estate planning and probate Archives

How debts are settled after a spouse dies

When married people die, their debts that they incurred while alive do not necessarily go away. However, surviving spouses in Florida aren't always liable for the debts that their husbands or wives accumulated. If a debt was in the decedent's name only, it will be paid for by that person's estate. This means that assets that belonged to the decedent will be used to cover those balances.

Trusts for adults can be important in estate planning

Florida residents may be driven to think about their future and that of their family, especially after important life events like marriage or the birth of children. These types of milestones can cause many people to consider the plans and actions that they can take today to help ensure that their families will be taken care of even after they pass away. An estate plan that involves wills, trusts, life insurance and other forms of asset transfer can help create a comprehensive approach for long-term benefit to one's heirs.

How a lien can impact an heir

Florida residents who owe child support could have a lien placed on their inheritance. As part of settling an estate, executors are required to conduct searches for child support judgments prior to distributing assets. Typically, the value of the inheritance is first applied to the outstanding balance owed. If the inheritance is worth more than the outstanding balance, the beneficiary keeps the difference.

Reasons to start estate planning right away

Florida residents are encouraged to create a comprehensive estate plan as soon as possible. This may mean creating powers of attorney in an addition to traditional plan documents such as a will. Without a power of attorney, family members or other trusted representatives may not have access to bank accounts or other assets if the owner becomes incapacitated.

Accounting for digital assets in the afterlife

When a Florida resident or any other individual passes away, it may mean that he or she has left behind a variety of online accounts. These online properties may range from bank accounts to a Facebook or Twitter page. However, there is rarely a clear answer when it comes to how a family member or other person may access these accounts after a person has passed away.

The importance of updating beneficiary designations

Florida residents may want to make a habit of periodically reviewing the beneficiaries on any applicable assets. While the person listed might make sense today, that may not be the case in a year, five years or 20 years later. It is possible that a parent could remarry or that a spouse listed as a beneficiary is an ex-spouse at some point in the future.

Planning to divorce? Review estate plans

In Florida, some people make the mistake of drafting estate plans and then failing to make changes when they undergo major changes in their lives. One such scenario that should prompt a review and possible modification of an estate plan is a pending divorce.

Managing an estate as the executor

Some people may hire a professional when appointing an estate executor, but others prefer to name a trusted family member or friend. The executor of an estate is responsible for protecting the assets of a deceased person until the assets can be distributed. Here are some tips for Florida residents when serving as an executor.

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Rachel Rall, Attorney at Law, P.A.
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Jacksonville, FL 32210

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