Florida residents of all ages should be sure that they have a will in place. While many people assume that creating a will or dealing with estate planning is something that will need to be dealt with when they are older, both are actually essential to ensuring that someone's property is handled appropriately once they pass on. Since no one knows when this will occur, it is a good idea for these documents to be in place well ahead of time.
One of the major reasons that people should be sure to have a will is because of what family members will need to deal with if they pass on without one. When someone dies without a will, they are considered intestate, and their family members will need to get a Succession Certificate to be able to access their assets. Before a bank will release the contents of someone's account, a Succession Certificate will need to be provided. Simply having a will in place can prevent this necessity.
For a will to be legally binding, it must meet a few basic requirements. The will must be signed by an individual who is mentally healthy and is of the age of majority as determined by the state they are living in. When someone signs their will, it must be witnessed by two legally competent adults. Wills can be as simple or complex as required by the individual creating it and their situation.
Due to the complexity of estate planning, it is often recommended that people get an expert opinion to ensure that their will meets legal requirements. A lawyer could help someone understand what estate planning documents do and draw them up for an individual.
Source: Moneycontrol.com, "Four important facts of estate planning in retirement", Nitin Vyakaranam, October 09, 2013