Too Important to Overlook: Four Key Elements of a Strong Will

Making plans for your eventual death can be unpleasant to think about, but it is extremely important if you want to ensure your final wishes are honored.  Creating a last will and testament is something everyone should do to protect and distribute property.

When creating your will, however, you need to make sure you have all the key elements to avoid any type of delay or other problems.  When properly included, the following four elements will help streamline the process and make it as easy as possible for your loved ones. There’s much more to it than can be covered in this blog entry, however, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you’d like to learn more.

Naming the Personal Representative a/k/a Executor

Choosing someone to be the Personal Representative (P.R.) of your will is very important.  So important, in fact, that many people will choose 1-2 ‘back-up’ P.R.’s in case the primary is unable to fulfill the duties.  This individual will be responsible for things like inventorying your belongings, having them appraised, distributing assets and settling any debts or taxes.

Identify Specific Beneficiaries

Most people will want to specifically identify which of their belongings go to who.  Whether for sentimental reasons or financial, identifying the beneficiary for all major assets will help ensure your loved ones get what you want them to have after your passing.

Plan for Digital Assets

One fairly new type of asset that is becoming more important for people to plan for is their digital property.  Most people today have things like social media accounts, blogs, or other online assets.  Identify who you want to manage these accounts, and what you want done with them upon your death.  Whether these assets have monetary value or not, it is good to make sure your loved ones have all your accounts and passwords so they can be properly taken care of.

Legally Executed and Reviewed

While you can technically complete a will on a regular piece of paper without any attorneys, it is not a good idea.  These informal wills are much easier to contest and can cause some significant problems when it comes time to administer the estate.  In fact, in many cases, an informal will drafted without the advice of an attorney may not even be valid if the formalities of Florida law were not followed.  It is a much better idea to have an attorney complete your will according to the standards of Florida law.  This will help avoid a lot of problems for your loved ones, and ensure your wishes are followed correctly.

If you have any questions, or would like to have a will or estate plan made, please contact us to discuss the specifics today.

Written by John Mangan, Esq.

John Mangan, Esq.

I’m an attorney in Palm City, FL, and I serve clients throughout Martin County, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Indiantown, as well as those in St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, Palm Beach County, and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is an innovative firm providing estate planning services to clients in Florida. We focus primarily on wills, trusts, asset protection, guardianship, and probate administration.