Elder Law and Estate Planning: Preparing for Your Golden Years

Life moves fast, and sometimes we don’t think much about retirement until it’s almost there. We may have been contributing to retirement accounts for years, but what about our estate planning? Can elder law and estate planning help you prepare for your golden years? Estate Planning Near Retirement Age As we age, we focus on different needs. Young professionals in their 20s and 30s will not have the same questions 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

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