Category Archives: Estate Planning
Can a Florida Judge Name My Child as My Guardian Over My Objections?
When a person is deemed legally incapacitated in Florida, a judge will step in and appoint a guardian. In many cases, the guardian will be a close family member. But a judge should not appoint a guardian if there is a conflict of interest–that is, a demonstrated incompatibility between the guardian’s private interests and… Read More »
How Designating a Health Care Surrogate Can Help You During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a renewed interest in estate planning. Indeed, many people who have put off making a will or other critical estate planning documents are now looking to get their affairs in order. One such document is a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, which is a special type of power… Read More »
When Can a Foreign Will Revoke a Prior Will Signed in Florida?
Many people live in Florida yet have a will that was executed in another state, or even another country. Such out-of-state wills are still valid in this state provided they comply with Florida law. Critically, a Florida will must be signed in the presence of the testator–the person making the will–and at least two… Read More »
Can a “Common Law” Spouse Inherit Property Under Florida Law?
One of the basic rules of inheritance is that if a person dies without a will, their surviving spouse will receive most or all of their estate. Of course, a “spouse” means there is a legal marriage. If you are simply living or “cohabiting” with a partner, that person has no inheritance rights. If… Read More »
A Member of My Family Died Without Leaving a Will. What Happens to Their Property?
Consider this scenario: A member of your family has recently died. You spend a couple of days going through their papers and possessions, but you are unable to find a will. So what happens now? Who takes charge of the family member’s estate? And what will ultimately happen to their property? When a person… Read More »
What Do I Do If Someone Forges My Name on a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney allows you to name an agent to act on your behalf. As the person making the power of attorney, you get to define its scope. If you only want your agent to exercise limited authority over certain property, then your agent is bound by your wishes. That being said, if… Read More »
How a Family Business Can Affect the Administration of Your Estate
Family-owned businesses can present unique challenges when it comes to estate planning. Unlike other assets that may be simply disposed of in a will or trust, a business represents an ongoing concern that, in most cases, will outlive the individual owner. It is therefore critical for all family members who share an interest in… Read More »
What Happens If I Revoke My Trust?
We often refer to estate planning trusts as “living trusts” or “revocable trusts.” But what does it mean to revoke a trust? How would you do it? And what would the impact be on your property and estate plan going forward? First, let’s review how a living trust works. Most living trusts are made… Read More »
How Can I Ensure My Estate is Probated in Florida?
Florida is well-known as a retirement destination or “second home” for many people. But this can present certain complications when it comes to estate planning, and eventually the probate of a person’s estate. From a legal standpoint, a person may have many “residences” but only one “domicile.” Your domicile is your main place of… Read More »
Florida Bar Issues Estate Planning Guidance for COVID-19 Emergency
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all Florida residents are advised to practice “social distancing.” This presents unique challenges for estate planning. Many critical documents, such as a last will and testament, need to be signed in the presence of other witnesses. Other documents must be notarized. But if you are unable to leave your… Read More »