Blog

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Before you pop the question, make sure you have considered all of the ramifications of marriage on your estate planning.  For example, you and your sweetheart have children from previous marriages.  You own a house in Florida and your sweetheart owns a house in New England.  You both are residents of Florida because there is

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IN-LAWS AND THEIR RIGHTS TO YOUR CHILD’S INHERITANCE

Some of my clients have wanted to include their daughters-in-law or sons-in-law in their Wills or Trusts.  For people who want their in-laws to inherit, it is important to include them, by name, in any estate plan because under the inheritance laws in-laws have no legal right to inherit from you any more than your

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JOINT WILLS AND AGREEMENTS TO NOT REVOKE WILLS

I serve a lot of couples in my estate planning practice.  A few of them come and want to make only one Will, which they will both sign.  Such a practice is not recognized under the law.  Each person needs to make their own Will.  But the question arises, can they agree that the Wills

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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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