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Brevard County, Florida, legal blog

Life lesson learned with a bride in ER

Because we regularly share information here in our Brevard County legal blog about estate planning, probate, wills, trusts, asset protection and related topics, we know full well the challenges of not only making those subjects interesting, but in making people comfortable with the idea of planning for what will happen after they die.

Perhaps it is those challenges that enable us to really appreciate a recent newspaper column that perfectly illustrates why estate planning is so important to us all. The columnist’s story began with a wedding he attended with his wife.

What is Florida probate litigation?

Probate is the legal process in which your property is distributed after your death. Your estate executor (the person you designated to manage your estate) will typically initiate the process of legally transferring your assets to beneficiaries after a Florida probate court has validated your will.

In some situations, that will is contested by a beneficiary or someone who was left out of the will. That process of disputing a will can involve a wide variety of issues that we are going to take a look at in this installation of our Brevard County legal blog.

What are your options in probate if your spouse disinherited you?

Although divorce is more common now than it was in previous generations, some people still really mean it when they say "until death do us part." There are couples out there who will remain married indefinitely even though they have a lasting antipathy toward one another.

While these individuals may not violate their marital vows by getting divorced, they may spend many years of their lives attempting in one petty way or another to take out their unhappiness on each other. Some spouses will take that vindictiveness with them to their grave, potentially by leaving nothing to their spouse in their last will.

Are you a new parent? Time for first estate-planning steps

If you and your significant other have just had your first child, your hands are full. There a long list of important things for new moms and dads to take care of. But one of those things that should be on that long list for new Brevard County parents is estate planning.

Many might shake their heads at the very notion that young, healthy parents should think about estate planning, but this is the very time to make decisions about securing your baby’s future should the very worst happen to her or his parents.

Talking to your parents about their estate plan

Everyone needs to plan their estate at some point in their lives if they want to dictate how their assets will be distributed. It's generally a good idea to start the process of planning your estate sooner rather than later, since this will give you peace of mind while allowing you to make minor changes to your plan when circumstances change.

If you are concerned about the fact that your parents have not yet planned their estate, you may want to take steps to encourage them to do so. However, talking to your parents about such a sensitive matter can be difficult. It is important that you take the time to consider how you will approach the situation. The following are some tips for doing so.

A look inside Florida’s “homestead” definitions

When Florida became a state back in 1845, it was well before electricity and air conditioning were in homes. In an effort to try to get folks to pull up stakes and move to Florida, leaders devised a way to provide settlers protections they would not be likely to get elsewhere.

Homestead in Florida was granted to provide the adventurous with incentives to move here, as well as to prevent creditors from forcing the sale of a property and to provide a surviving spouse and family a place to call home.

How a Plan B can help you help your loved ones

Janet Reno was both an important and controversial figure in American history. Our goal in today’s Brevard County blog post isn’t to dissect the pros or cons of our nation’s first female Attorney General, but rather to discuss how her estate illustrates an important aspect of Florida estate planning.

Reno died in late 2016, but a Florida appellate court only recently decided the disposition of a home and property she owned in Dade County.

What’s the best way to avoid the probate process?

When creating an estate plan, you'll spend a lot of time thinking about what will happen to your assets upon your death.

While not required by law, you may want to implement a plan for ensuring that your estate avoids the probate process. This can save your loved ones both time and money upon your death.

Part II: planning for death of a spouse

Regular readers of our Brevard County legal blog know that we recently wrote about steps couples can take to protect themselves and their assets. It is simply inevitable that one spouse will pass on before the other, so it is important to plan ahead so that the survivor does not have to deal with complex legal matters or needless expenses in an already difficult time.

A recent article in Forbes detailed some of the steps couples can take that will minimize complications while protecting the estate and surviving spouse.

Part I: planning for death of a spouse

At the very top of lists of the most stressful life events is the death of a spouse. Though planning for it can be emotionally difficult, it is a step to be taken with an experienced Brevard County attorney that will help to spare the surviving spouse needless legal complications and expenses in a time of grief and loss.

We recently read a Forbes interview with a tax attorney who specializes in asset protection about what failing to plan ahead can mean. He said that the worst situations that he sees arise in cases which financial decisions and planning was by one spouse and did not include the other.

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