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Do I Address My Pets in My Estate Plan?

When developing an estate plan, many pet owners don’t address what to do about their pets in the case of owner incapacitation or death. Loyal pet owners should make sure that there is plan in place. In the state of Florida, what options do I have to ensure the wellbeing of my pet when unpredictable circumstances arise? Provisions in a durable power of attorney, last will and testament or revocable living trust are necessary if you consider your pet to be more than just property. If your pet is not mentioned in your will, it will be considered personal property: the same way your furniture is. The most common of these options is creating a will or revocable living trust. These tools provide d

How Art and Estate Planning are Related

Art collectors are notorious for acquiring artwork, but not selling them. For art collectors, their art pieces are extremely special and personal- not expendable. Because of this, when an art collector passes, he/she leaves his/her collections behind. However, most art collectors fail to address their collections in their estate plan. Like other assets,“failing to plan for the disposition of collections upon death can prove quite costly to the family, as there is the potential to having to pay higher estate taxes.” There is also the problem of the division of the artwork, which can result in family tensions. The biggest mistake made by the art collectors is the lack of preparation and the cy

Is 75 the new 55?

According to Article V, Section 17 of the Constitution of the State of Florida, “all justices and judges shall automatically retire at age 70.” However, the Constitution Revision Commission's (CRC) Judicial Committee recently voted unanimously to raise the retirement age to 75. This commission has the ability to vote and add ballot initiatives/measures to future ballots for constituents to vote on. By changing the retirement age without removing the grace period, judges and justices have the ability to stay on the bench even later than the age of 75. There have been proposals in the past to raise the retirement age; however, they have never reached the commission to be voted on. “At 75, cert

What’s the Deal with Handwritten Wills?

A holographic will is a will that is entirely handwritten and signed by the testator, the person who created the will. Although holographic wills are less common, they still do exist and are something probate lawyers occasionally come in contact with. However, how valid are holographic wills when they are signed without the presence of witnesses? Florida Statute 732, Section 502, states that a testator’s signature, the presence of witnesses and the witnesses signatures must be included in a holographic will in order for it to be valid in Florida. However, different states have different laws in regards to holographic wills. For instance, in Colorado and North Dakota, unwitnessed holographic

Importance of Estate Planning during Times of Unpredictability

Natural disasters, such as the Snow Bomb and California’s mudslide, have been highlighted in the latest news cycles. The unpredictability of these natural disasters make it difficult for people to prepare properly for them. Because of this, it is important for estate-planning documents to be stored safely to reduce the risk of losing them. Important estate-planning documents to safeguard include, a will, trust documents and power of attorneys. It is a good idea for the original copies of these documents to be placed in a safety deposit box or a secure file cabinet. Copies of these documents can be scanned and saved digitally; however, if a person does this, he/she must not lose or destroy th

What are the Duties of a Trustee?

The estate-planning process can seem confusing and stressful. However, we write our blog posts to better explain the misconceptions and difficult topics that people often misinterpret and misunderstand. A trustee is an important term to comprehend when learning about estate planning and probate. The trustee is the individual who is held responsible for informing the trust’s beneficiaries, keeping them updated and managing the assets that are in the trust. The individual is appointed as trustee by the grantor or by the court, and must voluntarily accept the position. He/she is unable to resign as trustee without the permission and consent of the court or of all the beneficiaries. However, acc

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