If you don't have a will or trust, then you're relying on the state of Florida to design an estate plan for you. Florida statute has what's call the intestate statutes that lay out who will be the receiver of your assets, who will represent you before the court, and even who will decide the guardians of your minor children, all of which can be eliminated with a properly drafted will. And if you have a trust, you can then designate the heirs or the beneficiaries outside the court system.
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Michael L. Cahill is an attorney and certified public accountant providing estate planning, probate and tax services in the St. Petersburg, Seminole, Largo, Clearwater and Florida gulf beach communities.