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Orlando Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

There is no crime in not leaving your adult kids a dime

Some older parents in Florida struggle with the notion of leaving their adult children inheritances. After all, their kids may be financially independent and have modest means to support themselves and their families.

You may want to do other things with the legacy you have worked so hard to create, such as leaving it to charities, other less fortunate individuals or even your pets. Regardless of what your intentions are, keep one thing in mind: you are under no obligation to leave your adult children a dime. 

Don't forget to fund your trusts!

You may have spent a great deal of time setting up your estate plans to provide for your family when you die. But if you forget to fund your trusts, all your hard work may be in vain.

It is a very common mistake that many people in Florida make. When you fail to properly fund or set up trusts, all assets and proceeds meant for your family must pass directly through probate first. 

What is a competency hearing?

When other provisions are lacking in estate plans, a testator may need a guardian to make financial and/or health decisions in his or her behalf. If the person voluntarily decides to appoint one, then no formal court hearing is necessary. However, if the person has not named a guardian, and you feel that one is necessary, you can take steps to establish an involuntary guardianship to protect your loved one.

The guardianship process in Florida entails a competency hearing to determine if the person is truly incapacitated and in need of a guardian, as opposed to a less restrictive option.

Things to consider if you want to disinherit your child

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As you start to think about your estate planning, you may consider disinheriting one-or more-of your kids. There are a lot of reasons that may cause you to think about writing one of your own children out of your will.

  • Maybe your child is struggling with addiction and you do not want to enable her or his destructive behaviors.
  • If you have a substantial estate, you may be worried about giving your kid a free pass on making his or her own money.
  • Perhaps you simply have an estranged relationship with one of your kids.

Whatever the reason you are considering this route, here are a few things you should think about. 

5 major life decisions you may make as a guardian of minors

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Has a friend or family member asked you to become a guardian of their children should both parents pass away or become incapacitated?

You may not know how to answer, or perhaps you already gave an emphatic yes or no.

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. 

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