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August 2014 Archives

What does a 'special needs' trust do?

Years ago, trusts were generally considered something only very wealthy people had any use for. Over the past couple decades, however, it has become more widely understood that the trust structure can be utilized in a variety of ways that can benefit people of various levels of economic status. Some trusts, like a special needs trust, can be used for a very specific purpose.

Less than half of Americans have a last will and testament

In a survey done in 2012 by a legal website, it was indicated that only about 41% of members of the "baby-boom" generation have a will. Reportedly, even smaller numbers of individuals belonging to younger generations have an estate plan. Due to the high number of retirees in Flordia, these numbers have an even larger impact than in other states. According to people in the estate-planning field, there are several legal documents that people should secure sooner rather than later.

Estate planning may be different for Florida 'blended families'

"Blended families" is a term that has come into vogue over the past couple decades. As divorce and remarriage has become more frequent and more socially acceptable, the number of subsequent marriages that involve children from earlier partners has risen as well. While some of these families have "Brady Bunch" dynamics, with minor children from both partners, many include children from one or the other of the couple that are adults. This is becoming even more common with the increase of so-called "grey divorces." Not surprisingly, in an estate planning context, dealing with a blended family requires different considerations than a more traditional one.

What is a guardian in Florida estate planning law?

Estate planning is often thought of as only dealing with how to distribute property after a person's death. While disposal of a decedent's assets is a large part of planning an estate, there are many other considerations, including medical directives and healthcare proxies, along with other types of incapacity planning. One way to deal with an adult person's incapacity in Florida is through the appointment of a guardian.