Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Florida

Not sure what to do. My wife's ex-mother in law (MIL) is in advanced stages of COPD and probably only has a short time before passing. She would like for my wife to receive everything, instead of her adult children. My wife was very close. She has some real estate with and without mortgages. Also they have a joint bank account. Does MIL need a will, living trust, pay on death, what? Just not sure what to do, obviously.

Asked on 8/18/12, 6:42 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Dawn Marie Bates-Buchanan Bates-Buchanan & Savitsky Law Group, P.A.

If the Mother In Law still has mental capacity the best suggestion is for her to either create a living trust and put her real property and personal property in the trust and name your wife the alternate trustee and beneficiary to receive the assets upon her death. That will allow your wife to avoid having to probate her estate because as her alternate trustee and beneficiary she will be able to take possession of the assets without having to wait for court approval. The other options is to give your wife these assets now, by putting her name on the deeds or titles and accounts now, so tha when the mother in law dies then she will already own the assets and won't have to wait for anyone's approval to take possession of the assets and it won't leave anything open to probate. The Mother In Law should see an attorney right away.

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Answered on 8/18/12, 7:15 pm

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