What Happens when a Guardian Breaches their Fiduciary Duty?

Just like the personal representative of an estate, executor of a Will, or trustee of a living trust, the guardian of an incapacitated Florida adult has an underlying duty to perform in the best interests of the ward (person who is incapacitated). Guardians may be Florida residents over the age of 18 or anyone who is a direct descendant to the ward and also 18 (or older). Guardians have the power to look after the Read More

When the Executor of a Will Breaches Fiduciary Duty

There is a significant amount of responsibility that goes to the person tasked with settling a decedent’s estate in probate court. This individual, usually referred to as the executor or personal representative, is often named in the decedent’s Last Will and Testament. The purpose of naming an executor is to entrust someone who is honest and responsible to handle everything related to the estate.  The executor has Read More

Trust-Related Litigation in Florida

A trust is a common estate-planning document that is used to accomplish a number of things for the settlor (creator of the trust). One reason an estate planner might elect to create a trust is to allow their beneficiaries, heirs, and loved ones avoid the time and stress of probate court after he or she passes away. This does not mean, however, that trusts (and trustees) are immune from litigation. In Florida, a Read More

ESTATE PLANNING IN THE TIME OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

As most of us can acknowledge, things are far from returning back to normal in the midst of this global pandemic. Slowly but surely we will reach a place of normalcy, but it’s not going to happen overnight. A variety of people have had to readjust their game plan in order to adhere to the new rules and regulations that have been enforced on us. Businesses can carry on as usual in certain fields, some of which Read More

A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE EXPLANATORY LETTER

Once you have created all of the essential documents that should be included in a solid estate plan – including a Last Will and Testament, Living Trust, General Power of Attorney, and Advance Healthcare Directive, to name a few – you might find that some decisions and loose ends need to be clarified. Fortunately, there is a perfect opportunity to accomplish this through the explanatory letter (sometimes called a Read More

UNDERSTANDING THE FLORIDA HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVE

The contents and nature of your estate plan are deeply personal and unique to your situation; the plan for a family member or, even, your own spouse will be different than the one for you. A Last Will and Testament is a good starting point, but many Floridians need more forms to have a truly effective estate plan. One form that is important for the vast majority of estate planners is the advance directive, sometimes Read More

HIPAA AUTHORIZATION: WHY YOU NEED IT

Since 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has sought to limit the release of sensitive personal medical information to third parties for the purpose of maintaining individual privacy. It also provides for a secure, tightly controlled way for your PHI (private health information that could be potentially identifiable) to be shared among your health insurance providers. How Does Read More

FLORIDA’S INHERITANCE RIGHTS EXPLAINED

A valid Last Will and Testament takes away much of the guesswork and uncertainty over inheritances when a decedent’s estate is being settled. This legal document allows the decedent to distribute property and assets to beneficiaries as he or she desires, which are not obligated to line up with Florida’s intestate laws. Intestate laws govern the distribution of items of a decedent’s estate in the event that there Read More

How are your Debts Handled After you Pass Away?

Hopefully, you have at least given some thought as to how you want your estate divvied up when you pass away. A properly crafted Will gives direction on your beneficiaries’ inheritance, as well as who you want to execute your Will. A last Will and testament that does not name an executor or an estate that was never planned for in the first place causes the Florida circuit court in the decedent’s county of residence Read More

5 Reasons to Revisit your Estate Plan Annually

If you have gone a year or more without looking back over your estate plan, we strongly suggest you make time to do so. Retirees’ situations are changing constantly now, with people working longer than they used to and retirees starting new businesses at a greater rate than years’ past. Blended families are becoming more common now, which presents more options in regards to beneficiaries in Wills and other estate Read More