Florida Estate Planning: Understanding Elective Shares

In Florida, an elective share is a means by which a married individual receives a fair share of their deceased spouse’s estate, even if estate planning documents have excluded them entirely. State statutes allow a surviving spouse to receive no less than 30% of their husband or wife’s estate, limiting the damage of a malicious or “influenced” disinheriting.Computing an Elective ShareElective shares are Read More

The Difference Between Elder Law and Estate Planning

As an estate planning attorney, one of the most common misunderstandings that clients have is that they think estate planning and elder law are the same thing. While they are both essential components of planning for future events, they are actually quite distinct from each other. Learning about the differences can help ensure you have the right resources in place for both your current situation in life and whatever Read More

4 Factors Florida Courts Consider When Determining Competency

Estate planning is a subject many people don’t seem to think about until it’s almost too late. If you have an elderly loved one who needs to get their affairs in order, it could be more difficult than you imagine. Deciding who receives our assets once we pass on might be easy when we are young and have full mental capacity, but what about when we get older? What about when a loved one is diagnosed with a neurological Read More

Who Gets What? Paternity Issues in Probate

When it comes to inheritance litigation, paternity actions have their own unique challenges, especially in Florida probate proceedings. One of the biggest is that they can be time-barred, depending on when the action commences.If a man dies without a will, all children born of his current and / or previous marriages are entitled to a share of his estate as determined by the Florida laws of intestate succession. Read More

Asset Exceptions to the Laws of Intestate Succession

In the broadest definition, intestate succession is the court-mandated distribution of a deceased individual’s assets prompted by the lack of a will. When a person dies, the spouse and other heirs receive assets that fall under intestate succession laws, which provide for the disposition of assets based on the decedent’s familial circumstances at the time of his or her death.Florida residents that die before Read More

Invalid Testaments: Florida Holographic & Nuncupative Wills

For obvious reasons, there are extremely strict laws and regulations surrounding the creation of an individual's Last Will & Testament. Wills provide significant incentive for fraudulent behavior and coercion on the part of those who stand to benefit from inheritances provided in the will.The law seeks to ensure that that the wishes of the will's testator (person who created the will) are appropriately and Read More

The Durable Power of Attorney: What It Is and Why You Need One

Life is nothing if not unpredictable. No one expects to be abruptly incapacitated until it happens to them. Whether you suddenly fall ill for a short period of time or find yourself in a coma following a car accident, you’ll want to make sure that you already have everything in place you may need to ensure all of your obligations are fulfilled and that your wishes are carried out as you intended.The fact is, when Read More

Payable On Death: Keeping Your Bank Accounts Out of Probate

Let’s face it, probate can be a serious hassle. It can be a long and drawn out process, and it has the potential to get very expensive when you have a complex estate. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools available that may be able to help you keep certain assets out of probate, or potentially even allow your estate to skip probate entirely.One of these useful tools is the “Payable-on-Death” (POD) designation Read More

CHARITABLE GIVING OPTIONS IN FLORIDA

Florida residents who want to positively contribute to charitable efforts have a myriad of options on how to do so. Certainly, there always exists the option to simply write a check or make a credit card donation to any number of charities. Many organizations also accept donations of items that can be then sold and turned into profits for their charities. However, there can be many situations in which these giving Read More

ORAL WILL NOT ALLOWED TO STAND IN FLORIDA PROBATE

America essentially developed as a melting pot of different cultures and that reality has anything but gone away as the country has grown and aged. Today’s society is increasingly global and Florida’s diverse population is perhaps one of the best representations of that. One of the challenges of this can be how to address estate planning when assets are owned in multiple countries. The existence of potential heirs in Read More