I received a call yesterday from a daughter asking me if her mother’s Last Will and Testament was executed properly. She had heard it was not and wanted to check with me. I explained that a Last Will and Testament must be signed by two unrelated witnesses and be notarized. Thus, because her brother was listed as the personal representative and beneficiary, he could not be a witness and therefore, the will was not valid.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? DO WE NEED MIAMI PROBATE COURT INVOLVEMENT?
Yes, probate court involvement is required in both Miami-Dade and Broward county even if there is a valid will. Once a person dies with real estate, stocks, investments, or bank accounts in their name alone with no paid-on-death beneficiary, a probate case must be initiated in order for the loved ones to receive these assets. An attorney must be hired and then the Florida intestacy statutes rule this case. Thus, the four siblings are now the lawful beneficiaries instead of the one son receiving everything as the will provided. This all could have been avoided with the proper execution of the Last Will and Testament with two disinterested witnesses and a notary.
DOES ESTATE PLANNING IN MIAMI BEACH PREVENT THE NEED FOR A MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PROBATE CASE?
Yes, estate planning in Miami Beach, Florida if done properly can prevent the need for probate court involvement. If probate court is needed when someone dies with assets in their own name, the end goal is to move all assets into either joint name, add paid on death beneficiaries, or establish documents and fund a Revocable Trust where the real estate and banks and investments are held inside this revocable trust.
WHEN I CREATE A REVOCABLE TRUST DO I LOSE CONTROL OF MY MONEY?
No, a revocable trust can be created with the owner as the trustee; leaving you full power and control over their assets. Another benefit of a revocable trust is if you become incapacitated or pass away, the successor trustee is now in total control; thus, avoiding the need for probate court involvement. By doing estate planning and funding your trust properly, you can keep your wishes and money matters private.
WHY SHOULD YOU USE ALLY M. GLASER, PA TO HANDLE YOUR WILLS AND TRUSTS, ESTATE PLANNING IN MIAMI BEACH AND MIAMI-DADE AND BROWARD PROBATE MATTERS?
As a Miami Beach Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts and Probate Attorney in Miami Beach with over twenty-three years of experience and both a Psychology and Law degree, I handle these matters with care and sensitivity. I am familiar and comfortable with both the Broward County and Miami-Dade probate court system and know how to get things done. Call or email me today to discuss your Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts and Broward or Miami-Dade County Probate matters. I am happy to help you and your loved ones.