In 1998, at the age of 62, Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono passed away due to injuries sustained in a skiing accident. He did not leave behind a will, which caused lengthy legal proceedings as his wife, Mary Bono, and his four children from three marriages attempted to settle his estate and divide his remaining assets. It can sometimes take years of multiple court hearings to determine the proper line of inheritance when an individual passes away without a will in place.
Florida residents have many options to consider when developing future estate plans. Many people choose to utilize trusts for this purpose. CNN Money explains that there are two primary types of trusts. In contrast, a testamentary trust can be outlined as a provision of a will and then become effective upon death. An inter-vivos truss, also referred to as a living trust, takes effect upon creation even while the person is still living.
Most Florida residents may have heard about probate but may not fully understand what it is or how it works. In short, probate is the process by which the courts manage the estate of a person who has died, as noted by the Florida Bar website. Probate litigation is necessary when no will or trust was in existence but it can also be required in cases where such estate planning documentation does exist.
Given that there are a large number of estate planning services to choose from, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the different processes that are available and how they function. For instance, you may be considering establishing a trust fund of some sort, but may be confused about the two types that are offered. Provided below is a brief introduction to testamentary and inter vivos trusts, as well as an explanation of their similarities and differences.
When a person dies, family members have many issues to face. From personal grief to organizing funeral or memorial service events, the process can be overwhelming. In addition, there may be many personal affairs to handle on behalf of the person who has passed away. Most Florida residents have likely heard references to probate and know that it pertains to estate administration before but may lack a full understanding of exactly what this is.
It’s understandable that parents or grandparents want to be sure their loved ones’ needs are taken care of after they pass on. A common way for Fort Myers residents to leave an inheritance for their heirs is by setting up a trust fund. There are many ways that trusts can be beneficial to recipients. Contrary to popular belief, a family does not have to be wealthy to set up a trust. Trusts can be especially useful if the grantors would like to be sure their children or grandchildren are left with an inheritance but do not misuse the funds.
Proper estate planning does more than establish your last wishes; it also gives your survivors peace of mind. Unfortunately, according to a survey from RocketLawyer.com, 41 percent of baby boomers do not have a will in place. Passing away without having taken the right measures means that assets are often left to the Florida courts to divide.
It is not uncommon in Lee County, Florida to hear about people contesting wills and getting into family fights or filing lawsuits over personal property that was once owned by the deceased. In order to avoid this, those who are going through the estate planning process should always document in writing when they give something that is either sentimentally or monetarily valuable. If this transfer is to be done after the person dies, it should be clearly outlined in his or her will. This can ensure that the person who was intended to get the item actually gets it.
Many people in Lee County, and elsewhere, have the misconception that estate planning is only for those who will leave behind significant assets. Regardless of the size of a person’s estate, there are often are still details that must be settled. For those who die without wills, the court will typically appoint an administrator to handle the probate process and ensure that all of the decedent’s affairs are in order, which in some cases may cause other legal issues to arise.
Even if a will exists, there is the possibility that someone could come forward during the probate process and contest the distribution of an estate in Lee County, and elsewhere. Combined with allegations of an elderly or incapacitated person being taken advantage of, fraud or any other number of schemes, these situations can become even more complicated.