August 2009 Archives

August 28, 2009

Are your Estate Planning Documents up to date? How about your Florida Estate Planners?

Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer DMG.jpgThis morning I woke up ready to leave on a trip to NY with my family. We had had this trip planned for several months and my wife and I like to travel a lot. As I got out of bed, something happened and I fell and hit my head on our new tile floor. Within seconds there was blood everywhere and I became disoriented. After spending more than 12 hours in the hospital, and after having been treated by one of the nicest Jacksonville Plastic Surgeons's that I have met, I began to think about how many estate planners take their own advice and have documents that are up to date and trusts that are funded.

I first became concerned with my Florida Estate Plan when I was going to London for an extended time and there had recently been some bombings in London. My wife refused to go, or let me go, if our plans were not set in writing prior to our departure.

Today as I sit in the hospital, I am thinking that If I did not have plans and my injury would have been more serious, it may have been more difficult for my wife to speak on my behalf. What if I have had a heart attack, stroke, or just been unconscious as a result of my fall and injury.

In the end, none of these documents was necessary, but it was comforting to know that they were in place if they were needed. While the emergency room did ask if they existed, they did not ask for a copy, nor would it have been easy to produce a copy upon admittance. The next thing I will do is keep a copy of them on my iPhone, and my wife's iPhone in case they are needed.

It just goes to show you that you never know when you might need Florida Estate Planning Documents. While my documents are up to date, I know most people do not have up to date Florida Estate Planning Documents. At the Apple Law Firm, we practice what we preach because each of ourselves place our family in harms way daily when we drive, walk down the street or get out of bed. If you would like a free review of your Estate Planning Documents under Florida law, let me know and I would be happy to make sure your documents are up to date and you understand what your options and obligations are.

One of the best benefits of a good estate plan is avoiding Florida Probate. To learn what is involved with a Florida probate request the Free Florida Probate Handbook

August 19, 2009

Free Probate Handbook

FreeFloridaProbateHandbook-small.jpg Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.

In the handbook, you will:

•Learn about four types of Florida Probate.
•Learn about what is involved in opening a Florida Probate.
•Learn about the responsibilities of being a Personal Representative or administering a Florida Probate.
•Learn why a lawyer is required in most Florida Probates.
•Learn the steps involved in a Florida Probate.
•What type of Florida Probate do I need?
•Am I responsible for the bills of the Estate?
•Can I object to claims of creditors?
•Do I need an attorney to help me?
•How can I get a copy of a Florida Will?
•What are the penalties for not filing the Will within 10 days of death?
•If there was a trust, what happens to it, whom must I notify, and what needs to be filed with the court?
If you have questions about Florida Probate, Contact a Florida Probate lawyer

August 17, 2009

Hurricane Season and Storage of Florida Estate Planning Documents

Florida Estate Planning Documents can be lost during a hurricane or tropical storm. Just when a Florida Will, Power of Attorney, or Florida Living Will, Designation of Health care Surrogate & HIPAA release.

You should protect your original signed documents by keeping them in with in waterproof container and if possible off the floor or at a bank in a safety deposit box A scanned copy of these documents should be keep with your and made available at an off site storage facility like Google or any free document storage provider.

If you home is damaged and is inside a Florida Revocable Trust you may have to provide an original copy of the trust to the insurance company.

As the storm season approaches, it may be a good idea to update your Florida Estate Planning Documents with any changes in your family or financial circumstances so that your documents are up to date with your intentions and your capabilities.

Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.

August 13, 2009

Estate Planning & Asset Protection For Professional Athletes

Florida Estate Planning for professional athletes is very different than with a traditional client. Most clients accumulate wealth over a long period and have advisers in place to manage their wealth. Financial advisers are typically managing their wealth in an effort to protect it from substantial loss and the lawyers deal with methods of distributing the assets upon incapacity or death.

Most athletes accumulate their wealth in just a few years and need to have it last their entire life. They may not have the control or discipline to use a traditional revocable trust and in some cases irrevocable trusts may provide for stability and security that would be at risk otherwise.

If you are a professional athlete and looking at ways of doing Florida Estate Planning and would like to speak with a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer about methods of providing for the many years after your professional career Contact Us for a free consultation regarding Florida Estate Planning and Florida Asset Protection.

August 12, 2009

Mandatory Arbitration Clause in Florida Trusts is valid per Florida Statute 731.401

Trust Arbitration Clauses are common in Florida. In many states, they are not always enforced but Florida passed a law a few years ago that makes them enforceable in Trusts.
Florida Statute 731.041 Arbitration of disputes.

(1) A provision in a will or trust requiring the arbitration of disputes, other than disputes of the validity of all or a part of a will or trust, between or among the beneficiaries and a fiduciary under the will or trust, or any combination of such persons or entities, is enforceable.

(2) Unless otherwise specified in the will or trust, a will or trust provision requiring arbitration shall be presumed to require binding arbitration under Florida Statute 44.104.

We are often asked what is Arbitration?

Arbitration is process of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party (arbitrator) renders a decision after a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard. Where arbitration is voluntary, the disputing parties select the arbitrator who has the power to render a binding decision.

There are two types of arbitation 1) binding and 2) non-binding, what is the difference?
An arbitrator's decision may be binding upon the parties or non-binding.

Binding arbitration is more common in trust documents, non-binding is usually a way to allow each side to test there position before having the full expense of a trial and is a hybrid of mediation and a trial.


If you are involved in a Florida Trust Dispute or Florida Trust Litigation, you should Contact a Florida Trust Litigation Lawyer who is familiar with arbitration disputes.

Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.

Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites.

August 3, 2009

How to get a copy of a Will in Florida

will.jpgWe often get calls from clients stating that they believe they are included in the will of a father, mother, or any decedent but have been unable to obtain a copy of the will to verify their thoughts. It is important to understand that just because you are included in a will, it does not mean you will receive what the will states. Often a parent has remarried and the Florida Will only transfers assets that are subject to probate. If all of the assets are jointly owned with their new spouse, there is nothing to pass through probate.

This concept is hard for people to understand and even harder when an unfriendly step-parent is involved. Regardless, many people still want to see their parents Florida Will. Generally we will send the custodian of the will a letter informing them of their obligation under Florida law to file the will within 10 days. If they refuse to do so, you have three choices:

1) do nothing or wait until they comply;
2) file a lawsuit asking that the court direct the custodian of the will to deposit it and reimburse you for your costs; or
3) open a probate and ask the court to order the custodian of the will to deposit it and reimburse your for your costs.
Opening a Florida Probate is more expensive than filing the lawsuit, but if a Florida Probate is needed it will save money in the end.

Update:
Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.