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Orlando Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Prenuptial agreements and hidden assets

Whether considering a first, second or even a third marriage, prospective marital partners may want to make an estate plan that includes a prenuptial (premarital) agreement stating how to divide assets if they divorce. A premarital agreement is a legal contract. As such, the law protects the rights of both people who make the agreement.

When partners dissolve their marriage without having made a prenuptial agreement, Florida law applies equitable distribution to the couple's assets. The court does not split the property straight down the middle as it would in a community property state; instead, Florida's equitable distribution law will govern fair—but not necessarily equal—division of the partners' assets. Equitable distribution does not mean equal distribution.

Florida probate and the benefits of trust decanting

Probate administration can include a valuable practice called trust decanting. Estates can include irrevocable trusts, which are set up by a grantor to distribute assets to beneficiaries. A trustee administers the trust for the welfare of the beneficiaries.

An irrevocable trust locks in methods of asset investments and distributions according to the terms of the trust. For example, some irrevocable trusts allow a trustee to distribute funds to pay for college tuition or medical care. Often, upon the grantor's death, the trustee often divides the remaining funds and gives them to the beneficiaries.

What is summary administration in Florida probate law?

Most people think of the probate process as being lengthy and complicated. However, under Florida law, there is a simple process that applies to specific situations.

If the estate of a decedent meets certain requirements, it may qualify for a probate process called summary administration.

Your LLC operating agreement horror story

When you read this article title, you breathe a sigh of relief. There will be no horror story about your LLC. You do not have an operating agreement; therefore, you have no horror story.

Unfortunately, you are not only wrong, you already have the material for chapter one.

These celebrity estates hide some sobering lessons

In many ways, celebrities are not that much different from everyone else. For example, they may not fully understand the complications that could arise from wills, trusts and probate procedure.

For everyday people, especially those with high-value estates, these errors can be devastating. In the world of the rich and famous, however, such issues are often amplified — sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars. Here are some of the most shocking examples.

When you need legal help during probate

As the executor of someone’s Florida will, you likely wonder if you should hire an attorney to help you take the decedent’s estate through probate. Unless the estate is an extraordinarily simple one, yes, you should.

Your duties as executor cover all aspects of overseeing and managing the estate’s assets, up to and including final distribution to the designated heirs. Between the time you start the probate process and the time you close it by distributing the estate’s assets, however, you can face many complex issues for which the advice, counsel and guidance of an experienced probate administration attorney will stand you in good stead, especially when it comes to the following three issues:

  1. A will challenge
  2. A contract situation
  3. A situation requiring court intervention

Different types of guardianships

Florida courts allow people to retain guardianship over an individual for certain reasons. While different circumstances surround each reason, they all revolve around one individual making decisions on behalf of someone else who is not in a position to make medical or financial decisions independently. 

Not all guardianships are the same. It is vital for residents of Florida to be aware of the different types of guardianships, so they know when to seek one out for a loved one. There may also be circumstances where a court appoints someone as a ward if the person does not know to oversee everyday activities. 

Special needs trust options to consider

You want to keep your loved ones safe. When you have a loved one who has special needs, there may be additional measures that you must take.

To aid in providing for a loved one with special needs, there are special needs trust options available. Before selecting the one for you, it is important to understand certain aspects of each choice.

Understanding how guardianships work in Florida

As a resident of Florida who is considering establishing a guardianship over someone else, you may have questions about the process, your responsibilities and related matters.

Maybe you have a minor child in your life, and he or she is inheriting a considerable amount of money and needs someone to oversee the funds. Conversely, perhaps your mother or father is grappling with memory loss or a similar condition that prevents him or her from handling his or her own affairs, and you want to step in and take care of things.

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