Spiro J. Verras Blog

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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Monday, March 20, 2017

Will vs. Trust: Which is Best For You?

Do I need a will or living trust?

None of us want to consider the possibility of our eventual death, but setting up a thorough estate plan is vital to ensuring your legacy continues.  If you are of retirement age, you are likely familiar with some options for estate planning in Florida.  Take a look at some essential facts about wills and trusts to select the estate planning option that is best for you.
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Designating a Healthcare Surrogate in Florida

What is a healthcare surrogate and why do I need one?

Unexpected illnesses or injuries can strike at any time.  No matter your age or health status, it is important to prepare for the possibility that you may one day be in a position where you cannot make important medical decisions on your own.  Our Tampa, Florida estate planning attorneys at Verras Law discuss the importance of designating a healthcare surrogate below.  For assistance with your comprehensive estate plan in the Tampa Bay area, contact one of our experienced estate planning lawyers.
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Elder Abuse Remains a Problem in Florida

What are the signs of elder abuse?

A home webcam in Texas recently captured shocking footage that has outraged the public and raised awareness as to the ongoing problem of elder abuse.  In the viral video, a home health care aid is captured physically and verbally abusing her 94-year-old patient.  The health care worker goes so far as to strike the disabled, elderly woman.

Sadly, elder abuse experts in Florida report that this Texas case is far from isolated.  According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, over 2,500 cases of elder abuse occurred in 2015.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Estate Planning for the Single Parent

As a single parent, do I need an estate plan?

As a single parent, your primary focus is the well-being of your child.  Single parents face a unique set of responsibilities.  You are the sole caretaker and financial provider.  Parenting solo can be stressful, but the joys you experience with your children along the way are far greater.  Being a single parent makes it all the more important for you to prepare a thorough estate plan.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Selecting a Guardian Requires Careful Consideration

What qualities should I look for in a guardian for my children

New parents take on a number of responsibilities and having a child is a big adjustment. While becoming a parent is a wonderful experience, it is also a time to start thinking about the future. Of course, no one wants to think about dying or the chance that their child will be left without a parent. But new parents must ask themselves who will care for their children if they die.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Make Estate Planning Your New Year's Resolution

Why do I need an estate plan?

Now that the New Year is hear, many individuals will make resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, find a new job, take up a long neglected hobby, and so on. But there's one thing everyone should put at the top of their to do list for 2017: estate planning.

Surely, no one wants to start the new year thinking about dying or the possibility of becoming ill, but like the song says, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. Without further delay, let's take at look at some estate planning options for the coming year.

Create or Update Your Will

If you don't have a will, now is the time to put one in place.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Simple Tips for Personal Representatives

How can I prepare for being a personal representative?

While being named as the personal representative (another way of saying executor) of a friend or loved one's estate may be an honor, it is also a serious responsibility. In fact, managing deceased person's assets can be complicated and stressful, but there are steps you can take to make getting the job done easier.

The first thing to recognize is that coping with the loss of a family member or friend is emotionally challenging. Dealing with grief can not only make you sad, but also irritable and anxious, all of which can affect your ability to think clearly and to make reasonable decisions. While there may be things that need to be done quickly, such as arranging for the funeral, everyone should take time to mourn the loss of a loved one before assuming the duties of an executor.

Once you're ready to begin the legal process of administering the deceased's estate, here are some simple tips to keep in mind:

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