Did you know that U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger typed up his own will with a total of about 175 words? His estate was forced to pay in federal estate tax, 25% of his $2 million assets. Leona Helmsley, “Queen of Mean” left her $12 million trust to care for Trouble, her beloved Maltese. Marlon Brando changed his will just 13 days before dying. Jimi Hendrix left an estate that was fought over more than thirty years after his death. Martin Luther King, Jr. never drafted a will. You don’t need to join the ranks of the rich and famous to consider estate planning. What you do want to do is prevent leaving your legacy behind subject to estate battles. The great thing about public figures is that you can learn from their mistakes, especially when it comes to the intricate processes of planning your estate.
For one thing, don’t skip out on a will. A will grants you the right to appoint an executor, or personal representative to pass on your assets to the people you want your assets to go to. You can designate the right person to care for your minor children in the event you die. If you do not take the time to have a will drafted, state law, through the process of probate, will determine who gets your assets and who will be appointed guardian of your children. Rest assured, your wishes will never be fulfilled.
Save yourself the mistake in not seeking professional and valuable legal advice. You run the risk of encountering many problems in the legal system with do-it yourself wills that you may find online or from a print source. Don’t be the victim of bad advice that a stranger or even your best friend might give you.
When should you create your will and trust? The answer is now. Don’t be your own worst enemy when it comes to time. Worst yet, don’t be your family’s own worst enemy. In the words of James Taylor, “Time will take your money, but money won’t buy time.” You want to be sure your assets are in the hands of a knowledgeable, well-experienced attorney you know you can trust to help you adequately prepare for your estate.
For more information on successful Florida estate planning and probate, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Pardo, P.A. at 954-944-2855 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free consultation.
It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?