It is normal to wonder what will happen to your possessions, such as your home when you pass away. Many people assume their belongings will automatically pass to their next of kin. However, this is not always the case. In order to ensure your loved ones, such as your children, inherit your possessions, it is important to speak with a Florida estate planning attorney experienced in these types of legal matters. A skilled estate planning lawyer can help you take the steps necessary to be certain your home and other possessions pass on to your children.
The following are two of the ways this can be accomplished. It is important to keep in mind while these are often used methods, every situation is unique, and your particular circumstances will need to be addressed by an attorney.
A Last Will & Testament
A Last Will & Testament, or “Will” for short, is a common way for a parent to pass on their home to their children. A Will is a written document that a person executes before their death which states who they wish to inherit their possessions. The testator (the person that wrote the Will) can declare they want one or more people to receive the property.
If there is only one person, the process is straightforward. However, if more than one person inherits the home, the process may become a little more complicated. Each person inherits an equal share like the others, and if they disagree on what should happen to the property, a dispute may arise. Either way, the property will not automatically pass on to the people designated in the Will. Instead, it will first go through a court-supervised process known as “probate.” Probate can be time-consuming and costly, especially if the parties inheriting the property do not agree on what to do with it.
A trust is a way for a third party to hold the property for the benefit of another person or persons. Different types of trusts can be used to ensure that your home passes on to your children, and which one you use depends on your particular circumstances. One of the most attractive things about using a trust is many of them enable the current owner to retain possession of the property. At the same time, they are alive, and the property can pass on to their heirs upon their death without having to go through the arduous probate process.
Contact A Florida Estate Planning Attorney
Don’t assume your house and other property will automatically pass on to your children. Instead, speak with a knowledgeable lawyer about estate planning matters so you can rest assured your possessions will go to those you desire. Contact the attorneys at Martin Law Firm, P.L., by calling 1-239-323-9820 or via our contact page.