Do you need a will?
A lot of us would answer “No” to that question – and most of us would be wrong. If you have real property and people dependent on you and you want your property to pass down in some way other than the requirements for intestate property in your state (in Florida, for example, your spouse and children are prioritized, but nothing goes to stepchildren you did not legally adopt), you need a will. If you have enough money to hit the estate tax threshold, then you need specific advice to reduce the tax burden on your heirs.
A Broward-Palm Beach-Dade TriCounty FL estate planning lawyer can tell you whether you need a will, and if you hire one with financial experience, they can help you understand the tax benefits of things like trusts and giving certain property away while you are still alive.
Your will needs to address your goals for your family, and take into account sentimental issues. If you do not make one, then the state will make one for you. For some of us, that is good enough. For many of us, it is not. If you intend to make a posthumous charitable donation, or give a valuable piece of property to a friend or sibling because you know your children have no interest in it, then you need to make a will. You need to do so with awareness of the legal and tax implications of your choices.
Which means you need an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle estate planning. This may be more important for those with a lot of wealth, but even many middle class people should, and need to, make a will.
So, if you are thinking about the legacy you will pass on, you need to call an estate planning lawyer today. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisement.