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June 2014 Archives

Choice of trust type depends upon goals

In the so-called information age, many Florida residents are aware that the use of trusts can be helpful in an estate planning context. There are several reasons one might wish to use a trust instead of, or in addition to, traditional styles of estate planning, such as a last will and testament. The question then becomes: which kind of trust should be used?

When a written Florida will is actually an invalid oral will

Florida law requires that valid wills be in written form. Orally telling another person how one wants to legally divide one's estate will is generally not enforceable in court. Nevertheless, Floridians need to understand that merely writing the will may not be enough either. The document must meet certain legal standards, and, sometimes, a directive in the will may be found to be invalid, even if the will is otherwise properly executed.

Florida has restrictions on "posthumous" children's inheritance

The world moves fast these days. Technological advances affect practically every facet of modern life, from the food we eat to our entertainment choices to how we communicate. Advances in the medical field have led to longer, healthier lives for many, and also to certain couples being able to have children when they otherwise couldn't. Sperm and egg "banks" often help make this possible. For people with certain medical conditions, or going through certain treatments, freezing of genetic material may be the only way they have to conceive a child. And, while most people wish to see their children grow and be there for them, in some circumstances, this technology has led to children being born long after a parent's death.

Keeping Florida trusts up-to-date is key part of estate planning

As many Florida residents may know, the establishment of trusts is a key element in many good estate plans. The use of a trust to allocate assets to beneficiaries has several advantages over using only a last will and testament. These advantages include: the ability to keep assets out of probate court, and thus, private, the protection of assets from being squandered by irresponsible beneficiaries, some protection from creditors and taxation and the ability to place certain requirements on beneficiaries before receiving their share of the trust's assets. There are, however, some important considerations to keep in mind while contemplating utilization of a trust in one's estate plan.