Long-term care is extraordinarily expensive, and the reality is that the majority of America’s senior care providers are in-home family members who provide those services out of the goodness of their hearts. These are usually family members that also have their own lives to live with careers and families of their own, so the additional daily schedule can be a big challenge

However, a life without fun is not worth living, and we recommend that every person spend time to get away and rejuvenate from the daily grind of everyday life. So our message to anyone currently caring for a senior is to take time for vacations. “But how?” you might ask; here are a few tips on how to take a vacation with an elder.

Continue reading

One of the most forgotten assets, or even a beneficiary, in estate planning is a person’s pet. Many clients have dogs and cats that are close members of the family and need a way to be taken care of after the owner passes. With a pet trust, a person may leave money to be used for the care and support of the pet.

Florida, along with most other states, currently allows individuals to create a trust with no human beneficiary. These trusts are usually drafted to take effect when the owner dies.   A pet trust can be created to care for one of more animals that are living during the testator’s lifetime. The trust will end when the last surviving animal dies and usually cannot include animal offspring under most trust codes.

Continue reading

The short and quick answer is yes, it is a possibility, but you should first be familiar with applicable Florida Statutes and some definitions before proceeding.  A Nomination of Successor Guardian is a document drafted and notarized by a current guardian of an incapacitated person. It names who the guardian would want to take their place upon their death or incapacity.  It is not approved by a court and isn’t necessarily filed with the court either.

Continue reading

Has your loved one been deemed incapacitated by a court order and had a court appointed guardian over their person and property? Do you believe the court appointed guardian is improperly taking care of your loved one and managing their assets in their best interest? Are you concerned for your loved one’s safety and health? Are you afraid their assets are being wasted? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might be considering trying to remove the court appointed guardian and becoming the guardian of your loved one.

Florida Statute 744.474 allows a court appointed guardian to be removed for any of the following twenty-one (21) reasons: Continue reading

In Florida, a voluntary guardianship over a person’s property is available for a competent person who is unable to manage his or her own financial affairs. To begin the process, the person seeking a voluntary guardianship files a petition with the court and is referred to as the petitioner. Once the petition is granted and a voluntary guardian is appointed by the court, the voluntary guardian has the authority to control and manage the financial affairs of the petitioner. A voluntary guardianship remains in effect until the petitioner’s death, incapacity or revocation of guardianship.

The petition filed with the court seeking a voluntary guardianship must: Continue reading

A trust can be amended it a number of ways depending on whether the trust is revocable or irrevocable. Usually, an irrevocable trust cannot be modified unless there is a judicial modification or the trust terms allow for a modification. A recent court ruling in Florida now provides that a “trust protector” may amend a trust.

What is a trust protector? A trust protector is a person that is appointed to watch over the trust and to ensure the trust is not adversely affected by a change of law or other circumstance. A trust protector can be appointed when the terms of the trust specifically confer on a trustee or other person the power to direct the modification or termination of the trust. The law concerning trust protectors in Florida stems from section 808 of the Uniform Trust Code, or UTC, and the case, Minassian v. Rachins, was the first major court decision to interpret this provision of the Florida Trust Code. Continue reading

The first version of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, or UFADDA, emerged from major Internet and tech companies. They objected largely on the basis that the law violated the decedent’s privacy interests and would override many company’s current terms of service agreements.

In early 2015, the state-by-state legislative agenda for UFADAA appeared to be moving forward and on track and was introduced to 27 different state legislatures. Yet by the summer none of the states had enacted UFADAA, except for a modified 2014 edition adopted by Delaware. Continue reading

If you have a family member or friend you believe can no longer care for their own health and/or finances due to an incapacity AND there is not a Power of Attorney or other similar document already in place, it may be time to look into guardianship. A guardian will be able to make the healthcare and financial decisions they are unable to make. Once deemed to be incapacitated, a person becomes known as a ward. Continue reading

There is a myth that trusts and estate planning are for the rich only, but this is actually a common misconception. Estate planning for high net worth individuals usually centers on reducing tax bills, but estate planning has a number of benefits and objectives depending on a client’s needs. An estate plan can provide expert guidance on other aspects of wealth transfer through, wills, guardianships, executorships, powers of attorney, and long term health care.  Today one of the most important aspects of estate planning is to provide asset protection.  Asset protection has historically only been available to the ultra wealthy.

Of all the asset protection and estate planning tools we use here at the Law Office of David M. Goldman PLLC, trusts are the most likely to be associated as having the stigma of being only for the rich. An  asset protection or estate planning trust is a great device that can ensure a client’s wishes are followed and further offer asset protection. A trust is a legal entity, much like a corporation, that has a manager called a trustee. The person who creates the trust, the settlor or grantor, will put assets into the trust for the trustee to administer as the trust dictates.  (Often the creator and the manage are the same person or people) Continue reading

Many parents who have children with physical and/or mental developmental disabilities need to know what to do when their child comes of age. On a child’s 18th Birthday, regardless of any physical or mental disability, their parents automatically lose the ability to make decisions for their child. This is a huge issue upon their 18th Birthday, because parents cannot even take their child to the doctor or enroll them in the programs that they may need. This is where a Guardian Advocacy is extremely helpful. By becoming the Guardian Advocate over your child with a disability, you can continue to make decisions for your child as their natural guardian since their birth.

Guardian Advocacy is controlled by Florida Statute 393.12. Florida Statute 393.063(9) defines a developmental disability as “a disorder or syndrome that is attributable to intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, or Prader-Willi syndrome; that manifests before the age of 18; and that constitutes a substantial handicap that can reasonably be expected to continue indefinitely.” Continue reading

Contact Information