Articles Posted in Estate Planning

There are various reasons people put off planning how their estates will be handled in the event of their deaths, but regardless of their motives, their actions can cause strife among their surviving family members. For example, if a person dies without a will, the personal representative for the estate will most likely be appointed in accordance with Florida law. If other family members determine the statutorily preferred individual is unsuitable, though, they may object to the appointment. Recently, a Florida court discussed the grounds for granting petition for the appointment of a personal representative in a matter in which a woman died intestate. If you need help with a probate issue, it is smart to meet with a capable Florida estate planning attorney to evaluate your rights.

History of the Case

It is reported that the mother died in late 2019. She did not have a will at the time of her death. She was survived by two adult sons, and Florida law favored the appointment of the older son as the personal representative of her intestate estate. Prior to the appointment, the younger son filed a petition asking to be appointed as the personal representative on the grounds that the older son was unqualified. The court granted the petition, and the older son appealed. The appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Appointing a Personal Representative for an Intestate Estate

Under Florida Statute Section 733.033, the courts may appoint anyone over the age of eighteen who has not been convicted of a felony and is not physically or mentally unable to perform the as the personal representative of an estate. Probate courts have discretion with regards to the act of appointing a personal representative for an intestate estate. Continue reading ›

Have questions about estate planning? Keep reading to learn how an elder law attorney can help you make a will and other legal documents to protect you and your family. While we understand our clients don’t like to confront their own mortality, it’s important to make your estate plan while you are of sound mind. Many of the documents you’ll create with your estate planning attorney will also protect you in the event you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for your own finances & health care.

How to Start Estate Planning

Your first step should be to hire an experienced estate attorney. Their knowledge of elder law will help you create legal documents that will stand up in court. For example, an attorney can help you avoid inconsistencies or loopholes that could lead family members to challenge your last will and testament.

It can feel morbid to think about what you’d like to happen after you die, but estate planning is a very normal legal process that can make things much easier for your family once you’re gone.

Many families have been torn apart by family inheritance disputes that arise from poor estate planning on the part of their departed loved one. Our elder law attorneys have years of experience with estate planning and can make sure you’re on the right track.

Here are our 5 top tips to help you plan your estate.

If you die without a will, your assets will be divided according to Florida’s inheritance law. A process called probate occurs, in which the court system decides how to distribute your assets for a pricey fee.

To avoid this, the best option is to have our elder law attorneys help you create a will. If you choose not to write a will, here’s what can happen. Please contact us with any additional questions.

Dying Without a Will

There’s so much more to estate planning than just writing a will. When it comes to planning your final wishes, you don’t want to leave anything up to chance.

While you might be tempted to write your own estate planning documents, we always recommend that you talk with an estate planning attorney to make sure you’re on the right track. Here’s what an estate lawyer can do for you.

Benefits of an Estate Planning Lawyer

If you die without a will in Florida, your entire estate will be subject to the probate process. This means that no matter what your intentions may have been for dividing up your assets, the courts will determine what your relatives inherit. Even with a will, the probate process can be lengthy and expensive. Because of this, our elder law attorneys recommend trying to avoid the probate process if possible. Here are a few things you can do to avoid probate.

What is Probate?

Probate is a process the courts go through to authenticate a last will and testament and ensure everything is carried out according to the wishes of the deceased. The personal representative you appoint for your estate will go through the process of locating and securing assets. They will also be responsible for making sure debts, bills, and taxes are paid before distributing the remainder of the estate to your beneficiaries.

If you died in a freak accident today, who would receive the assets in your estate? If you do not have a will, your hard-earned assets may not end up going to your intended recipients. Whether you have a substantial amount of money and property to be distributed to your heirs or just a small number of personal belongings, it is important to have a will. This ensures that your wishes will be carried out after you die.

A well crafted will not only facilitates a smooth transition of your property to your intended heirs, it may also help you avoid additional probate taxes levied on estates for which there is no will. By creating a will, you also have the opportunity to designate someone you trust to manage the distribution of your assets.

Your will can address:

Contact Information