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Last Will and Testament

Marten-Law, P.A. is ready to conduct a comprehensive review of your personal situation, both in terms of your finances and your family relationships, to determine what course of action is most suitable for your estate planning. Based on your decision, we can proceed with the implementation of an estate planning strategy that can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have provided for your loved ones and shielded them against the possibility of a stressful and drawn-out legal process in the wake of your passing.

A last will and testament is one part of a comprehensive estate plan that should be considered. If a person dies without a will, they are said to have died "intestate" and state law will determine how their assets will be distributed. Some things you should know about wills:

•A will has no legal authority until after death.
•A will does not help manage a person's affairs if they become incapacitated.
•A will does not help an estate avoid probate.
•A will can be used to nominate the guardians of your minor children in the event that they are orphaned. All parents of minor children should document their choice of guardians. If you leave the appointment of guardian to chance, you might cause a substantial amount of family infighting, and your children could end up with the wrong guardians.

Depending on your unique circumstances, your interests may best be served by either a will or a trust. No two cases are identical, and it is impossible to recommend one or the other without first thoroughly evaluating your situation. Certain general rules, however, do apply. Typically, a person with a relatively simple estate, with few heirs and with a relatively small amount of assets, may find that a last will and testament is adequate to meet his or her needs. A trust, on the other hand, tends to be more appropriate for wealthier individuals, those with minor or disabled beneficiaries, or those who have many family members who may have a claim against the estate. When we meet for your initial consultation, we will take the time to answer your questions and help you make an informed decision whether to choose a will or a trust.

Related consumer pamphlets:

Do You Have a Will?

Probate in Florida