It was back on March 25 that we reported on the bill lawmakers in Tallahassee were considering that would amend Florida’s guardianship laws. At the time, supporters of reform said that unscrupulous guardians are taking advantage of elderly, vulnerable clients, often leaving families with little recourse.
Though it is not against the law in Florida to draw up your will without the assistance of an attorney, in practice doing so could put the will at risk of being partially or completely invalidated after you pass away.
As we pointed out in our previous blog post, shepherding a will through probate can take a long time, sometimes years. In addition, if your estate is large enough, it could be subject to extensive taxation. Your heirs could receive less than you wished to leave them.
Fulfilling the terms of a will usually is not as simple as bringing the family together and handing out checks and deeds. Florida law has a set procedure that ensures that minimizes the chance of errors, and gives creditors the chance to be paid off by the decedent’s estate.
Along with estate planning come tax considerations. Taxes and expenses easily can deplete the assets we would like to preserve and pass on to our heirs.
Estate planning can help you plan for and protect your future. However, new reports show that many people are focusing more on retirement planning than estate planning. Failing to create an estate plan can lead to serious trouble down the road that your retirement plan cannot fix.
No matter how experienced you are in business or the law, serving as an executor of an estate, also known as a personal representative, can be difficult and confusing. Most people have no experience as a personal representative, the person who is responsible for distributing assets to heirs according to the decedent’s wishes, and paying off all legitimate debts. Wrapping up an estate can take up to 18 months in some cases, The New York Times reports.
Do you know what will happen to you if you become incapacitated or are unable to make decisions regarding your health? Having a living will or durable power of attorney can make all the difference in the event you cannot make end-of-life decisions for yourself.
Yesterday, March 31, was the 10-year anniversary of Terri Schiavo's death. Most of our readers remember the saga of this woman's case, which pitted her husband against the rest of her family. It is a good time to remember how important it is to have a living will as part of your estate plan, to avoid confusion over your medical and end-of-life preferences.