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Orlando Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Common estate planning mistakes you should avoid

Most people in Florida do not enjoy thinking about their deaths, but that does not need to prevent them from taking measures to protect their estates and loved ones’ futures. They may try to rush through the estate planning process so they can think about more pleasant things.

As morbid as the situation may seem, procrastinating and rushing with your estate plans can result in mistakes that create financial and familial problems in the future.

Top will challenges in Florida and how to avoid them

When you draw up a will, you expect its provisions to be enforced after you pass. However, many Florida wills end up facing challenges by people dissatisfied with some provisions. The ensuing court battles often consume a large portion of the estate's assets.

Understanding some common types of challenges can help you take steps to create a valid will and increase the chances its provisions will stand up. Because these matters often depend on complex legal issues and individual facts, consulting an attorney can be vital in this endeavor.

Tips for choosing the executor of your estate

The first step most people take in planning for the end of life is creating a will. Wills usually include asset distribution, disinheritance, funeral wishes and guardianship if applicable. Another piece of information it must contain is the executor of the estate.

You may have everything else figured out but are not sure about who to name as executor. Understanding the responsibilities that the role entails can help you make the right decision.

Important considerations for life insurance after divorce

One part of your estate plan and will may be the life insurance policy you must have to protect your family if you die. This money is intended to care for your spouse, children and any other dependents once you are no longer around to provide a consistent income. 

When divorce is on the table, what are your responsibilities in regards to your ex? If you are the only working partner, it may be about more than just changing the beneficiary on the policy.

Living wills in Florida

A living will is a document that sets forth your wishes concerning future medical treatment. This document can become necessary if you eventually find yourself incapacitated, whether through gradual illness or sudden injury, and unable to formulate or communicate your wishes at the time. Thus, many people create a living will as part of their planning for the future.

In addition to making a living will, you should also designate a trusted person to manage your health care. Commonly known as a power of attorney for health care, in Florida this document bears the name, "designation of health care surrogate."

Do you think your spouse may be hiding assets?

Facing divorce is painful enough without the added stress of wondering whether your soon-to-be ex is hiding assets. Something in your spouse’s words or deeds has raised your suspicions, and before you head to court, you would like to find out whether hidden assets really exist. The good news is that tracking down financial indiscretions is not difficult these days. Your attorney can help, and so can a forensic accountant.

A common problem

Requirements for a valid will in Florida

Most people know they can use their will to distribute their property after they pass. However, if you want to be sure your wishes will be carried out, you need a valid will. Every state, including Florida, has laws that set out specific requirements for a valid will. Lawmakers and courts dealing with wills generally aim to prevent potential fraud or other inappropriate actions by other parties to influence the will.

A will must be in writing

4 things you need to know about disinheriting your children

You have probably seen a movie or TV show that featured a dramatic threat of disinheritance. Too often, inheritance is portrayed-and actually used-as a bargaining chip in relationships. There are many legitimate reasons, though, that you may be considering it. If you are wondering what is involved in disinheriting one of your children, these four tips should provide some of the basic knowledge you need to know before proceeding with the process. 

How to minimize the negative effects of a difficult ex

Divorce is difficult enough when both spouses are on the same page and agree on how the marriage should be ended. Too often, divorce is caused by domestic violence, infidelity or financial struggles that you do not foresee when you say your vows.

If you have children together, it will not matter if you are married or divorced: You will be forced to interact for the rest of your lives. This makes it extremely important that you learn to co-exist peacefully and get along for the sake of your children. Throughout your marriage, you have likely learned that you cannot control another person's actions, so how do you handle an ex that is negative and destructive to you?

Building an estate plan when an heir is an addict

Any number of unique family circumstances can make estate planning challenging. One such example is estate planning for a blended family. There are many considerations to make when determining how an estate will be divided and distributed in a blended family.

Another example is estate planning when an heir struggles with addiction. Parents of a child who is an alcoholic or drug addict may struggle knowing what to do in this situation. They want the best for their child, but they are concerned about giving their child easy access to funds.

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