4 Important Considerations When Selecting a Trustee

A trustee will hold your assets on your behalf and deal with them according to your instructions. Because the trustee is entrusted with precious assets, it is important to select the trustee for your trust very carefully. Choosing someone who is dishonest or disloyal can be extremely detrimental to your beneficiaries and your trust.Above all else, you should choose someone that you feel is trustworthy and honest. Read More

What You Need to Know About Bypass Trusts

Most people don’t particularly like paying taxes, and if assets are inherited from a family member, it’s even more frustrating to have to pay taxes on something that was intended as a gift. However, with a little planning and forethought, you can utilize a specific document to avoid having excessive taxes taken out of your loved one’s inheritance. It’s called a bypass trust, and in some cases it can save hundreds of Read More

A Brief Introduction to Undue Influence

Undue influence in the context of estate planning is essentially the manipulation of a vulnerable testator by someone who wants to profit from that vulnerability. Accusations of undue influence generally arise in disputes over the validity of a will, particularly if the person who drew it up was ill, elderly, or otherwise dependent on others at the time. The alleged manipulator is accused of interfering with the Read More

Three Health Care Provisions Every Estate Plan Should Include

There is more to creating an estate plan than simply putting together a will or trust. In addition to ensuring that all of your money and property pass to your beneficiaries, you should be making health care provisions that indicate what treatments you do and do not want under certain conditions, allow family members to make decisions on your behalf, and enable someone to access funds to cover your medical care in Read More

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