Spiro J. Verras Blog

Friday, September 22, 2017

What Successor Trustees Need to Know

What is the role of a successor trustee?

The successor trustee is the person who will take control of the trust after the grantor dies or becomes unable to complete his or her role.  Often, those named as successor trustee never seek out legal advice about their role and may informally assume the task of trustee, without going through the proper legal channels.  Handling a trust in this manner can have disastrous results.  Our

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Naming a Guardian for Your Minor Child in Florida

What happens if I die before naming a guardian for my child?

Our children are our most valued assets.  While none of us want to consider the possibility of dying and leaving our children behind, it is imperative that Florida parents take action now to protect their children in the event of an untimely death or incapacity. More than 60 percent of parents do not have a named guardian for their children.  Absent a named guardian, the Florida courts will be forced to select a qualified guardian for your child.  Your

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Does My Estate Need to Go Through Probate?

We have all likely heard probate horror stories.  Probate actions that took years to complete, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on taxes, and family members that received nothing from their loved one’s estate.  It is critical that Floridians understand what assets must go through probate, and which do not, so that you can prepare your estate plan accordingly.

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Talk to Your Parents About Their Estate Plan Today

How should I broach the topic of estate planning with my parents?

Bringing up the topic of finances and the future with your aging parents is never easy, but putting off these hard subjects can prove devastating.  Discussions about finances can lead to thorough estate planning, which will positively impact you and your family in the long run.  It is crucial, however, that you approach the subject of estate planning in a respectful manner so as not to lead to ill feelings.  Our

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Electronic Wills in Florida

Are electronic wills the estate planning tool of the future?

Today, it seems like everything that was once on paper has moved to the internet.  Estate planning is no different, with electronic wills rapidly becoming a topic of interest in the estate planning realm.  An electronic will is one that is signed on the computer and stored electronically.  Rather than printing a hard copy and having it signed by the testator, witnesses, and notary, the electronic will is prepared entirely on the computer.  While electronic wills appear to be the way of the future,

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Estate Planning Basics: Three Things To Do Before You Die

What estate planning steps should I take to protect my family?

None of us want to consider the eventuality of our own deaths, but avoiding the topic of estate planning can leave your family in a precarious position.  With a little forethought, you can plan for the end of your life and ensure your family will be in the best position possible to deal with your death. Our Tampa estate planning lawyers discuss the three estate planning documents everyone should have before their deaths below.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes

How can I help to ensure my estate plan is error-free?

Your estate plan will be a lasting part of your legacy.  A good estate plan will allow your assets to pass with minimal tax consequences to your named heirs, while a poor estate plan, or a lack of an estate plan all together, may leave your assets in the control of the courts and subject to extreme taxation.  Our Tampa estate planning lawyers discuss some estate planning errors you should avoid in order to preserve your assets and legacy.
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Setting Up an Educational Trust for Future Generations

What is an educational trust fund?

As grandparents, you want to see that your grandchildren, and their children down the road, have the funds needed to pay for higher education.  In today’s competitive job market, having a college or graduate degree can set you apart.  Most families agree that education is a top priority, but rising education costs have made higher education unaffordable to some.  Parents and grandparents in Florida with a high net worth are advised to consider creating an

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Guardianship for Disabled Family Members

How can I protect my disabled family member using a guardianship?

Roughly 50 million people across the United States have some form of disability, with almost 25 million classified as severely limited in their functioning.  Being the parent, spouse, or relative of a person with a disability can be challenging.  One of your greatest roles as the family member of a disabled person is being an advocate, but without legal decision-making authority, fulfilling this role can be difficult.  Our

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Spendthrift Trusts in Florida

What is a spendthrift trust and how could a spendthrift trust benefit my family?

A trust is an estate planning tool that can be used to pass down your assets to your loved ones.  With a trust, you will create a fiduciary relationship that allows a third party, the trustee, to manage assets on behalf of named beneficiaries.  Trusts can be written in any number of ways and have the ability to specify exactly how and when assets will pass to the beneficiaries.
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Dangers of DIY Wills

Should I create my own will?

A will is one of the most important estate planning documents, yet fewer than half of all Americans have a valid will in place.  Numerous websites are attempting to induce more people to make a will by offering do-it-yourself wills.  These sites have online, cookie cutter forms available at a low cost.  While it may be tempting to make a will at a fraction of the cost, DIY wills can come at tremendous long-term costs.  Our

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