Deciding who is best suited to act as the executor of your estate is a big decision, one which neither you nor the person you appoint should take lightly. In many cases, the details of an estate plan are either complicated or may entail a certain degree of conflict, in which case it is usually wise to aid your executor with some proper help.
When crafting your estate plan, there are many decisions that one must make — end of life preferences, how to protect various assets and who should be your beneficiaries, for example. One of the most important decisions you will make when crafting your estate plan is appointing an executor to your estate. This individual can generally be just about anyone (with some exceptions), but they must be prepared to carry out your wishes competently and fairly, and must handle a number of fairly complex legal matters.
After a person passes away, there are many things that must be handled with great care to avoid unnecessary disruption to the lives of those who survive the decedent. Administering an estate can be a complex matter, especially even if the decedent had created an estate plan prior to his or her death. For those affected by the estate settlement, a generous gift can become a burden if the details are not clearly understood as the estate is administered. This can be especially true when it comes to passing on a home with an outstanding mortgage balance.
It is important to your research before enlisting the guidance of an attorney, no matter what area of law you need help in. Recently, a Florida attorney was accused of misusing her influence and access as an attorney, leading to her having her license revoked. There is some reasonable debate as to whether the attorney in question actually violated any legal or ethical boundaries, but the story does illustrate just how important it is to vet an attorney before choosing to employ one's services.
Estate planning is not only about determining the fate of your assets, it also can deal with your end-of-life preferences. One of the crucial components of controlling your end-of-life is appointing a durable power of attorney. Florida, like all other states, maintains its own statutes that govern the assignment and reach of durable power of attorney.
Florida has specific laws that pertain to the use of living wills. A living will is not technically a will, merely a document that states a person's end-of-life preferences. Florida still recognizes its authority to direct end-of-life decisions if an individual has not executed a living will.
If you are the surviving heir, will executor or other representative for a person who has died in Florida, there are many things you will need to understand about the probate process. Among these is how the Internal Revenue Service can be involved in probate.
If you are preparing your will, there are many things you should know. Florida law and estate planning in general have unique provisions that may influence how you set up your estate plans. Among these are the rights of your spouse or any children you have who may survive you. The Florida Bar explains that no matter what your will states, you are not allowed to completely disinherit your kids or your spouse.
When a person in Florida becomes unable to take care of certain legal things, a power of attorney can be created to allow another party the ability to manage important affairs. A power of attorney may also be created before a need for assistance arises in order to prevent being left without a good option for how to take care of things.
Proper estate planning can help you know that your assets will be handled according to your wishes after you die. It can help your heirs to avoid long and difficult legal challenges in the wake of your death. But, even when you have handled all of your personal estate matters are you sure how your business will be handled in the process? Business assets and interests may benefit from special handling in order to avoid probate or other issues.