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December 2011 Archives

Radio show helps South Florida boomers with estate planning

South Florida readers who are concerned with matters of estate planning will be interested to hear of a new and helpful radio show aimed at helping listeners plan their financial futures. The show is called Money Matters, and it features a special section called "Our Dividend Portfolio." While the radio program is certainly no substitute for intricate legal advice, it does touch on topics that range from estate planning to tax strategies to investment management, helping listeners to consider general matters of estate administration.

Florida estate plans should include four-legged friends

Everyone who drafts an estate plan in Florida tries to consider all of the things they hold near and dear to them and those they love. But what about those four-legged loved ones? What is to come of them after the departure of their loyal companion? The friend of a Florida woman who passed away is finding out first-hand how complicated it can be if one's pets are not included in the estate plan or living will of an individual.The owner of two Boston terrier dogs became ill and was no longer able to care for the animals, so they were taken to a nearby animal rescue center during the month of August. Before the woman's death, she had made verbal requests to a friend of hers about her wishes for the beloved pets to be kept in the friend's home. Unfortunately, the now deceased woman did not formalize these requests in her estate plan or will. After her death in December, the friend attempted to claim the dogs from the animal rescue but was denied.

Florida estate planning during the holidays

Florida readers are probably aware that senior residents make up a significant portion of the population in South Florida. In fact, over 250,000 people who are 75 or older live in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, reflecting a 31 percent increase in the last 10 years. One aspect of life for many seniors in Florida is that the majority of their relatives live out of state. However, as the holidays roll around, family members come together in Florida to celebrate with their loved ones. Moreover, organizations that provide care and services to seniors have indicated that the holidays may be the most convenient time of year for families to sit down and discuss important estate planning issues.While the idea of discussing end-of-life care may not be the most pleasant thing, a nationwide elder care organization says that inquiries for their services do increase just after the holidays. Often, when families arrive from out of state to visit with their elder loved ones, the relatives observe the reality of an elder's living situation, and the family members take action.

Will and estate plan allow easy asset transfer to Humane Society

For many Florida residents, an estate plan is an excellent way to pass along assets to relatives. Without a will and other legal documents, assets can be tied up in probate court for an extended period of time. Probate court can become even more expensive and time-consuming if people wish to leave assets to non-traditional heirs. Fortunately, such was not the case with a woman who left a generous gift through her estate plan to the Humane Society.The woman had long been a volunteer in her community. She was considered a meticulous person with an eye for detail. While the woman was active in volunteer work, she had no children, which may be one reason she felt such kinship with the animals she helped through the Humane Society. Her particular joy was working with cats, whom she considered her favorite of the many animals the society cared for.

Survey: 64 percent of baby boomers without end-of-life documents

As Florida residents likely know, our state has a sizeable population of retirees. However, even those who aren't yet of retirement age would do well to begin thinking about end-of-life issues. Yes, it may not be the easiest of subjects, but most people who have experience with estate planning issues will say that it is never too early to start drafting such documents. A new study has revealed some information that baby boomers in Florida may want to be thinking about.