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October 2014 Archives

Florida domicile: an important part of your estate plan

"Snowbirds" is a term that has been used for many years to describe people who make the trip south to Florida every fall and stay until spring before returning north for the summer. The state welcomes snowbirds with open arms, as they add a vibrant diversity to Florida's culture, as well as being a boom to local economies. If you are a snowbird, or simply in the process of relocating to Florida from another state, you may wish to consider the effects that establishing a "domicile" in Florida may have on your estate plan.

What are the duties of a trustee in Florida?

As has been noted in several previous posts on this blog, the use of trusts has grown in frequency over the past few decades in Florida and throughout the country. Further, trusts are being used more often by people who are not millionaires, but individuals who wish to use the trust instruments for specific purposes. The person whose job it is to ensure that the trust does what its creator intended is, of course, the trustee. The trustee is sometimes a lawyer or a financial institution, but lay people can also be named trustees. So, what exactly are trustees required to do under Florida law?

Despite conservatorship, dispute rages over radio star's remains

It's never easy watching parents or elder relatives losing their independence as they grow older. Simple tasks can become difficult or even impossible to accomplish without help; mental changes may also have a particularly difficult emotional impact. We wrote last week about how guardianships can help protect elders like this from certain types of exploitation. However, establishing guardianships or conservatorships is not a "set it and forget it" proposition, as a recent story in the headlines illustrates.

1,000 elderly people a day face financial exploitation

An Assistant Secretary for Aging with the federal Department of Health and Human Services said at a recent event that the department estimates that older people face exploitation in their financial affairs at the rate of around 1,000 per day. According to the assistant secretary, people in the field believe that means somewhere around 40 percent of elderly Americans have been financially abused, with the majority of cases going unreported.