Provisions You Might Want to Include in Your Will
There are no federal or Florida state laws dictating the language you need to use in your last will and testament. In fact, you have quite a bit of flexibility in terms of what you include in your will and how you word it. However, there are some clauses and provisions you might consider including to fulfill some specific needs and to provide clarity to your loved ones after your passing.
The following are a few examples of common provisions found in these documents:
- Survivorship clause: If one of your listed beneficiaries dies before you or immediately after you, the property you left behind for that person could go to his or her beneficiaries. You might not have a problem with this, but if you want to have a backup plan, you can include a survivorship clause. Simply add the words, “If X survives me…,” then state your desired plan for the property. You might also include a stipulation that all beneficiaries must live for a certain time after your passing to receive their inheritance.
- Administrator appointment: Your estate administrator will pay all debts and taxes, distribute estate property and generally carry out the terms of your will. It’s important to appoint this administrator yourself. If you do not, the court may choose the administrator for you.
- Guardians for minor children: If you have any minor children, you will want to include a guardianship clause to state who your children will live with in the event of your passing, especially if the children’s other parent is no longer alive or is unable to care for the kids. Again, if you choose not to do this, a court may select a guardian on your behalf. You know better than the courts who is best suited to raise your children.
- Instructions for debt payment: You may leave behind a clause with instructions on how your debts will get paid. Some people choose to use the “remainder” of the estate after all bequests have been distributed, while others set aside money and accounts specifically for those purposes.
For more information and guidance on the specific clauses you should include in your will, meet with an experienced Florida estate planning lawyer at The Charles Law Offices.