Spiro J. Verras Blog

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

You may, like many others, have a family member or loved one that has special needs due to a physical or mental disability. You may also wish to leave him or her an inheritance or provide them with monetary assistant and want to make a provision for that during the estate planning process. The problem arises due to the fact that an inheritance may be counting as income for the purpose and may thus jeopardize any government benefits your loved one with special needs either currently receives or may receive in the future. This, however, is not an insurmountable obstacle. The problem can be avoided through the use of a special needs trust.
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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Do I Need a Trust?

One of the first questions that those setting off on the estate planning process will often ask their attorney is: “Do I need a trust?”  While most of us recognize the need for a Last Will and Testament, much confusion swirls around the concept of trusts and when they are needed.  Trusts accomplish many purposes that a will cannot, but they are not needed for every situation.  Our Tampa, Florida estate planning lawyers discuss the uses of trusts and how to determine whether a trust is the right estate planning tool for you.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Creating an Education Trust

What are the benefits to leaving money for my child in an education trust?

The costs of a college education are ever rising.  According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition for the 2017-18 school year was $34,740 at private colleges across the country and $9,970 for state residents.  Education is one of the greatest single expenses a parent will occur, so starting to save early is imperative.  One option for parents is to Read more . . .

Friday, February 8, 2019

Examining the Pros and Cons of a Revocable Living Trust

Do I still need a will if I create a revocable living trust?

Revocable living trusts have become a popular estate planning tool in recent years.  Trusts offer several major advantages over a traditional Last Will and Testament, but they may not be right for every person.  Below, our Tampa estate planning lawyers review some of the advantages and disadvantages of revocable living trusts.
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Friday, January 25, 2019

Plan Carefully to Pass Down Your IRA Assets

Can a trust be the beneficiary of my IRA?

Individual retirement accounts have become a significant asset for most Americans. According to the Investment Company Institute, Americans hold over $9.2 trillion in individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Over 43 million people own IRAs and these accounts have an average balance of over $100,000. With such significant wealth in IRAs nationwide, it becomes critical for IRA holders to plan for the transference of their assets to their heirs.

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Monday, January 21, 2019

The Dangers of DIY Wills

Will a fill-in-the blank will be enforceable in Florida?

In the digital era, it is easy to find almost anything you search for online.  Those seeking to create their own will online will find no shortage of standard form type wills.  The problem with the web, however, is that anyone can post nearly anything.  As such, a supposed Florida will found on the internet might be completely invalid per state law.  Websites like LegalZoom offer more assurance than the standard form will and could comply with the law, but nonetheless these do-it-yourself wills suffer from some major shortcomings.
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Friday, December 28, 2018

Debunking Common Estate Planning Myths

Is a will the only estate planning document I need?

There are a lot of misconceptions swirling about estate planning.  For the nearly half of all Americans who do not have an estate plan, estate planning myths can negatively impact your ability to create a thorough end of life plan.  Our Tampa estate planning lawyers dispel some of the most common estate planning myths below.
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Friday, December 21, 2018

Estate Planning for Your Illiquid Assets

What is the best way to pass down my valuable hard assets like antiques, jewelry, or art?

Some assets are easier to include in your estate plan than others.  Liquid assets like cash, stocks, and bonds can fairly easily be placed in a trust for distribution upon your death or equally split among children or grandchildren in your will.  So-called “hard” or illiquid assets, or those which are not easy to liquefy or set a value to, can be far more difficult to distribute. Hard assets could potentially include artwork, antiques, property, or jewelry.  These assets may be of unknown value and may not be included in an inventory list of one’s assets.
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Friday, November 30, 2018

Estate Planning for Snowbirds

How should I include my second home in my estate plan?

With its sunshine and warm temperatures, Florida is the ideal second home for so-called “snow birds,” or those who live in colder states, but come down to Florida every winter.  Every year, Florida will welcome between 900,000 to one million seasonal residents during the winter months.  Most snowbirds own a second home in Florida.  While many snowbirds already have an estate plan in place, not all snowbirds will have taken into account their second out-of-state home.  Probate is controlled by state law, with your state of residence taking control over property owned within it. Owning a second home and living part time in a different state creates estate planning concerns that are best addressed with an experienced estate planning attorney.

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Don’t Wait Until Your Death Bed to Make an Estate Plan

Why might a deathbed will be contested?

It’s natural to want to put off creating an estate plan.  After all, few of us wish to contemplate what will become of our assets and loved ones after we die.  At times, people procrastinate making an estate plan for so long that they end up on their death bed.  Only then do they attempt to write a will or have their attorney make a trust, but death bed estate planning could come with serious legal complications.  Our Tampa estate planning lawyers discuss why making your estate plan on your death bed or changing it when you are dying should be avoided whenever possible.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Key Terms to Know While Making Your Estate Plan

What is a codicil and when is it used?

The field of estate planning is mired in confusion for many of us.  Terms like “intestacy” and “testamentary capacity” may elicit uncertainty in the minds of individuals with limited exposure to the estate planning world.  Unclear on the definitions of many estate planning terms and unsure about the steps to take to create an estate plan, some people may put off estate planning until it is too late.  Our Tampa Bay estate planning lawyers offer some definitions of important concepts in estate planning to help you enter the estate planning process with knowledge and clarity.

Essential Estate Planning Terms to Know

Review the definitions below and be sure contact an estate planning lawyer for more information about any concepts that remain unclear to you.

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