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

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

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

5 Weird Will Provisions

If you’ve seen one Will, you’ve seen them all, right? Actually, your Will is a very personal expression of your wishes. It’s your voice giving one final message to the world. Some people take it to the next level by writing some slightly weird Will provisions. “Where No Remains Have Gone Before” Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek franchise, took television viewers to worlds they had never experienced Read More

Advanced Estate Planning: Is It Right for You?

Sometimes, simple is not best. Estate planning should be tailored to meet the needs of your life, and sometimes that life is complicated. Advanced estate planning may be right for you. Basic estate planning is . . . A simple plan typically includes a Will, a durable power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney and/or a living Will. But basic estate planning covers basic needs. Some people require more Read More

How Divorce Affects Your Estate Plans

Divorce rates for people age 50 and older are rising. In fact, the divorce rate for people over age 65, nicknamed “gray divorce”, has almost tripled since 1990. Going through a divorce causes cataclysmic changes in every aspect of a person’s life, including where they will live and what possessions they will keep. Divorce even affects estate plans from the moment the divorce petition is filed until the ink dries on Read More