First off, you must know what you cannot and can give away in a will. Wills distribute specific kinds of property but not all.
For instance, it is possible to give funds to a beneficiary or give away your coin collection. But other kinds of property, like a bank account that has a beneficiary designation, are offered right to the beneficiary at the grantor’s passing away. So, you don’t have to list that account in the will.
Property That Is Given in a Will:
- Real estate such as land or buildings
- Household belongings
- Precious metals such as coin collections
- Jewelry, artwork, and antiques
- Boats, cars, and other types of recreational vehicles
- Cash (gifts of money)
Property That Isn’t Given in a Will:
- Assets that are held within a separate trust instrument
- Bonds, stocks, or financial investments that have named beneficiaries
- Proceeds from pensions or retirement plans that have named beneficiaries
- Insurance policies that have named beneficiaries
- Bank accounts that have transfer-on-death (TOD) beneficiaries
What’s Your Property?
Usually, all property that is only owned by you or titled within your name is solely the property that it’s possible to give away. But you might have partial property ownership; therefore, property titles matter while creating a will.
Marital Property v. Separate Property
Marital property involves income and assets that are acquired during a marriage. Non-marital or separate property is property that is owned by you after or before your marriage.
Kinds of Separate Property:
- An inheritance or gifts solely given to you, kept separately from marital assets
- Non-marital property that is owned and kept separate prior to the marriage.
- Assets or property that is acquired after permanent separation
- Assets or property that is owned prior to marriage
- Assets or property titled solely in your name
Florida has special rules for married couples. A spouse has rights to the marital homestead, even if the spouse’s name is not on the deed. If you are married, you cannot leave your homestead to someone other than your spouse.
Also, Florida law requires that a spouse inherit at least 30% of everything you own. If you try to leave your spouse less than 30%, the spouse may “take against the will” or claim “spousal share” and your plan may fail.
If there are simplistic wishes concerning your property distribution, like ‘all property to your marital partner then kids,’ then making use of an online will service might meet your needs. But, if you want to leave your property to someone other than your spouse, or you own property with multiple people, you might want to get in touch with an estate planning attorney for assistance.
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