Author Archive

Thanksgiving Holiday Provides Opportunity for Family Members to Spot Signs of Incapacity in Aging Parents

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Spotting signs of incapacity and early detection of cognitive decline enables professional advisors to more effectively address financial, legal and care-giving concerns.

More than 40 million Americans are expected to take to the roadways, railways and airways as they head home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving – one of the few occasions when multiple generations gather under one roof – is an opportune time for adult children to observe signs of incapacity or cognitive decline in aging loved ones.

My advice to ...

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Advance Directives and Your Legal Authority For Missing Family Members – What Do You Do?

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Acting as a Successor Trustee – Advance Directives and How They Affect You  

The news is full of speculation as to the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  The March 8, 2014 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared.  No trace of the plane – or its 239 passengers and crew – has been found yet.

If your Aunt Miniver were on MH370, what documents would give you the legal authority to transact her affairs while she is missing?  Additionally, if she was ...

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Estate Planning For Unmarried Couples

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Celebrity Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death shows us the obstacles that unmarried couples face according to Florida law. How do you take care of your loved ones if the law says they have no rights?

Unexpected Death and the Lack of an Estate Plan

If you died and are unmarried, who would plan your funeral? What would happen to your estate?
Take the example of Philip Seymour Hoffman who died suddenly, leaving behind three minor children and his unmarried life partner of fifteen ...

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Navigating Guardianships of a Minor’s Estate

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Guardianship of a Minor’s Estate

This week we take a look at Paul Walker’s death and the legal guardianship of his daughter. TMZ has reported that the actor left his $25 million dollar fortune to his 15-year-old daughter, and asked that the probate court name Paul’s mother as the legal guardian of Paul’s daughter, as well as the legal conservator of the $25 million.  TMZ calls this “curious language,” particularly as Paul’s baby mama, the mother of Paul’s daughter, is alive.

Understanding Legal Guardianship ...

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Estate Planning Goals

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It feels like just yesterday I was taking down the Christmas tree and preparing for another great year. The winter chill is gone and somehow it is already August. How are we ending summer already?

The end of the year will be here before we know it. Don’t wait until the last minute or the busy holiday season to meet your estate planning goals. Now is the time to plan for you and your family’s future.

Here are eight estate planning goals ...

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Avoiding Probate Problems

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“Will my estate need to go through probate?” This is a question that we often hear in our office. Many people have had a bad experience with probate and worry about how their own heirs will be treated when their own estate is eventually probated. While probate administration typically takes a little longer and can be a bit more expensive than trust administration, it is not a terrible thing. Creditors get paid, heirs still receive their gifts, and property passes ...

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Amanda Bynes’ Parents Seek Conservatorship

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Amanda Bynes’ parents, Rick Bynes and Lynn Organ, are currently waiting to hear from Judge Glen M. Reiser if they will be granted conservatorship over their daughter.

The 27-year-old actress is currently undergoing a 14-day psychiatric evaluation at a California hospital following her driveway fire-setting stint. Bynes is due back in court on August 9 for the next conservatorship hearing.

Conservatorships are most commonly utilized in elder care situations where family members seek to gain control of the personal and financial ...

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Protecting Your Florida Homestead

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Florida homestead is a wonderful thing. When you invest in your home, you’re investing in what is most likely the largest purchase of your life. You’ll want to protect this asset from creditors. Guess what? Florida homestead offers great creditor protection.

As with anything, there are of course problems that can arise. If your estate plan does not properly address certain issues, you may run into quite an array of problems. A prime example of a very typical Florida homestead issue ...

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Seek an Attorney for Probate Planning

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Every attorney knows that he/she isn’t the most popular of professionals. Do you know of anyone who goes to see their attorney to say hello? No, attorneys are usually consulted in a moment of need and often only after all options have been exhausted.

By the same token, most people don’t relish the idea of going to court. Court processes are exhausting and slow (including probate court). Therefore, many people seek to avoid probate, especially in regard to their homestead.

I recently ...

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Choosing the Right Trustee

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Revocable living trusts are wonderful because of the flexibility they allow in managing your assets and providing for continued management in the event of disability. Most people choose to be trustees of their own revocable living trust during their lifetimes, but a critical choice facing those making trusts is who to select to manage things after they have passed away.

Many people choose family members, usually a child. In many instances this makes sense, especially if the trust is to be ...

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