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

Electronic Wills Revisited

In a previous blog, we discussed Florida’s electronic wills law. Though passed by the legislature, it was vetoed by Governor Scott. At the time, Nevada was the only state that permitted Wills to be in electronic form. Some important changes have happened since the previous blog article was published. First, let’s look at why Governor Scott vetoed the previous bill. Reasons for the Veto Governor Scott’s biggest Read More

Disadvantages of Using an Irrevocable Trust

Maura was puzzled. She and her husband were finally thinking of putting together an estate plan. They had done some online research and stumbled across articles about irrevocable and revocable trusts. The irrevocable trust seemed to offer the kind of asset protection they wanted. However, she knew there had to be disadvantages to using any estate planning tool. What is an irrevocable trust? Every trust has at least Read More

Techniques for Keeping Your Probate Estate Small

Probate – it seems like something most people want to avoid or minimize at the very least. However, a decedent’s property must pass through probate to heirs and beneficiaries, right? Not always. There are techniques for keeping your probate estate small that may help your heirs get their inheritance more quickly and pay less in expenses. An important goal, then, may be to keep Assets OUT of Your Estate. But Read More

How to Choose the Right Trust

Estate plans should include a Last Will and Testament, a durable power of attorney, and a medical power of attorney. Some people also prepare other documents, like a Living Will or a trust. But, when you start working on your estate plan, how will you know which trust is right for you? Consider Your Goals People who set out to develop an estate plan usually have goals in mind. Take some time to think about what you Read More

Estate Planning for the Single Adult

Esther shrugged as she read the headline, 4 Common Estate Planning Errors and How to Avoid Them. She didn’t bother to read the article. Esther thinks because she is young, single with no kids and a modest bank balance that she does not need an estate plan. Esther is wrong. Even single adults – young or not-so-young – need to do their estate planning. A Simple Will. Most adults own something – a car, furniture and Read More

Coordinate Estate Plans and Wealth Management Strategies

Some things work together separately but are enhanced when merged. Take music and lyrics. You might enjoy listening to just the music of a piece. You could also read the lyrics like a poem. Separately, they work. But together?  Beautiful music! Estate planning and wealth management are similar. They serve separate purposes. However, if coordinated, estate planning and wealth management may bring about a better Read More

When Are Staged Withdrawal Rights a Bad Idea?

Mary wanted her children to benefit from the comfortable net worth she had built. Fortunately for them, she consulted with an estate planning attorney. She considered setting up trust funds for her children but was unsure how to handle the payouts:  outright or through staged withdrawal rights? First, What Does ‘Staged Withdrawal Rights’ Mean? Trust assets are disbursed to beneficiaries at some point. When a trust Read More

Understanding Where You Stand: Florida’s Elective Share Statute

Roslyn and Martin’s marriage was troubled. They never divorced or even separated, but Martin’s anger got the best of him at one point. He decided to remove Roslyn as a beneficiary on all his retirement accounts, checking accounts, and savings accounts. He quietly retitled some business property to prevent her from receiving any benefit from it after his death. After his death, Roslyn was shocked to learn that her Read More