor vary. Regularly, this individual will be responsible for dividing assets as instructed in the will. These assets include but are not limited to property, money, investments, and safe deposit boxes and their contents. Sometimes, liabilities or debts also need to be settled. This can be done by liquidating any potential assets for a cash value amounting to the determined debt. Any taxes would also be settled by the executor. Any property needing to be maintained would also be done so by the executor unless possession is taken by someone else through sale or dictated by the will.
In the event an executor does not wish to take this position, arrangements can be made for an alternative choice to take on the responsibility. If alternative choices are not listed by the maker of the will, the court can choose to appoint an executor for them.
A will is also used in the event that a spouse or children are left behind and provisions need to be made for them. Oftentimes, financially, a spouse will still need support if their partner becomes deceased. Other times, child care becomes a concern and alternative guardians can be named in a will.
Not creating a will leaves a lot of decisions up to a court of law and does not allow the individual in question any decision in the distribution of their assets or, possibly, guardianship of their children. Although wills can be created without the aid of a lawyer, the legal advice of an attorney can prove invaluable in the creation of a will. Without a lawyer, any provisions made in the document could not be clarified or explained. Missing pieces or determination of loopholes could be left up to interpretation by the court of law or the executor.
If you are interested in creating a will, contact the Orlando estate planning attorneys of Veliz Katz Law for a consultation.