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teps for the personal representative

Steps for the Personal Representative

It can be overwhelming when a loved one passes away. The following steps are written as a guide for the next of kin or personal representative of the decedent. Although they are ordered, many of these tasks can be undertaken at the same time. For example, the first steps in administrative tasks can be taken

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A Will or Trust? It’s Not About the Size of Your Estate

When I use the word “trust” in a consultation, people often quickly tell me that they don’t have enough money or assets to require a trust. This is a common misconception, that a trust requires a vast estate. Perhaps we owe that to the word “trust” conjuring up visions of large philanthropic organizations that operate

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If You Own Out of State Property, Establish a Trust

If you own out of state property, it’s almost a certainty that you and your family will be better served by a trust instead of a will. Why is that? First, consider that probate is unavoidable with a will. Many of my clients arrive at my office assuming that probate is only for those that

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Stranger Things from Beyond the Courthouse

Recent surveys from Caring.com show that only 42% of U.S. adults have estate planning documents. The following cases could have been easily avoided with those documents in place. (All names in the following case examples have been changed.) Elizabeth Always Had a Plan Elizabeth’s son, Steve, came to us in when his mother was becoming

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Yes, Virginia, Your Uncle’s Will Must Be Probated

During the month of January we began seeing a flurry of clients walk through the door with probate issues.  Based on what we’re seeing, most Americans – irrespective of educational background or socioeconomic circumstances – seem to be under the misimpression that having a will means the beneficiaries will receive their inheritance posthaste and without

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Avoiding Probate Problems

“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

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Protecting Your Florida Homestead

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

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