Wills & Trusts

Do you have a valid Will?

Without a valid will you are at the mercy of the court system as to how your estate, small or large, will be distributed. The State of Florida has a rigid set of rules (called the laws of descent and distribution) that apply to everyone, regardless of a family’s situation or circumstance.

Having a valid will allows you to distribute your estate however you wish.

As a Florida resident — do you have an older will that was written and filed in another state?

Even though you may have a valid will prior to your move to Florida, you need to be certain that your document is valid according to the laws of the State of Florida. Only an attorney can accurately determine this for you.

The Good Samaritan Guild can help you prepare the information an attorney will require in order to help you write a valid will. 

Everyone intends to write a Will. Many never do.

Reasons to Have a Will

  1. Distribute assets to your family 
  2. Create trusts 
  3. Make special bequests of personal property 
  4. Name a personal representative 
  5. Save administrative costs, estate and inheritance taxes 
  6. Memorialize those you care about 
  7. Remember your Parish and Catholic Charities


Put your ‘will-ing’ attitude to the test

National statistics show that 50% of Americans pass away without a Will or with an invalid Will that will not be honored by the courts. When a person dies without a Will in the State of Florida, the court system takes on the responsibility for determining precisely how the estate of that person will be distributed. Whether the estate is small or large, you will have no part in deciding who will receive the benefit of your lifetime of work. Why would a person not have a Will? Perhaps one or many of the reasons listed below are ones you have given if you are part of the 50% without a will. Look at the choices below and  check any that apply to you. (If you already have a will, please read the last paragraph.)

  • I don’t have an attorney. 
  • I can’t afford to have my will done. 
  • My estate is too small to have a will. 
  • I don’t want to deal with the subject of death. 
  • I’m too young to have a will. 
  • I don’t know who to name as executor. 
  • I don’t want to cause family discord. 
  • I just don’t have the time or patience. 
  • My survivors can make the decisions. 
  • I’ll do it another day.

Many people, who have already made a will, come to Florida to both work and retire here. Many of these new Floridians never check to see if the will that their attorney drew up for them twenty years ago in Michigan, Ohio or any other of our states, is valid in Florida. More than likely it is not. And this means you need to contact an attorney here in Florida to update and revise your Will. Perhaps we can help you find an attorney in your area.

If you have already remembered Catholic Charities in your Will
…please read on…as it is

A matter of the Utmost Confidentiality

During the past year a number of friends of Catholic Charities wrote, called or told us in person that they were remembering Catholic Charities in their Will. All of them were pleased to find that their bequest made them eligible for both membership and the spiritual gifts that accrue to members of the Good Samaritan Guild.

However, many people do not tell us about their bequest while they are alive. By the time we receive notice from probate or an attorney, it’s too late for us to thank them. If you are one of these “anonymous benefactors,” please let us know so that we can enroll you in the Guild. We won’t ask you any questions about your bequest. We will simply send you your membership information and make certain that you are remembered in the monthly Mass said for members of the Good Samaritan Guild.

Just send a note to tell us about your remembrance in your will, or call our Foundation Director, Bob Oxnard at 239.839.6227, or Jonathan Anderson at 941.954.5772. We will hold your reply in the utmost confidence.  

Send to:

Catholic Charities Foundation

1000 Pinebrook Road

Venice, FL 34285


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