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Will My In-laws Inherit My Money if My Children Predecease Me?

A common misconception is that when you die, your daughter-in-law or son-in-law has the potential to claim a portion of your estate.  The laws of inheritance in most states do not place in-laws in the category as statutory heirs or descendants.  Descendants will, in most cases, include adopted children, but you didn’t adopt your in-laws

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5 Ways to Avoid Probate in Florida

People sometimes confuse avoiding probate with avoiding intestacy.  If you don’t leave a Will, you die in a state that is called “intestacy.”  This means that your statutory heirs will inherit your estate.   However, even if you have a Will, your Will will not avoid probate.  It will have to be probated and the Court

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Incapacity – Should You Make It Easy to Declare You Incompetent?

Recently, I have been talking a lot to my clients about whether it should be easy to declare someone incapacitated or hard. Where this comes into play is when you have a Revocable Trust and you are Trustee. If and when you become incapacitated (unable to handle the day-to-day paying of your bills, etc.) your

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Does the Discomfort of Discussing Your Death Keep You From Planning Your Estate?

Some of us have no trouble talking about death and others of us are a bit more squeamish. A friend of mine told me his wife wouldn’t make a Will because she is convinced that if she does, it means she will die. To me that seems silly and superstitious…but hey, the bottom line is

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The Difference Between A Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and Living Will?

I once had a client come in and tell me that the Living Will that their mother had didn’t work because she “coded” in the hospital and they revived her in direct contradiction to the Living Will.  I had to explain to them that a Living Will is NOT a DNR.  If their mother didn’t

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Types of Trusts – What They Can and Cannot Do

I have had more than a couple of clients come to me after their friends or financial advisors told them to put all of their wealth into a trust so that it would be protected from Medicaid/Medicare when they die. That's it. That's all they have been told and it sounds simple enough. However, these

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Revocable Trusts Avoid Probate

Revocable Trusts Avoid Probate – BUT SOMETIMES YOU SHOULD PROBATE THEM ANYWAY I know, it sounds like lunacy. Your loved one created a Revocable Trust for the purpose of avoiding the cost and red-tape of probate. But there are some instances when you, the Trustee left in charge after the death of the Grantor (who

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Types of Trusts – What They Can and Cannot Do

I have had more than a couple of clients come to me after their friends or financial advisors told them to put all of their wealth into a trust so that it would be protected from Medicaid/Medicare when they die. That’s it. That’s all they have been told and it sounds simple enough. However, these

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In This Day & Age, Are Original Documents Even Necessary?

We are in the technological age. Many of us don’t ever think about keeping physical copies of documents that we have in electronic form. For example, do you have a physical photograph of last Christmas with the family? I know I don’t. I have a digital image on my phone (more like my husband’s phone,

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Do I Need to Open a Probate Estate?

When your loved-one dies, you have a million things to do and it may not even dawn on you to ask the question, “Do I need to open a Probate Estate?” That is, until you go to close a bank account, sell a car, or sell a home. The reality is this: unless your loved

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