When Should You Begin Estate Planning?

The best way to protect your family and ensure that everything you own is properly taken care of should something happen to you is through estate planning. Now, it can be hard to know when the right time to begin this process is - do you wait until later in life or tackle it in your 20s? Deciding when to begin estate planning can have a major impact on your peace of mind and financial stability. So, before you Read More

The Requirements Of A Guardian In Florida

Luis E. Barreto & Associates represent various cases centered around guardianship, and it is important to establish its purpose. A guardian is responsible for protecting the person and their assets, and we need to emphasize how seriously the state of Florida takes them. Although we represent individuals who wish to contest guardianship, others enter into this relationship willingly and voluntarily. These Read More

Living Trusts, Probate, & Florida 

At Luis E. Barreto & Associates, we have extensive experience with probate litigation. If you have read our blog in the past, you will have discovered several ways to find yourself in probate litigation. After which, you may have committed to creating an estate plan that avoids probate. Many people quickly turn to trusts as a means of bypassing probate, and in some cases, that may be the case. However, we want to Read More

Two Things That Indicate You Need A Probate Attorney

There are countless situations when people get the sense they need an attorney but are hesitant to get one. For example, a person may sense their marriage is heading for divorce, but they don’t commit to getting a simple consultation with a lawyer. Why? It may be because they feel that once they do, they initiate a legal battle. Remember that when you meet with an attorney, it is confidential. Secondly, the lawyer Read More

How & Why You Can Remove A Trustee

When someone asks you to serve as the trustee of their estate, you should ensure that you have legal counsel to assist you with this monumental task. Trustees have a fiduciary duty to the trust's beneficiaries, and they have a significant amount of responsibility. Additionally, your attorney has a command of the current laws that govern trusts and will advise you in accordance with them.  Before we explore why Read More

Why Personal Representatives Need Legal Counsel

If you become a personal representative during a Florida probate case, it is almost always required that you have legal representation. (In Florida, the executor of an estate is referred to as a personal representative.) An exception is the rare instance when the personal representative is also the sole interested person. An interested person is “any person who may reasonably be expected to be affected by the outcome Read More

What Leads to Trust Litigation?

As estate planning tools, trusts have valuable benefits. They enable you to control how and when your property is distributed after you pass, reduce gift and estate taxes, and avoid the delays and costs of probate. The downside is that when a trust contains a significant amount of money and property, it can cause conflict.  You can contest a trust in Florida if you are one of its beneficiaries. Sometimes, doing so Read More

Preventing Misappropriation Of Trust Funds

When you place assets into a trust—commonly called funding—the trust legally owns them. Trusts can be used to avoid probate for this reason. Hypothetically, if everything you own is in one, you don’t technically have any assets. Estate planning attorneys can create specific types of trusts that allow you to access things such as your home while you are alive. However, after you pass away, your designated trustee Read More

When Minors Are Involved In Probate Litigation

As a firm that works closely with clients involved with probate litigation, we have discussed why people contest wills, trustees who fail to uphold their fiduciary duties, and how an attorney can assist you during this process. When people draft wills or create trusts, they choose beneficiaries. Some of them may be minors, and there could even be beneficiaries that have yet to be born. (E.g Imagine a grandparent who Read More

When A Trustee Breaches Their Fiduciary Duty

Let’s define our terms. A trustee manages the assets that have been placed into a trust. In Florida, the person who created the trust is the grantor. It is common for the grantor to be the trustee when they are alive. However, there will come a time when the grantor becomes incapacitated or passes away. When the trust was created, the grantor designated a trustee to oversee and administer the trust per the grantor’s Read More