Important Elements of a Will

When you’re dealing with a legal document, it’s important to get it right. For example, a Will that is written incorrectly or leaves out important elements of a Will may spell big trouble for your heirs. Fortunately, Florida law lays out the elements needed to make a valid Will under Florida law. The Testator One of the most important elements of a Will is actually a person – the testator. This is the person who Read More

Important Elements of a Will

Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. So, it makes sense to have a Will that is complete. To do so, you will need to understand the most important elements of a Will. The Testator and the Will For a Will to be valid, the testator must: be of sound mind, be at least 18 years of age, have testamentary capacity, and sign the Will voluntarily without undue 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

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

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

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

Competency: How to Know When Someone Is Capable of Signing a Will

Grandpa Joe’s family knew he needed to make a Will. He had even asked his granddaughter, Abigail, to take him to an estate planning lawyer. But he had also wandered out of the house in his pajamas and called Abigail by his late wife’s name several times. They were concerned about his competency. How could they know whether he was capable of signing his Will? Due in part to our rapidly aging Baby Boomer generation, Read More

4 Common Estate Planning Errors and How to Avoid Them

Some mistakes don’t show up right away. When people make estate planning errors, they may never know what they did. Their loved ones will find out, though. But, there are ways to prevent errors that may cause your family unnecessary grief. It just takes some careful planning and communication. Lost Assets Martha did not trust banks. Instead of depositing her money into a checking or savings account, she hid it in Read More

Preserving Memories: Keeping Your Vacation Home in the Family

You spent summers there, squishing sand between your toes while ocean breezes ruffled your hair. Your own children played under the lofty pines in the front yard while discovering the house’s secrets and building lifelong bonds. Now, your grandchildren eagerly await their time on the front porch swing with you. Preserving memories is important. Keeping your vacation home in the family starts with including it in your Read More

Florida Probate System

When people engage in estate planning discussions, the subject of probate is probably going to come up. Many people actively try to avoid probate. Yet, many people have poor estate plans that don’t protect them from probate or, even worse, don’t even have an estate plan. If you find yourself in the middle of a probate proceeding, it will help to understand the Florida probate system. The Purpose of Read More