The answer is a complete YES!
I am told by clients all the time (yes, they don’t ask me, they tell me) that they want to have a Last Will and Testament drafted so their family does not have to go through the legal process in court or Probate after they pass away.
Usually, they have seen relatives or neighbors go through the Probate process and most of the time they have witnessed long periods of wait and conflict among heirs, litigation, and horror stories.
While a Last Will and Testament helps alleviate a lot of the problems by specifying who the beneficiaries or heirs are going to be, it does not automatically transfers the property of the person who passed away to the heirs/beneficiaries.
In other words, a Last Will and Testament says who you want to receive what upon your death. But once you pass away, then the beneficiaries or heirs need a legal way to transfer the title of the property to those persons you want to receive the property. Think that your father’s house in under his name, for example. If he were to pass away, he is no longer here to sign a deed over to his heirs. So, the Court steps in and legally transfers the title (ownership) of the property to the right heir or beneficiary. That’s what happens through the probate case.
I know you are thinking, ha, I have a Power of Attorney. This is very important! A Power of Attorney allows you to make legal decisions on behalf of a person while that person is alive, but this power terminates upon the person’s passing away.
So, a Will does not avoid probate. If this is a major concern for you, there are other ways to avoid probate with planning such as Trust-based planning. Feel free to ask us for more info on Trust-based planning.
We are here to help you plan to avoid probate. We can also help navigate the legal process of the Probate in Court. We are now available virtually (for even more convenience) and we have offices in Hialeah (Miami, Florida) and on the Treasure Coast (Fort Pierce).
Have a wonderful day!
Yahima Suarez, Esq.
Note: Any information above is only for informational/educational purposes and does not constitute and shall not be construed to constitute legal advise in any way.