Buckner continues its educational series on wills, trusts and other estate planning issues with an explanation on disposing property in a will. Specifically, the March 2014 version of The Florida Bar pamphlet, “Do You Have a Will?”, explains “While any sort of property may be transferred by will, there are some particular interests in property that cannot be willed because the right of the owner terminates automatically upon death, or others have been granted rights in the property by Florida law”. For example, the following properties or interests may not be transferred in a will under Florida law:
- Homestead property: “Except in certain very specific circumstances, a homestead (that is, the residence and adjoining lands owned by a person who is survived by a spouse or minor child up to one-half acre within limits of an incorporated city or town or up to 160 acres outside those limits).”
- A life estate: A “property owned only for the life of the owner”.
- Jointly-owned property with a right of survivorship: “Any property owned jointly with another person or persons with the right of survivorship (for example, a tenancy by the entireties, which is limited to joint ownership between a husband and wife, would be a property that automatically passes to the joint owner).
- Spousal interests: A spouse may not be disinherited “without a properly executed marital agreement. The law gives a surviving spouse a choice to take either his or her share under the will or a portion of your property determined under Florida’s ‘elective share’ statute. This statute uses a formula to calculate the size of the surviving spouse’s elective share, which includes amounts stemming from your jointly held and trust property, life insurance, and other non-probate assets. Because this formula is very complicated, it is usually necessary to refer this matter to an attorney with extensive experience in this area of law.’ Further, if a “will was made before the marriage and the will does not either provide for your spouse or show your intention not to provide for your spouse, then your spouse would receive the same share of your estate as if you had died without a will (at least one-half of your estate), unless provision for the spouse was made or waived in a marital agreement”.
Every week Buckner offers the following deals:
- Wills on Wednesdays: Clients who retain Buckner and pay the initial consultation fee or installment payment on Wednesdays receive a 10% discount on a will package.
- Trusts on Tuesdays: Clients who retain Buckner and pay the initial consultation fee or installment payment on Tuesdays receive a 10% discount on a trust package.
To discuss your estate planning needs, call (+1-954-941-1844) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) attorney Michael Buckner for a consultation.
Source: “Do You Have a Will?”, The Florida Bar (March 2014), available at: http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/48e76203493b82ad852567090070c9b9/a0091ab18d4875d085256b2f006c5b75?OpenDocument