Some people in Florida who are preparing an estate plan might prefer to avoid the probate process. It can be time-consuming and expensive, especially for a large and complex estate, and the records are open to the public. One option for people with a smaller estate is to arrange for a simplified probate process. For people with larger estates who prefer to be able to make a private estate plan that will not incur the cost and delay of probate, there are other ways of passing on assets….
Since many people never get around to making a will, those who do may breathe a sigh of relief and even have a feeling of accomplishment. But what if something happens to you before you die that makes it necessary for loved ones to make decisions for you? Or what if someone you named in any of those documents is no longer your choice for the role you chose for them?
The best recent real life example of what can happen without proper planning is the story of Lamar Odom, the former NBA player, who married Khloe Kardashian in 2009….
Many years ago, in a world some can barely remember, computers didn’t exist. If you had important documents, they were handwritten or typed and scattered throughout file cabinets and safes. When someone died, the person in charge of the estate had the unenviable task of locating all of these papers.
Now, in the digital world, these documents are more than likely stored on a computer. Not only are important documents stored on a computer, or even in a cloud, but personal data such as online accounts for banks and investments, family photos, Facebook and other social media content also reside there….
Birth and death. The two defining moments that mark the beginning and end of life. But many other events can happen between those two events that can have life-changing consequences. Marriage and divorce are two of those. With this in mind, the Florida legislature is taking steps to help avoid some of the estate planning pitfalls that can arise.
Here’s a common scenario: on the happy occasion of a marriage, the new husband takes out a life insurance policy on himself with his new wife as the beneficiary….
When you have built a sizable estate during your lifetime, the last thing you want is for the state of Florida to decide how it will be divided. As such, it is important to have an estate plan in place to avoid estate disputes and other issues. If your estate plan is well-structured and notarized, then probate (the process of verifying the will and distributing assets accordingly) should be much less of a hassle.
When the probate process begins, all of the asset of the recently deceased, the decedent, are accounted for….
Famed crime fighter Eliot Ness died in 1957. The probate of his estate was a relatively simple matter given that he left only a modest estate to his surviving spouse. For more than half a century, the Ness estate remained closed.
Now, the heirs of the man who brought charges against infamous mobster Al Capone are embroiled in an estate dispute brought about by the discovery of a long-lost stock certificate. The 50 shares of stock originally represented by the certificate have now multiplied to almost 30,000 with market value of $1.1 million….
When you pass away and leave behind a will or other estate planning document, it will go through probate. In essence, this is the process of making sure the will is valid, all debts and taxes are paid and property is distributed properly. In Florida, the main type of probate is formal administration. However, property may be distributed via summary administration as well.
Formal administration is a longer process that is most often necessary for probate….
When you are going through the process of estate planning, remembering to include provisions for :Mittens,” your cat, can often slip your mind. After all, you may just assume that your heirs will take care of your pet like you did. Like most states, Florida has a pet trust law that allow your beloved companion to receive care from your estate after your passing. It is a matter of making sure all your affairs are in order.
First, you need to make sure you have a trustee in place who will take care of the pet after your passing….