Monthly Archives: February 2020
How Paternity Claims Can Affect the Administration of an Intestate Estate
When you die “intestate,” that means you died without leaving a valid last will and testament. Intestate estates are distributed in accordance with Florida law. Under normal circumstances, your surviving spouse and children would be the first to inherit your intestate estate. Note that intestacy does not care about the nature of your relationship…. Read More »
Can I Ask for Compensation If I Serve as My Parent’s Legal Guardian?
When an adult is considered mentally or physically incapacitated, a Florida judge may establish a guardianship. The guardian is a person who makes financial and/or personal decisions on behalf of the incapacitated adult, who is known as the ward. By law, the guardian is entitled to “a reasonable fee for services rendered and reimbursement… Read More »
Florida’s New Electronic Wills Law Takes Effect
On January 1, 2020, Florida’s Electronic Documents Act finally takes effect. Among other provisions, this Act allows for the execution of “electronic wills.” Traditionally, a will is signed by the person making the document (the testator) in the physical presence of at least two witnesses. The witnesses do not need to read the will… Read More »
Will There Be a “Reading” of My Will?
In the recently released film Knives Out, the family of a recently deceased wealthy man gathers in his library to hear his probate attorney read the will. This “reading of the will” trope has been popular in film and literature for decades. But is it something that actually happens in real life? The short… Read More »
What You Need to Know About Organ Donation & Estate Planning in Florida
As of January 2020, there are more than 112,000 people in the United States on the waiting list for organ transplants, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many Florida residents are willing to serve as organ donors upon their death, but they may not understand the process for doing so…. Read More »
Judge: Blindness No Excuse for Not Understanding Trust Before Signing It
It normally goes without saying that you should never sign any legal document, particularly an estate planning instrument like a will or trust, without reading it first. But what if you are incapable of reading the document? For example, what about a person who is legally blind? In such scenarios, it is critical that… Read More »
Can a Trustee Go to Jail Over Their Handling of a Trust?
Disputes over the handling of a loved one’s estate are not uncommon occurrences. What is uncommon is for a person to go to jail over such disputes. Yet this is exactly what happened recently to a 73-year-old Navy veteran from Michigan. According to a January 3, 2020, report in the Detroit News, Fred Smith… Read More »
How the New SECURE Act May Affect Your Retirement, Estate Planning
A key part of estate planning is making provisions for your retirement accounts. For example, if you have an IRA, you need to name a beneficiary who will receive benefits upon your death. If you are married and name your spouse as beneficiary, they can effectively treat the inherited IRA as their own and… Read More »