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wills & trusts Archives

Who is considered next of kin when it comes to an estate plan?

Intestacy brings with it a whole slew of problems. People who believe they are entitled to a piece of the pie in terms of a deceased person's assets need to meet next of kin requirements outlined under Florida law. This is one of the reasons that having an estate plan is so important and the reason that dying without a will causes so much chaos in most families.

Some celebrities have made costly estate planning mistakes

The estates of some of the rich and famous can go far in teaching a lesson in how not to plan for one's death. When it comes to estate planning, Florida residents can learn a lot when looking at the estates of celebrities like Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. None of them had all-encompassing estate plans and left their heirs losing out on millions of dollars because of it.

Will substitutes can be assets in Florida estate planning

Having a well-rounded estate plan can mean the difference between angst and peace of mind for loved ones and other beneficiaries. A will is an important component of estate planning in Florida; however, there are some substitutes that can be used when it comes to property. This type of property can be transferred without being probated.

Estate planning: How Hurricane Florence and old age are similar

Hurricanes can be devastating and so can old age, if plans haven't been put in place for care. Estate planning in Florida should encompass the possibility that residents may need special attention in their advanced years. Many Floridians don't take the time to plan for the unforeseen. People don't like to think about negatives and so they don't plan for them, which is a grave mistake.

Florida estate planning may involve splitting heirs

When someone writing an estate plan has more than one beneficiary, it can prove to be a challenge on how to divide assets equally among them. For Florida residents who are thinking about estate planning, they should know there is a way to think about who should get what, especially when it comes to children. There are times when the word equal doesn't quite fit the family's personal situation.

Estate planning: Are 'I love you' wills still used in Florida?

What are referred to as 'I love you' wills are pretty outdated for the 21st century, yet many couples still have them. Florida residents who want their estate planning to be all-encompassing and up to date might want to look into bringing their wills into the modern age. Some couples may become complacent and believe once they have wills, there is no need to do update them.

Having a family conversation about a health care directive

People don't like to think of a future in which they're incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. But life has a way of throwing some powerful curve balls and it might be best for Florida residents to think about putting a health care directive in place should the unforeseen happen. Such a directive can take the stress and potential guilt off loved ones.

Florida's power of attorney rules

There are certain rules that go along with estate planning. One of those has to do with creating a power of attorney in Florida. In order for the document to have any legitimate weight, the principal -- or the one making the power of attorney -- has to sign the document in front of two witnesses and a notary public, which could be one of the witnesses as well. If a Floridian creates a legal power of attorney outside the state, it does have bearing in Florida. 

A Florida power of attorney needs to remain powerful

Estate planning documents are in place for a reason. One of those -- a power of attorney (POA) -- legally authorizes a person to be able to handle affairs and to make health care decisions on behalf of the maker in case the person should be unable to do so for him or herself. The last thing Florida residents would want is for their POA to be rendered powerless.

Loved ones benefit most from an estate plan

Some people understand the importance of estate planning early in life. Perhaps they are compelled to visit an estate planning attorney following the birth of their first child, or they have had experience with a loved one who died leaving an estate in disarray. Unfortunately, most people in Florida or elsewhere do not take those early steps to establish an estate plan while they are still young. This can lead to negative consequences for those left behind.

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Meador & Johnson, P.A.
900 N. Palafox St
Pensacola, FL 32501

Toll Free: 800-785-4969
Phone: 850-483-0773
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