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Estate & Personal Planning

Estate Planning: When is it a Good Time to Start?

September 29th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

There are a lot of misconceptions about estate planning.  One of the major ones is that it is not necessary or important to do until later in life.  I can understand that mindset, because I previously had similar thoughts.  However, after practicing in the estate planning field, I can tell you from experience that waiting on creating an estate plan is not a prudent course of action and can result in a lot of agony, frustration, and economic loss for your loved ones. In this post, we explore how estate planning can be useful over the various stages and circumstances of life.
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Guardianships: New Laws Aim to Protect Society’s Vulnerable

August 18th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning,General Practice

Friends and family members often worry about how to protect their elderly loved ones.  Particularly at risk are elders with advanced dementia, making them vulnerable to scammers and sometimes unable to take care of themselves. Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs reports that nearly 12% of Florida’s senior population has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which often manifests through dementia. A visit to an attorney frequently leads to the discovery that estate planning, including advance directives that give voice to one’s future wishes and help avoid a guardianship, has not been done. As a result, guardianships are often considered as a last-resort solution. 
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The Property Deed as an Estate Plan: Examining the Varying Distributions of Each of the Co-Ownership Forms in Florida Real Property

August 4th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning,General Practice,Real Estate Law

As the saying goes, “anyone who believes in free will has never heard of probate.”  Attorneys are frequently contacted by clients who need help navigating estates after the loss of a family member or friend.  Probate is often inevitable if there is property to be divided.
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Six Reasons to Create a Revocable Trust

July 6th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

What is the difference between a revocable trust and a will?  Should I create a revocable trust? These are among the most frequently asked estate planning questions at our office. Here are some advantages of a revocable trust: 
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National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 13th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

This year, National Healthcare Decisions Day is not just a day but an event lasting from April 16 to 22.  This event is a national initiative to provide awareness and inspire adults to do or review their healthcare planning.
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New Funding to Protect Florida’s Elderly Population

March 17th, 2017

Posted in Asset Protection,Estate & Personal Planning

Many of Florida’s senior citizens and families have reason to celebrate the 2017-2018 Annual Budget, which recommends $315.5 million for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.
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Make a Resolution to Create or Review your Estate Plan

January 24th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Often, people explain that they do not have enough assets to need an estate plan.  However, regardless of the value of assets you have, reviewing your personal financial plan from a legal and estate plan perspective is highly recommended.  In fact, even those who have substantial debt may be able to pass assets on to beneficiaries.  Everyone can benefit from creating and reviewing an estate plan including the elderly, married couples, parents with minor children and singles.
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Digital Assets and Electronic Communications

October 28th, 2016

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Recently, the Florida legislature has addressed the issue of fiduciaries’ ability to access digital data, which can include things such as emails and social media postings.  On July 1, 2016, the Florida Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act went into effect and it applies to estate planning documents regardless of when they were signed.  This act is found in Chapter 740 of the Florida Statutes. Individuals, estates, trusts, and businesses can direct who may have access to their digital assets and electronic communications and to what extent those communications may be available to a fiduciary.  Those persons can express their wishes in a Durable Power of Attorney, Trust or Will.
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