Estate Planning

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Responsibilities of a Guardian

Guardianships are designed to protect the legal rights of a person deemed to be incapacitated. When functional limitations prevent a person from being able to make decisions on their own, guardianship provides critical legal safeguards to help ensure that individual and their best interests remain protected. Guardianships are not established lightly as the court is essentially stepping in to remove the incapacitated individual’s rights to manage their own affairs and all guardianships are subject to oversight by the court.

Being appointed as a guardian means you are taking on a role of great responsibility. You essentially step into the shoes of your ward in order to make important decisions on their behalf.
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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Will Contest Actions

Most of the time, the probate process starts off without a hitch. The will of the decedent is located and submitted to the court for probate. The will is verified and accepted by the court and so things begin. Sometimes, however, there are issues that arise in verifying the validity of the will. Now, in some of these cases, a will contest action arises because someone is upset by what they perceive as “unfair” terms of the will.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

How to Handle Tangible Personal Property Distribution

Well, you may have updated your beneficiary designations, established a trust or more, and retitled some property along your estate planning journey. This is great! These are things that will help ensure your legacy passes as seamlessly as possible to your loved ones. While most of us think of those assets that are big in value, whether that value be of the sentimental or financial variety, there is often a whole host of other assets that often get left behind in the estate planning process.
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Monday, January 30, 2023

Help Out Your Heirs By Organizing Your Affairs

There are so many reasons to estate plan. Oftentimes, one of the biggest reasons is to be able to help and support our loved ones even after we are gone. It is to help further your goals for them and be there for them, albeit in a different way, after you have passed.
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Friday, December 23, 2022

Trust Administration in Florida

A trust can be a great mechanism for distributing assets to someone else while shielding those assets from taxes, probate costs. It can also help limit use of asset spending to certain, specified purposes. To create the trust, the trust settlor sets up the trust and funds it by transferring ownership of assets over to the trust itself. A trustee is then appointed to manage the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trustee is tasked with administering the trust, which can be quite complicated and involved, depending on the nature of the trust, the kind of assets held in the trust, and the parameters established for distributions from the trust.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Preparing for Estate Planning

So, you have taken the important step towards estate planning. Congratulations! You have your first meeting with your attorney scheduled and should absolutely be proud of yourself for checking this item off your to-do list. Now that the meeting is scheduled, you are likely wondering, “What next?” Well, next you prepare for your initial meeting with your estate planning attorney. The more prepared you are, the more you will be able to accomplish at the meeting.

Preparing for Estate Planning

First, it is likely that your attorney will have an intake questionnaire that you should fill out prior to your first meeting.
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Friday, December 2, 2022

What to Do With Your Car Title When You Estate Plan

Aside from a home and other real property, one of the largest assets a person owns is often their vehicle. As such, it can be important to pay unique attention in assessing your options as to what to do with your car when you are estate planning. With proper planning, you can avoid having your vehicle go through probate. You can also maximize available liability protections regarding your vehicle and any damage you might cause with it in the event of an accident. On top of all of this, proper estate planning for your vehicle can help avoid excessive transfer fees and minimize tax liability.
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Friday, December 2, 2022

What to Consider in Selecting Your Durable Power of Attorney Financial Agent

Have you made the important step to begin establishing an estate plan? If so, congratulations on taking this important step towards protecting your best interests and those of your family members in the face of an otherwise uncertain future. Part of this process will involve selecting individuals to assume roles of responsibility in a number of contexts. For instance, you will need to choose a personal representative who will be tasked with overseeing the administration of your estate after you pass away.
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Monday, October 31, 2022

The Benefits of Putting Your Home in a Revocable Trust

Planning for the disposition of your assets is a critical part of estate planning. This will include deciding what should be done with everything from your personal property to your digital assets, to everything in between. If you are a homeowner, it should also include planning for your home. This is especially true considering the fact that a person’s home is oftentimes their biggest asset. While there are a number of ways you could plan for the disposition of your asset upon your own passing, you might want to consider using a revocable trust for these purposes.
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Monday, October 31, 2022

Watch Out for These Common Estate Planning Pitfalls

Estate planning involves putting critical legal protections in place that help preserve and advance your goals for yourself and those closest to you. It is important to have an estate plan at any age and at any income level. You do not need to be old and you do not need to be rich for estate planning to be important. Far too many people make the mistake of putting off estate planning or thinking it is unnecessary for them. It is important to remember, however, that there are other mistakes people often make when it comes to estate planning.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What is an Affidavit of Heirs?

After a person passes away, the assets in their estate will be distributed according to the terms they have set forth in their will. Should a person pass away without a will, they are said to have died “intestate.” Without a will, the estate assets will be distributed according to state intestacy laws. Generally speaking, Florida’s intestacy laws direct that the decedent’s closest relatives inherit from a deceased individual’s estate and more distant relatives may inherit depending on what relatives survive the decedent. If there are no known living relatives of a person who has died intestate, their assets will escheat, or “pass,” to the State of Florida.
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