Our Firm is Experienced in Drafting Simple and Complex Wills
At Ginn & Patrou, P.A., we regularly draft wills for clients throughout St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Palm Coast, Ponte Vedra, and Daytona. Whether you need help with a new will or an update to an existing will, our experienced will attorneys understand Florida law and can effectively apply it to your case. As a side note, if you are reading this article, we would also recommend that you read our Guide to Florida Estate Planning.
This article specifically covers the importance of having a basic will at a minimum – although our local will attorneys can also offer many other more complex solutions for unique situations.
The Importance of Having a Will or Trust – Intestacy Laws
If you pass away without executing a valid will, you will be considered to have passed away “intestate.” When a person passes away intestate in Florida, including St. Johns County and Duval County, the decedent’s previous statements or intentions regarding the distribution of their property may not be followed under intestacy laws. As such, the decedent’s estate may end up being distributed to someone other than who the decedent wanted their assets to go to.
In addition, a self-written or form-filled will often omits key provisions or fails to account for complex legal rules that can limit the intended effect of the will. An intestate person’s property which is not jointly owned with another living person will be disposed of per the provisions of Florida Statute §732.101-§732.901, which in most cases distributes the assets to the surviving spouse, or to the decedent’s descendants. In addition, certain life events can drastically alter the validity and effect of a previously drafted will, making periodic will updates essential.
Moving to Florida From Out of State Can Necessitate a Will Update
Our firm often assists clients in Saint Augustine and Jacksonville who have recently moved to the area from out of state. In these situations, it is often necessary to update or replace existing wills that were drafted outside of Florida. In addition to a plethora of other reasons, an out of state will often references laws of the state where the will was drafted, that are not Florida laws. When a person passes away in Florida owning property here, or having other assets here, it is often required that the decedent’s estate be administered in Florida. As such, multiple issues can arise if a person passes away in Florida and their estate has to be administered here, based on a will that was drafted out of state.
Protect Your Estate and Family with a Well Drafted Will
To ensure that your property is in fact distributed to your intended beneficiaries upon your death, it is critical to engage the assistance of our experienced St. Augustine and Jacksonville will attorneys. If you do not yet have a will or estate plan, or if you have an existing will which has not been updated recently, contact us today to assist you in preparing or modifying your will to ensure your property will be disposed of exactly as you intend.
If you are located in St. Augustine or Jacksonville, or the surrounding area, and either do not have a will or need to update an existing will, call the will lawyers at Ginn & Patrou today at 904-461-3000 to schedule a free phone consultation, or contact us online by clicking here.
With offices in both Saint Augustine and Jacksonville, Ginn & Patrou is able to serve clients throughout Northeast Florida including Palm Coast, Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Palatka, Saint Johns County, Putnam County, Duval County, and Volusia County.