We've discussed various forms of estate planning in this blog, including the use of both trusts and wills in attempting to give voice to the intent of the testator (i.e. the person whose estate is in question). We have also talked about the form wills need to take to be valid, and some of what may cause a will to be contested in probate court. But what happens if someone who is supposed to inherit probate assets dies before the testator?
As we have touched on before, the living will, known in Florida as an advance directive, and health care proxy can be important documents for Floridians in case they become incapacitated and cannot make their own health care decisions. Many people will never need these documents, however, what happens if you do need them and don't have them?
One of the reasons many trusts are created in the first place is to keep certain assets of the settlor out of court. Avoiding probate court and the time and expense connected with it is a major objective of many trust instruments. This does not mean, however, that courts will never have a place in adjudicating certain aspects of a trust case. So, exactly when can a Florida court get involved in the specifics of a trust that has been created?
When this blog has discussed adult guardianship in the past, it has generally focused on the somewhat more common "involuntary guardianship." However, "voluntary guardianship" is also an option in Florida. Unlike involuntary guardianship, voluntary guardianship can occur without a finding of incapacity, and upon the petition of the person who needs the guardian.