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Orlando Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

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

Determining what estate plan is best for your family

When you begin planning your estate, you might feel overwhelmed by all of the options for different types of trusts and wills. This is understandable — there are many, and the specifications of each are important to pay attention to. According to Forbes, 51 percent of Americans between 55 and 64 have failed to draft a will. Estate planning is hardly a one-size-fits-all endeavor, but it is important nonetheless.

In fact, it is a highly individual decision that should be made based on an assessment of your family’s unique needs. This is why many people choose to invest in legal assistance when they are planning their estate. You can start by familiarizing yourself with the following types of trusts and their potential impact on your family.

What art collectors need to know about estate planning

Collecting art is a hobby for some and a passion for many more.

Whether you enjoy paintings or avant-garde sculptures, you have likely derived great joy from surrounding yourself and filling your home with such beauty. This is a joy you want to pass on to your loved ones, and you might hope to do so by including your art collection in your will or trust.

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."

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