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September 2013 Archives

Florida residents - think about estate planning sooner, not later

Very few people like to think about their own deaths. Because of this, many Florida residents put off making plans for what will happen to their property. While estate planning may be an uncomfortable subject, it is one every adult should consider.

Pitfalls in naming beneficiaries when making an estate plan

As many residents of Florida know, a proper estate plan is essential to ensuring that assets are distributed properly after death. There are many components to estate planning, including wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney and more. One area of estate planning that sometimes does not get as much thought is the designation of beneficiaries.

Lessons Floridians can learn from actor's will

The untimely death of well-known actor James Gandolfini may have come as an unpleasant surprise to many Florida residents. The passing of someone at the relatively young age of 51 can be an uncomfortable reminder of our own mortality. It might be helpful to confront that fact in this case, however, because the public nature of the distribution of Gandolfini's assets can be a lesson for anyone considering an estate plan.

Florida heirs can sometimes challenge marriages in probate

Prior to 2010, people who were heirs in Florida had no real legal means to challenge the validity of a marriage after the death of the testator-spouse. Because, at common law, heirs did not have standing to object to the marriage in probate court, people who felt that the marriage had been instigated by fraud, or under duress, had no recourse if they were disinherited, or received less of the estate than they believed they should.