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Orlando Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

What the ultra-rich tell their kids about money

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The process of estate planning varies broadly from one person to the next, and you may find that your estate planning needs are far different from someone who has considerably more or less than you in terms of assets.

If you are particularly affluent, you may have concerns about just how much information about your assets you should share with your children, because you do not want to discourage them from working hard and paving their own way in life.

What you should know about guardianship and estate planning

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There may come a day where you may need to make some hard choices about the futures of your elderly relatives in Florida. As they get older, the odds of them becoming injured or falling ill increase. They may become unable to care for themselves in the capacity they were once able to. When that day comes, it may be time for you to consider a guardianship

If your relative does not make legal arrangements for someone to take over their affairs before a qualifying event renders them incapacitated, the courts will step in and do it for them.

Giving sentimental items a place in your estate plan

This summer, the family of deceased Coast Guard captain Albert Frost almost lost the key to the city of Washington, presented to him in 1957. Only through a set of unlikely coincidences were they able to retrieve it before it was sold through an online auction.

Whether or not they possess a high monetary value, sentimental items tend to slip through the cracks in most people's estate plans. If you want to ensure you pass on treasured pieces, including them in your estate plan can prevent losses and disputes.

Estate planning for women (it's not the same)

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Estate planning is important for men and women, young and old. But many women are not aware of just how useful estate planning can be.

Women outlive their male counterparts and often work more years in the process. Many women also become responsible for managing assets that they accumulated with their deceased partners. 

Can I disinherit my adult children?

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In Florida, you do not have to leave any of your assets and possessions to your adult children if you do not want to. When making your last will and estate plan documents, you may feel like leaving one or a few of your children out of them.

Before you write anyone out of your estate plans, you should think about the damage it can cause. 

Which type of guardianship do you need?

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You know you need to appoint a guardian in your will, but what does that mean? It can mean a variety of things, so you need to become familiar with the different types of guardianship so you know which one(s) are relevant to your circumstances.

In general, a guardian is someone who has the legal right to act for an incapacitated person (ward). What the guardian can do depends on the type of guardianship you choose.

  • Guardian of the person: This type of guardian acts on behalf of the ward's well-being. This can entail basic provisions, housing, education and medical care.
  • Guardian of property: This role involves making decisions concerning the ward's property, finances and other assets.
  • General guardian: You can appoint a general guardian to be responsible for both areas. All types must report annually to the court to ensure proper completion of duties.
  • Voluntary guardian: A guardianship is voluntary if you are the one to choose the guardian, whether in your will or later in life when the need arises. It is wise to establish a guardian now if you have children who are minors or disabled, or if you want to prepare for your own potential incapacitation.
  • Involuntary guardianship: A guardianship is involuntary if the court names the guardian because you did not name one and no longer can. This process is more complex and takes longer. The chosen person may not be the one you would want.

How to protect your adult child from financial predators

Your estate planning checklist may consist of making a will, establishing a trust and creating an advance health care directive. If you have an adult child with special needs, however, that list should also contain one more thing: a guardianship.

You do not want your son or daughter to endure what a mentally disabled Wisconsin man did; that is, give thousands of dollars away to a felon he thought was a friend, who got away with it because she had not forced or coerced him to do it. His mother was there to catch the signs before it got even worse, but what if she had not been there for him? Fortunately, you have ways to prevent such a situation from happening to your child when you pass on.

3 tips for choosing a guardian for your child

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If you have a young child, you might not think you need to choose a guardian for him or her yet. However, this is not something to put off. Accidents and unfortunate events happen all the time. What would happen if you passed away? Who would raise, take care of and nurture your child if such a terrible thing should happen?

It might be tempting to delay this decision due to family politics and potential complications. The benefits far outweigh any temporary discomfort, though. Here are some tips to help you through the process of designating a guardian for your child.

5 qualities of a solid estate plan

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A will is only the first step in end-of-life planning. A comprehensive estate plan, such as one that also includes a trust and advance health directives, is better in protecting your assets, wishes and beneficiaries.

As you meet with your lawyer to make your personalized estate plan, keep in mind that these five qualities will make it legally stronger.

3 ways to beef up your estate plan

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When it comes to estate planning in Florida, you may think that everything you include is written in stone. Although you can leave behind detailed instructions about how you want your loved ones to manage your estate, issues may come up that could result in your beneficiaries or the courts not following those directives. 

Here are three ways you can strengthen your estate plan to protect your legacy

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