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Fort Myers Probate & Estate Planning Law Blog

Reasons to create a revocable trust

If you are sitting down to create a will, or to update your current one, it's important to think about adding a revocable trust to your estate plan. A revocable trust is a legal document that you have total control over while alive and can revoke it at any time before you pass away. Today, we will explore the reasons why you should create a revocable trust.

The biggest reason why you should create a revocable trust is to avoid probate. It is still possible for your family home to wind up in probate even if you own it jointly with your spouse. If you put the home in a revocable trust, it cannot go through probate and will go right to your surviving spouse upon your death.

Avoid probate using these 4 tips

Probate is a situation that many people's estates have to go through after they die. This means that a large portion of the estate could be taxed, and beneficiaries will receive less money or assets than you intended. Today, we will look at four tips to help you avoid probate.

Create a revocable trust. You become the trustee, which means you can still manage all of the property in the trust while alive. Assign someone close to you as the successor trustee. This person would take over as the manager of the trust when you die. A revocable trust and all of the property in it skip probate upon your death.

The benefits of a revocable trust

Creating a revocable trust is one option you have to make sure your estate is passed to your beneficiaries upon your death. A revocable trust is created by signing a document and naming a person, corporation or both entities to be the administrator of the trust. The person who creates the trust is known as the grantor. The trust is to be administered in the best interest of the grantor, even while he or she is still alive. Here are some benefits of a revocable trust.

If you create a revocable trust and fund it, you might be able to name trustees that are not based in the state in which you live. This can help when the time comes to administer the trust upon your death. If no trust is in place, many states limit the flexibility you have in this option.

How an estate plan can prevent family disputes

The creation of an estate plan can help prevent family disputes long after you are gone. Families that don't have estate plans in place could wind up fighting over assets, money, property and other inheritance items upon your death. The fighting could become so intense that your children might stop speaking to each other. Here's how an estate plan can help avoid family disputes.

When you are drafting your estate plan, or updating it, it's best to inform your children if they are adults. Explain what it is you are updating or adding to the estate plan. Make sure they understand what is going on and what will happen when you pass away.

The differences between a guardian and a conservator

If you are ever named a guardian or conservator in Colorado, you need to know what the responsibilities are so that you don't make any mistakes. These are important legal positions that should be taken seriously. These legal positions are appointed by the court when another person is unable to physically or mentally care for themselves. It is possible for one person to be appointed to both a guardian or conservator by the court.

A guardian will be responsible for arranging the personal care of a ward of the court. This includes deciding where the person will live, either in a facility that offers assisted living or with another relative. The guardian will also be responsible for making medical decisions for the ward of the court.

Have you considered the many benefits of estate planning?

Estate plans can serve many purposes, and you may have unique goals that you want your plan to achieve. However, you may also wonder how you can make sure that your plan includes the details that are important to you and your family. Fortunately, the tools involved with estate planning are diverse and can help you and others address many areas of concern.

In fact, you may not have considered some of the benefits that estate planning could allow for you and your family. Therefore, you may want to thoroughly review the many uses of an estate plan, and ensure that you create a comprehensive plan that meets your needs and wishes.

Does your will comply with Florida law?

If you are ready to draft a will, it's important that it meets the requirements under Florida law so it has a better chance of holding up in court if it's challenged. Many people make the mistake of thinking a will created in another state will automatically be valid when they move to Florida.

One such will that is not valid in Florida is the holographic will. A holographic will is a handwritten will created by someone without the help of an attorney. It has been drafted and signed only by the testator.

Tips for transferring a power of attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most important legal positions you need to fill when creating your will and estate plan. You should review your estate plan every so often to make sure the person chosen is still alive or still in your life. Today, we will take a look at how you can transfer a power of attorney to a different person after you've already named them in your estate plan.

You are allowed to change your power of attorney at any point in your life. It's important that you notify your attorney of the change so he or she can change the wording used in the legal documents so that the prior choice does not continue to hold any power.

Estate planning after a divorce

Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging and stressful times in life. The marriage you've worked so hard to build is no longer working. You and your spouse might be fighting constantly. You might no longer love each other. Maybe you only stayed together until your children reached adulthood. Whatever the reason for the divorce, you need to know how to make changes to your estate plan once the divorce is finalized.

The most important thing you can do after the divorce is to have the old will naming both you and your former spouse revoked. You can then have a family law attorney write a brand-new will for you, naming only you and leaving your assets to the people of your choosing.

The importance of detailed records when executing a will

If someone named you as the executor or administrator of their estate, it is very likely that they held you in high esteem. They likely trust your ability to remain organized while handling all the details of the estate and believed that you were ethical enough to fulfill your obligations to all of the beneficiaries and heirs.

There is a lot of work involved in handling someone's estate and executing the terms of their last will. Cutting corners to finish things up more quickly could end up being very problematic for you. Instead, you should take great pains to ensure you follow all the terms of the will and document everything that you do.