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Top questions that need to be asked during will creation

Creating a will is not a simple task, but if people ask themselves important questions, they will be better prepared to plan their estate.

Creating a will is not a popular pastime in Florida. In fact, 40 percent of Americans over the age of 45 have not created this important piece of estate planning according to AARP. Most people avoid this task because it reminds them of their mortality. However, it is an important thing to do. Wills can outline what debts need to be paid, how properties should be divided and funeral arrangements that have been made.

Should spouses create separate wills?

Most people going into estate planning may think that they and their spouse can make a single will. However, this type of document rarely works out because spouses usually do not pass away at the same time. It is often much simpler to create two separate wills. This separation allows each person to focus on matters that are important to him or her, such as the following:

  • Children from a previous relationship
  • Non-community property
  • Ex-spouses

A separate estate plan also allows a person to leave money to his or her preferred charity.

Who should be the executor?

Wills can be contested by children and spouses after a death. Setting up an executor is one way a person can ensure his or her wishes are carried out. Executors can also shoulder the task of settling debts, which can help relieve some of the burden off of heirs. When a will is a little more complex, it might be a good idea to name an attorney as the executor because he or she will be able to easily understand the legalities of setting up a trust or dividing a business. In less-complicated circumstances, it is okay to choose friends, children, siblings or spouses as the executor or co-executors.

What plans are there for dependents?

Parents need to ask themselves who is going to take care of their children, but even those without kids may need to make arrangements for dependents. Pets, for example, can be written into the will to ensure a relative gets money to take care of a dog or an organization is chosen to take care of the family African grey. Those who care for young children or developmentally challenged adults may want to name a guardian to ensure someone is looking after them should something happen. If this detail is not written out in the will, a court can decide who will be in charge of the dependent's welfare.

Florida residents of all ages should consider writing a will to ensure their loved ones will be taken care of in the event of a death. It can be beneficial to work with knowledgeable attorneys because they can make sure important aspects of estate planning are covered in the will.

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