Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale probate litigation

After several attempts to upload electronic wills in Florida, a measure approving them has passed and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.electronic will lawyer

HB 409 amended numerous sections of the state probate code pertaining to wills.  Florida’s e-will law:

  • Redefines the term “will” to conform to the changes made in the act;
  • Exempts e-wills from provisions that govern revocation of wills and codicils;
  • Lays out the manner by which e-wills and codicils can be revoked;
  • Defining e-wills and establishing how it has to be executed;
  • Outlining the requirements and duties necessary to serving as a qualified custodian of an electronic will.

Undoubtedly, there will be concerns about vulnerable adults, and it will be imperative for Floridians to contact an experienced probate litigation attorney regarding their rights and responsibilities where electronic wills are concerned. Continue reading

What happens if someone dies in Florida without a will? Fort Lauderdale probate litigation lawyer

A recent survey by the AARP revealed 60 percent of American adults do not have a will and are not planning for the end of their lives. Some of this is dictated by age. For instance, among those between ages 53 and 71, roughly 58 percent do have estate-planning documents. Among those older than 72, more than 80 percent have a will. Although most Americans live past the age of 40, there is never a guarantee.

That’s why our Fort Lauderdale probate attorneys want to stress the importance of a will for everyone over the age of 18 – even if you don’t think it’s not necessary because you’re married and assume all of it will go automatically to either your spouse or children.

The process of probate itself can consume a portion of those assets, and disputes that arise between potential heirs certainly will too. Continue reading

There are copious amounts of information available online about do-it-yourself estate planning. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should, the same way it’s always a bad idea to represent yourself in court – even if you’re an attorney. This is not a leaky shower repair you may be able to amble your way through – this is your financial future, and the best means you have of keeping yourself and your loved ones out of probate litigation. probate litigation attorney

Although reason it’s better to have something than nothing at all (64 percent of Americans don’t have a will – 55 percent of those being parents), the fact is if you are not experienced in handling these types of complex legal matters and anticipating certain contingencies, you may end up creating even more of a mess. Far too many people underestimate the complexity of their estate. It goes beyond simply divvying up the contents of a bank account. Everything – from identifying an executor or trustee to updating your beneficiary lists to gifting money to minors – all of these things require careful consideration.

Drafting your estate plan should come only after a well-thought-out estate and financial plan. If all you do is “fill-in-the-blanks,” that is not reflective of such a process. Further, one size does not fit all, and you also need to be sure that the document you have completed meets all the requirements for what is valid in your state. For instance, F.S. 732.502 requires two witnesses to properly execute a will in Florida, while Pennsylvania requires three. Further, these witnesses must sign in the presence of the testator and each other, which generally requires a self-proving affidavit. Usually, it’s the drafting attorney who signs these affidavits in your presence, but if you do-it-yourself on the internet, you won’t have this option. Continue reading

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