Basics of Florida Homestead Law

Many states have some kind of homestead law. The specifics may vary, but the general purpose is the same: to allow homeowners to protect at least a portion of their home from creditors. Florida homestead laws are rather complicated. If you own a home in Florida, you need to learn the basics of Florida homestead law. Florida Homestead Law 101 The homestead exemption affects Florida homeowners in three distinct Read More

Family Limited Partnership: Any Disadvantages?

Gene and his wife, Charlotte, own several prosperous restaurants in Port St. Lucie and Palm City, Florida. As they begin their annual estate plan review, they re-examine their goals. Their son, Grayson, helps manage the restaurants, but their daughter, Courtney, lives and works in Nevada. Gene and Charlotte want to make sure both their children and their grandchildren benefit from their success. They consult with Read More

Titling Florida Recreational Vehicles

About 10 million households in the United States own recreational vehicles. The purpose of owning a recreational vehicle is usually to have fun or visit friends. But since the average purchase price for recreational vehicles ranges from $6,000 for a small camping trailer to $500,000 for a motorhome, the RV may end up being adding to the owner’s net worth – and to their estate. It’s important, then, to know about Read More

What Is a Probate Estate Asset?

Gary served as executor of his dad’s estate. Molly prepared a complete estate plan, which she updated every year. James was concerned that the executor of his mother’s estate was not doing a good job. All three of these people at some point probably asked themselves, “What is a probate estate asset?” Frankly, it is not as cut and dried as it may seem. Probate Estate Asset or Not? When someone dies, they leave Read More

Why Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer?

Malcolm decided it was time. He knew he needed a Will and was thinking about writing it himself. I mean, how hard could it be, right? His friend, Peter, talked to him about why he needed to hire an estate planning lawyer. Using the Right Asset Protection Some estates greatly benefit from estate planning strategies that maximize asset protection. This is not an easy thing to do, though. Asset protection can backfire Read More

Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes: Chief Justice Warren Burger

Some say a man who represents himself in a legal proceeding has a fool for client. Chief Justice Warren Burger probably heard that saying, as it is very common in the legal field. However, if he did know the saying, it certainly did not stop him from writing his own Will. The question is: Was he a fool for writing his own Will? Chief Justice of the Supreme Court From his working-class beginnings, Warren Earl Burger Read More

Summer Travel: Are Your Estate Plans Ready to Go?

Vacationers have so many things to do before they leave home. Between reservations, packing, and asking someone to pick up your mail, it may be hard to get it all done. There’s another matter that should be added to your to-do list, however. It’s not an obvious thing, but it is important. Estate plans – are yours ready to go? Review and Update Estate Plan Documents Unless you signed them very recently, this is a Read More

What Is Probate?

You have probably heard of probate. In fact, you may have read about celebrity estates gone bad or tips for avoiding probate altogether. Still, it is a good idea to understand exactly what it entails. Someday, you may be involved in probate for a loved one. Your loved ones may be involved in probating your estate also. Probate Defined Florida law defines probate of Will to mean “all steps necessary to establish the Read More

Overcoming Estate Planning Excuses

Maria has a small child, a daughter named Alyssa. Lionel is an unmarried business owner. Simon is a college student with few possessions or debts. They all have something in common: they don’t have estate plans. In fact, when asked why they don’t have Wills, they all engage in the same estate planning excuses. They don’t know, yet, that there are ways to overcome those excuses. Excuse #1: I don’t like to talk about Read More

Should I Sign a Living Will?

Brian finally decided to sign a Will. As he chatted with his estate planning attorney, they discussed other documents that typically make up a complete estate plan: a durable power of attorney and health care power of attorney or health care surrogate designation. They also discussed optional documents, like the Living Will. Brian was left wondering, though, why he would need to sign a living Will if he had already Read More