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News/Blog

American Adults Save Only Half Of Inheritance

April 6, 2012

A new national study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research found that adults who receive an inheritance save approximately half. The remainder is spent, donated or lost.

For many retailers and others who stand to benefit from those who spend or mishandle monetary legacies, that statistic bodes well. But for others, including the author of the study, it comes as a disappointment.

Prior research has shown that over the next decade, elderly and aging Americans will pass down around $4 trillion to heirs….

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As Parents Age, Preparation Is In Order

March 30, 2012

More than 42 million individuals provided daily care for an adult family member in 2009, according to data published by the American Association of Retired Persons. Nearly 62 million more provided at least some care throughout the year.

That number will likely continue to grow as baby boomers age. So what can children do now to protect the long-term interests of themselves and their loved ones? A representative with AARP encourages families to have candid conversations about future care options….

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Young Can Benefit From Estate Planning

March 23, 2012

For the younger set, death is perhaps decades away. But that doesn’t mean estate planning should be too. As several legal and financial experts agree, it is important for young individuals and families to establish wills — or at the very least, appoint a guardian for minor children in the event of an unexpected passing.

In the state of Florida, if an individual dies without a will, the courts will take charge of establishing guardianship and distributing wealth….

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Facebook Could Be Considered Part Of Decedent’s Digital Estate

March 16, 2012

More than half of all Florida residents possess a Facebook, blog or other type of social media account. It’s where friends share photos, memories and sometimes, private information. But what happens when a user passes away?

Lawmakers and attorneys in at least two states are considering proposals that would make Facebook and other social network contents part of a decedent’s digital estate. The proposals would grant family members and loved ones access to the deceased’s personal, online records and accounts….

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81 Year-Old Wins Lottery, Establishes Trust

March 9, 2012

An 81 year-old woman who won a whopping $336.4 million Powerball jackpot this week accepted the sum under the name Rainbow Sherbet Trust. She claimed a total of $210 million distributed in one lump payout.

The trust was so named because a family member’s craving for ice cream led to the purchase of the lucky lottery ticket. The elderly woman bought the ticket while accompanying her relative to the store last month. However, unlike many past winners, she resisted the urge to claim her prize immediately….

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Estate Planning For Your Digital Life

February 28, 2012

After her father suffered a debilitating stroke at age 62, a 33-year-old estate planning attorney tried to gain access to his business computer but none of the passwords she used were successful. The father had not left a list of his passwords with anyone and he used his personal email account to help run his building supply company.

The family did not know what orders were coming in, who the business owed money to, who to bill or what orders had been filled….

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Trusts: Estate Planning And Whitney Houston

February 24, 2012

The recent and tragic death of Whitney Houston has sparked many conversations about her life and accomplishments. One such conversation is whether or not she had a sufficient estate plan given the size of her estate. Often, people with sizable estates use trusts to control when and how their wealth is distributed.

It is assumed that Whitney Houston’s 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi-Kristina, is the main beneficiary of Houston’s estate, and it is also believed that Houston at least had a will….

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Florida Millionaire’s Move To Adopt Girlfriend May Be A Strategy For His Children’s Trust

February 14, 2012

When a 48-year-old multimillionaire from Palm Beach, Florida decided to adopt his 42-year-old girlfriend, the decision definitely turned heads. While the choice may be suspect from the perspective of adoption law, the move may sound more strategic from an estate planning perspective. The decision may have been made to protect a trust set aside for his children. Whether the move will prove to be successful is another.

The 48-year-old’s decision to adopt his 42-year-old girlfriend came after criminal charges and civil legal proceedings were filed against the man when he allegedly drove drunk through a stop sign, hit and killed a 23-year-old and fled the scene of the accident….

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Pet Trusts: Ensuring Beloved Pets Have A Home

February 9, 2012

Many people in Florida and elsewhere consider their pets to be members of the family. Pet owners often want to know that their furry, loved ones will be taken care of after they are gone. Commonly, pet owners ask a trusted person to care of their pet, but sometimes the caretaker changes his or her mind when it comes to taking in the pet. Pet trusts can help prevent such a situation.

A pet trust is a legal document that names a guardian for a pet that outlives its owner….

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Story Of Rosa Park’s Estate In Probate Demonstrates Need For Early Estate Plan

January 26, 2012

When Rosa Park’s passed away in 2005 at age 92, she had a small estate but left an enormous and indelible mark on history. Before her death, Rosa Park’s created an estate plan that assigned all of her personal belongings to a charitable organization called the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development.

A close friend and a retired judge were named to oversee the estate. Parks also named her close friend as a beneficiary to receive 90 percent of the estate’s royalties….

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