A last will and testament, commonly called a will, is perhaps the most popular estate planning document. Despite its popularity, many people are unaware that there are several types of wills available. And the type of will that a person executes will depend on his or her individual goals and needs. In this article, we examine the four types of wills available in Florida.
A simple will is the type of will with which most people are familiar. The primary purpose of this document is to dispose of one’s property. However, with a simple will, it is also possible to designate a personal representative, appoint a guardian for one’s children, and accomplish other objectives. This type of will is generally best suited for uncomplicated estates.
Most Florida estate plans include more than a last will and testament. For example, many estate plans also include a revocable living trust. A pour-over will is a type of will this is used in conjunction with a revocable living trust. The purpose of this type of will is to account for any property accumulated prior to a person’s death that was not transferred into his or her trust. A pour-over will directs that any such property be “poured over” into the revocable living trust.
Mirror Image Will
In Florida, a married couple cannot sign a single will. Instead, Florida uses what is called a mirror image will. Rather than a couple signing a single will, they execute two identical, i.e., mirror image, wills. Such wills are most often executed by married couples. In the majority of mirror image wills, each spouse leaves his or her entire estate to the surviving spouse; however, each individual retains the right to edit his or her will at any time.
Generally, if a person has executed a will in some state other than Florida, it will be considered valid in Florida. However, there are exceptions to this rule, meaning that not all out-of-state wills are recognized in the state of Florida. And since Florida’s laws regarding wills are specific to the state of Florida, these invalid wills may even include those that were drafted by out-of-state attorneys. Therefore, when moving to Florida from a different state, it is always a good idea to consult with a Florida attorney regarding an out-of-state will’s validity.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
At the Law Offices of Angela Siegel, experienced estate planning attorney Angela Siegel is here to help you with your estate planning needs—whatever they may be. Our talented estate planning attorney routinely drafts wills and other important estate planning documents for residents of Florida and New York. With years of experience helping people draft comprehensive and effective estate plans, Angela Siegel is here to ensure that your estate plan addresses your unique needs. Please contact us to schedule an initial consultation.