Do You Need a Probate Attorney?

Do You Need a Probate Attorney?

Estate Planning
Probate is the process of administering an estate after someone passes away in Florida. Even though you are grieving a lost loved one, you still have to go through the legal process, and the individual appointed (by a will or by the probate court) will need to serve as the deceased’s personal representative, also known as an executor. While many probate cases go relatively smoothly, there are complications that can arise, which can add time and expense to the process - not to mention stress in an already stressful situation. If there is a probate dispute, there can be a lot at stake, depending on the nature of the estate. Never hesitate to discuss any concerns with a Boca Raton probate attorney if you believe you might need legal assistance.…
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Choosing the Right Executor for Your Will

Choosing the Right Executor for Your Will

Estate Planning
The executor of your will is the individual who will be responsible for honoring its contents, assessing the property in your estate, resolving debts, and distributing the remaining property as you wish. Knowing who to choose as your executor can be a difficult choice, as it is a great responsibility and can also take quite a bit of time. There are factors you should take into account when choosing an executor, and a Boca Raton estate planning attorney can help with the process. The Fiduciary Duty Executors must abide by a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of your estate. This means that they must complete all necessary tasks in a proper manner, manage assets prudently, and abide by the terms of the will. Fiduciaries should never act in a biased…
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Steps to Create an Enforceable Trust

Steps to Create an Enforceable Trust

Estate Planning
Trusts must be properly created in order to be enforceable. There are strict legal requirements. The last thing that you want is to create a trust only to later find out that it is unenforceable. Here are some of the requirements for an enforceable trust. Establish Intent and Purpose to Create a Trust This is one of the easier steps. You can simply state this in the trust document through your words. In addition, the trust must have a valid purpose, such as being part of an estate plan. Have the Proper Testamentary Capacity In order for the trust to be valid, you must not be incapacitated. This means that you are competent and able to enter into a contract. This is why trusts must be set up before you…
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Should You Form a Trust?

Should You Form a Trust?

Estate Planning
You have likely heard of a living trust, but perhaps you never considered whether a trust would benefit you and your family. Trusts are legal tools that many people use to achieve various estate planning goals, and the best way to know whether a trust is right for you is to consult with an experienced Boca Raton estate planning attorney. Benefits of a Trust A living trust can have many estate planning benefits, such as: Avoiding probate - Any property or assets held in trust are not required to go through the probate process. Instead, the successor trustee who you designate can distribute the property straight from the trust according to your instructions. This can simplify the probate process for your family members significantly. Greater control over distributions - When…
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Components of a Comprehensive Estate Plan

Components of a Comprehensive Estate Plan

Estate Planning
An estate plan is not fully effective unless it is comprehensive. Finding out too late that something is missing could cause legal issues for your family. Here is what you need for a comprehensive estate plan. Wills Your will specifies the division of your assets after you die. It is the governing document that expresses your own wishes. Without it, the court would decide who gets what from your estate.  This is perhaps the key piece of estate planning that nobody can be without. The will could also cover things like your funeral plan and your wishes for your children. Power of Attorney Your estate plan does not just take over when you die. It also helps your family as you are no longer able to make decisions. A power…
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What Happens if You Become Ill or Die Without an Estate Plan?

What Happens if You Become Ill or Die Without an Estate Plan?

Estate Planning
Lawyers often tell clients about the risks of not having an estate plan in place. This is more than just a scare tactic to generate business. Attorneys know what your family is facing without estate planning documents to guide them. A will or trust is a way for you to assert your own control over your assets and estate. Without these, the state would assume all control. Your property would end up in probate court, and it would be a judge who makes all decisions about your property. The judge would apply Florida state law to divide your property, and it may not be in accordance with your wishes. The Court Decides Asset Division Usually, it is the spouse and children who have first priority, but the division between them…
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Do You Need a Lawyer to Draft a Will?

Do You Need a Lawyer to Draft a Will?

Estate Planning
When you decide it’s time to draft a will, it is natural to wonder whether you need to seek help from a Boca Raton estate planning attorney or whether you can handle the matter yourself. A will might seem like a fairly straightforward document, and you can find will forms on the internet, so many people decide to draft one themselves. Unfortunately, this can cause problems for your family members and might fail to properly achieve your estate planning goals. Like any other state, Florida law sets out specific requirements for a valid and legally enforceable will. Once you pass away and your will is submitted to probate, it can be declared invalid by the court if it does not meet these requirements and/or if someone successfully challenges the will.…
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Review Your Power of Attorney for 2021

Review Your Power of Attorney for 2021

Estate Planning
A new year offers a great opportunity to take a step back and review your current estate plan and make any necessary changes. This certainly applies to any powers of attorney that you have in place. In the event that you do not have a power of attorney, a new year is a great chance to determine whether you need one and, if so, execute one. To learn more, call a Boca Raton estate planning attorney today. What is a Power of Attorney? Powers of attorney allow you to designate a person to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. When you execute a power of attorney, you are referred to as the principal, and the person authorized to act on…
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Who Should You Choose to be the Personal Representative of Your Estate?

Who Should You Choose to be the Personal Representative of Your Estate?

Estate Planning
Your last will and testament is a critical part of your estate plan. You might be aware that your will allows you to instruct how your property and assets should be distributed after you pass away, which should be carefully considered. Another important consideration when it comes to drafting a will is who you will designate to be the personal representative of your estate. The personal representative is in charge of many tasks when it comes to administering your estate. These include: Locating and notifying beneficiaries named in your will Taking inventory of all property and assets Pay necessary bills as needed during probate Notifying creditors and paying debts Filing taxes Closing accounts Distributing your estate according to your will Closing your estate With the right personal representative, the probate…
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Components of a Comprehensive Estate Plan

Components of a Comprehensive Estate Plan

Estate Planning
When many people think of estate planning, they think of writing a last will and testament, commonly called simply a will. While a will is a critical part of any estate plan, it is far from the only document that will benefit you and your family. The following are some documents that are often components of a comprehensive estate plan that accomplishes your goals for the future. Will - A will is a cornerstone of an estate plan, and having a will makes the probate process much easier for your family and beneficiaries. You can use a will to distribute property as you see fit, as well as to name someone who will care for your children should it become necessary. Trusts - Even though a will can distribute your…
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