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How to Read a Florida Will

Uncategorized Mar 28, 2019
post about How to Read a Florida Will

How do you read a Florida will? What do people usually specify in their Florida will? Do I need a trust and estates lawyer? What should I do once I obtain a copy of my deceased dad’s estate documents?

Once you get a copy of a Florida will, you should read it from cover to cover. There may be some things that surprise you and some things that don’t. Probate lawyers in West Palm Beach know that a Florida will almost always tell you 1)who passed away and 2)how that person wants to dispose of certain property. Many times, the will specifies how personal property/tangible property, like jewelry or art, will be distributed. A Florida will may also include a list of family members and people who are disinherited.  For example, the will may list your spouse and children as beneficiaries and then also have sentence or paragraph saying ” I’m not providing for Betty” or  “I’m disinheriting my only son”. In addition, a will should tell you who is in charge of the estate or who’s going to run the probate proceeding. Many states call that person the executor of the estate. In Florida, that person is called the personal representative of the estate.

Finally, what happens to the rest of the property such as the real estate? Sometimes, the Florida estate documents tell you that and sometimes they don’t. Many  times, Florida estate planning attorneys use a pour-over will where the will leaves all remaining property to trustee of a revocable trust. Revocable trusts, unlike Florida wills, are not necessary public documents. Wills need to be filed in a county court but private trust documents do not. So how do I get a copy of a revocable trust?  You need to ask the trustee. What if the trustee says no? Consult with a West Palm Beach probate law firm like Pankauski Hauser. Don’t sit on your rights!