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News/Blog

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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Don’t Let Seemingly Complicated Estate Planning Prevent You From Making A Plan

January 20, 2012

Only 45 percent of Americans today have a will. So many Americans and folks in Florida lack estate planning because many people put off estate planning and because many people overcomplicate estate planning decisions to the point where a plan is not created. While estate planning can be complicated, it does not have to be. This post will discuss a few points to encourage thought about estate planning and the appropriate choices to make for your plan.

If you have children under the age of 18, a will is important because a will can name a guardian in the case that you or your partner passes away….

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Estate Planning Not Just For Seniors And Wealthy

January 13, 2012

When it comes to hearing words like “wills“, “trusts”, and “estate planning”, many people think of older individuals and individuals with wealth. Those associations are misguided and it turns out that everyone can benefit from estate planning, even young people.

Young folks in Florida and elsewhere tend to have fewer assets because they are just getting started in life, but that does not mean that they cannot benefit from estate planning. If something occurs to a young adult that leaves the individual unable to handle her or his own financial or medical affairs, a parent or legal guardian will generally not be able to automatically step in to make those decisions….

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An Estate Plan Checkup For Floridians In The New Year

January 5, 2012

As the New Year starts, people in Florida should take time to review and update their estate plan. The New Year can be used to review changes in personal circumstances, the law and other factors. This post will talk about a few items to consider during the review of your will, trust and other documents that make up your estate plan. The list of items is not comprehensive.

An important tool in an effective estate plan is to select a trusted person to act on your behalf in legal and financial matters in case you suffer an illness or disability that is incapacitating….

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