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Orlando Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Special issues that women should consider during estate planning

The ideal for the legal system in many ways is equal treatment for everyone under the law. However, people of different backgrounds have different concerns they need to address. That is certainly true in estate planning, where women may have to consider a different reality than men do.

Creating an estate plan is something that every adult with a job, assets or dependents should do. For women creating or updating an estate plan, there are certain special considerations that they should take under advisement during that process.

What to do when your parents die broke

Losing your parents at the same time or within months of each other is a very difficult situation to face. Handling your emotions is hard enough, let alone handling their estate. You may be at a loss of what to do, especially when you realize that they passed on when they were broke.

What do you do when your parents left a large amount of debt and not enough money and assets to pay it back? Do you have the responsibility to cover your parents' debts?

Things to know as a trust beneficiary

Wills are arguably the most commonly known tool within an estate plan. However, there are additional options, such as trusts. In fact, they can benefit certain estate holders, depending upon the estate and intended outcomes.

For those who choose to utilize a trust, it is important to note its differences from a will. Whether you are the creator or recipient of a trust, it is important to understand a few key things. 

Orlando's Business Court Reopened

For roughly 15 years, a popular Orange County business court specialized in commercial litigation disputes. However, an increase in family law cases and a lack of funding led to then Chief Judge Frederick Lauten's decision to close the commercial business division about a year and a half ago.

But the most recent Florida legislative session resulted in funding for an additional Ninth Circuit judgeship (the first expansion of the judicial workforce in 13 years). This gave newly elected Chief Judge Donald Myers Jr. the opportunity to reopen the Business Court.

Understanding “undue influence”

When a will goes through the probate process and someone challenges its contents, they may do so because they believe the person who drafted the will was a victim of “undue influence.” Similarly, the concept of undue influence can arise in a number of other court proceedings. It sometimes comes into play when someone petitions to put a guardianship or conservatorship in place over someone else.

The term “undue influence” has, historically, been difficult to clearly define. However, there is a general consensus that it can occur in any situation where a confidential or fiduciary relationship exists between two people and one person tries to exert power and influence over someone else's decisions for personal gain.

The relationship between timeshares and probate

Timeshares are a booming business in Florida. The industry recently experienced its ninth consecutive year of growth, making it abundantly clear that people in Florida and around the country have a vested interest in these investments. 

Timeshares are hotbeds around the state, but it is important to recognize that they do constitute as property. Each year, people who own timeshares pass away, and in many cases, they did not lay out a proper path to transfer the property. If you own a timeshare, then here is what you need to know about putting it into probate so that you can pass it onto your loved ones. 

Is Uncle Bob’s mechanical bank collection headed to probate?

If your Uncle Bob named you as his personal representative in his will, you must oversee which of his assets go through probate and which do not, now that your uncle has passed away.

Once you read the will, you will know the extent of your uncle’s estate and how complicated your task will be. For example, what will happen to his fascinating and valuable collection of mechanical banks?

3 elements of the probate process

One of the most mysterious processes is probate. While it is a familiar term to many, it is not necessarily understood.

When someone dies, whether there is a will or not, most states require the will go through probate court. While the process can take time, it does not have to intimidate those left to deal with it. It may help to understand the three fundamental elements of probate, so you know how to deal with it when the time arises.

Probate versus trust administration

Having a proper estate plan in place is vital, even for parties with limited assets. People work hard to establish their assets, and therefore have the right to determine what happens to those assets when they are gone.

A proper estate plan must have an instrument in place to organize the distribution of assets. When choosing between a will and a trust, it is important to understand a few key differences between the probate and trust administration processes.

Who ranks as an interested person in Florida probate?

Perhaps a close relative of yours recently passed away, and his estate must now go through the probate process.

You are a beneficiary in the will. You have heard the term “interested person” in connection with probate, but what does this mean?  Are you an interested person?

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