When we die, we not only leave our loved ones behind, we also typically leave behind a number of assets. These may range from bank and investment accounts to family heirlooms, and many people in Florida and elsewhere often assume that their loved ones will divide these assets in a fair and reasonable manner prior to their death. Yet without a will, significant disputes may arise and costly probate litigation can be the result. Taking the time to engage in will planning, though, may be able to avert most, if not all, disputes while saving loved ones from the expense of litigation.
In a recent newspaper column, one writer detailed her experience about the death of her grandmother many years ago. Her grandmother, believing that everyone already knew her intentions, was said to have seen a will as unnecessary. Unfortunately, though, many of her family members did not know her intentions, disagreed about those intentions or outright ignored them. According to the writer, some of her family members still do not talk to one another some 17 years later as a result of the disputes that arose in distributing her grandmother’s estate.
Sometimes, Florida residents may be holding themselves back from engaging in will planning out of a belief that it is lot of paperwork and expensive or that they have nothing of value. However, while there is certainly paperwork involved, leaving a will often saves time and money for loved ones. Moreover, drafting a will is not necessarily expensive, especially compared to the expense that family members often incur when probating the estate of someone who left no will behind.