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January 2014 Archives

Florida state senator files bill to more closely watch guardians

A state senator from the west coast of Florida is sponsoring a bill that promises to help clerks of court keep a closer eye on individuals who serve as professional guardians for elderly and disabled people. The senator appears to believe that it too easy for guardians to exploit their charges, and he is attempting to correct the situation.

Mandatory arbitration can be enforced in Florida wills

So-called "alternative dispute resolution" forums, such as mediation and arbitration, have gained popularity in recent years. Generally speaking, the idea behind such practices is that they help avoid the time and expense of prolonged litigation about certain issues. Often, these forums come into play when disputes arise over issues that the parties have previously agreed will be subject to the alternative type of resolution. In certain instances, however, arbitration may be made mandatory in an estate planning context.

Addressing various probate issues

Estate planning can encompass a wide variety of legal and financial issues, including the use of trusts, retirement income planning, powers of attorney and medical directives, to name a few. The oldest, and perhaps most fundamental, estate planning document is the last will and testament. Wills are a common device used to transfer property from the testator to heirs. The process generally used to act on a will's contents is the probate process. Because this process can be complicated, and varies from state to state, there are several issues with which individuals may need help.