estate planning and probate Archives

Valuable collectibles and estate planning

It may be important for some people in Florida to include valuable collectibles in their estate plan such as art, stamps, antiques and even some alcoholic beverages. There could be several complications associated with these items in an estate plan including valuation and the fact that family members may be unable or uninterested in keeping some items.

Developing an estate plan for the future

When it comes to planning for the future of assets, estate planning is a key tool in achieving the desired outcome. Developing a plan can be important whether one's assets are large or small. By doing so, an estate owner can help to protect their privacy and security while establishing a greater sense of control. When Florida residents don't have an estate plan of their own or even a will, their assets are left to be distributed according to state law. Despite the fact that many people envision what they would like to see happen with their affairs, 55 percent of Americans do not have a will.

How to find a person's will after he or she passes

When an individual dies in Florida or anywhere else, the estate is overseen by an executor. An executor is generally considered to have a role similar to a trustee and has an obligation to locate beneficiaries and let them know about the passing. If a will was created, a beneficiary has the right to see a copy of it.

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.

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Rachel Rall, Attorney at Law, P.A.
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