• Legal age
• Testamentary capacity (of sound mind and body)
• Valid form
• Properly executed
Although there is no particular form of words necessary to make a will valid, there are several clauses which are typically found in many wills.
The preliminary clause gives information about the maker of the will, the fact that the writing is intended to be a will and the revocation of any prior wills.
The dispositive clause specifies what assets go to the beneficiaries.
The appointment clause names the personal representative and guardian for minor children and; the concluding clause seals the validity of the will, including the necessary signatures.
Jacksonville residents wishing to make their will should visit a Jacksonville Florida Estate Planning Law Firm with the experience needed to ensure that your will has been properly prepared and executed.
Forbes.com has reported that no price has been set for the Astros, but Drayton McClane Jr., has decided to sell the team for estate planning purposes. The team is worth a reported 455 Million and could create a tax bill of more than 200 Million dollars.
While the proposed changes to the estate taxes will help many people, it will still create major problems for larger estates. If you want to discuss your estate and what options you may have to reduce estate taxes or probate costs and delays, you should contact a Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer to discuss your circumstances and goals.
- Surviving spouse;
- Person selected by a majority in interest of the heirs;
- Heir nearest in degree;
Where a person died intestate, with no surviving spouse, leaving two minor children, a Florida court reversed the appointment of the decedent's father as personal representative, instead of the individual chosen by the heirs (the children). The Florida court stated that there was no surviving spouse and the person selected by both heirs, acting through the guardians of their property, was authorized and qualified under Florida Law to act as the personal representative.
If you have been named as a Personal Representative in a will or you believe you qualify for appointment when there is no will, it is important to speak with an Orange Park Probate Attorney, about the Personal Representative duties and rights under the law.
Probate is the court supervised proceeding for distributing the estate assets of the person who died. The probate process also identifies creditors who have valid claims against the estate. If a wrongful death settlement is listed as an estate asset, then it may be susceptible to the valid claims of creditors.
If you are a Jacksonville survivor under the Florida Wrongful Death Statute, protect your settlement award by knowing what estate assets are exempt and protected from the claims of creditors. Talk with an attorney experienced in Florida Probate cases.
It has been widely reported that the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts is being recommended by Obama in addition to agreeing to a new estate tax of 35% on assets in excess of 5 Million dollars but no one is reporting on what will happen with the loss of stepped up basis. For many Americans the loss of stepped up basis could cost more than if there was a lower estate tax exemption.
The bill is reported to be submitted to congress today so we should know soon what we are dealing with. Either way it will cause many American families to have to revisit their estate planning and life insurance needs over the next few months.
A Florida guardian may be appointed to exercise limited or total powers over a ward (minor, elderly or incapacitated person). There are times when a Jacksonville guardian appointed by the court has failed to act in the best interest of the ward. If a Jacksonville Guardian fails to ensure that the ward is being properly cared for or is not managing the ward's property and assets in a responsible manner, a family member, friend or interested person may have to take action.
Consulting with a Jacksonville Guardianship Attorney may be the first step needed to rectify a frustrating situation, when you feel powerless to protect a ward. The Florida statutes allow for a proceeding to remove a guardian upon a showing that one of the proscribed reasons has been met. Reasons for removal, among several, may be when a guardian has abused his or her powers, has wasted or mismanaged the ward's property or when a conflict has developed between the guardian and the ward.
To obtain information about the procedure for removal of a guardian or how to terminate a guardianship, it is best to discuss your situation with a Jacksonville Estate Planning Law Firm who has experience in guardianship matters.
One needs to be careful that they do not expose their assets in a Florida Limited Partnership to forced distributions because they choose a general partner that can be take over. In the past and in many other states, it is common to protect the GP from liability by making it a corporation or LLC. The problem with this is that if a creditor is able to take over the entity because of a judgment, then the creditor acting as the General Partner can force distributions that they can then attach by means of a charging order.
You should review your limited partnership agreements with a Florida Asset Protection Lawyer to review your LP structure for potential problems in light of recent Florida cases.
Florida does have a LLLP which can remove the liability of the general partner without the use of a more complicated business structure.
A new law in Oklahoma appears to let estate executors have the power to access, administer, or terminate online social media accounts of the deceased. This law is in direct contradiction to the licensing arrangements of most online accounts and it has yet to be seen how and if the law will provide rights to estates.
The law should remind the people as they go about their estate planning that, in addition to their personal and real property, they should make plans for the vast amount of intellectual property they will leave behind.
As digital photo accounts, iTunes accounts, cell phone applications, and email accounts replace their traditional counterparts with many people, it is becoming more important than ever to address these assets in every estate plan.
Wills need to be deposited with the court within 10 days of death. Florida Statutes, Section 732.901. A Jacksonville custodian of a will must deposit the will with the appropriate clerk of court within 10 days after receiving information that the testator (person whose will it was) is dead. If the will has not been timely deposited, any interested person may upon petition and notice compel the production of the will, and receive attorney fees, costs and damages against the delinquent custodian.
A Florida judge recently entered an order requiring a custodian of a will to produce the will. The judge then entered an award of $2500.00 in attorney's fees against the custodian who had failed to produce the will.
The 4th district court of Florida reversed the order, stating it was error by the circuit court to enter an order requiring production of a will and assessing attorney fees against the custodian of the will, without a hearing or proof that the petition to produce the will had actually been received by the custodian of the will. As the order was entered without due process the district court set it aside and remanded the case back to the circuit court.
When someone has died it is important to consult with a Jacksonville Estate Planning Attorney to discuss the probate laws and rules that govern. Knowing your legal rights and responsibilities is beneficial as you begin the probate administration process.
When creating Florida Estate Planning Lawyer it is important to remember that once you create the documents your job is not done.
If you create a Florida Revocable Trust it is important to fund the trust or it will not provide one of the typical benefits of avoiding a Florida Probate. There are several ways of funding the trust and you should discuss these with your Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to see what makes the most sense for you and your family.
In addition, another common mistake is forgetting to make proper beneficiary designations on life insurance or retirement accounts. This is also something that needs to be carefully considered and implemented with the advise of your CPA and Florida Estate Planning Lawyer.
Forgetting to make proper beneficiary designations on assets can subject your estate and beneficiaries to unnecessary taxes, expenses, and delays in the transfer of the assets. If you have a 401(k) you may consider moving the asset to an IRA for additional flexibility. This is something you should discuss with your financial planner as IRA distributions to a non-spouse can usually be spread over the lifetime of the oldest beneficiary instead of having to be taken within a year of your death.
If you have recently moved to Jacksonville or Florida and would like a complimentary review of your estate plan and your circumstances contact a Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer to discuss your options.
As a Florida lesbian and gay person in a committed relationship, you know that living in Jacksonville does not afford you the same legal rights as if you were in a relationship with a legally recognized spouse. Not only will you be ineligible to receive survivor social security benefits, or other government benefits when your same-sex partner dies, but, If you don't have written documents in place, many partners will lose property, assets, access to their children, and the right to make medical and financial decisions.
Creating Estate Planning Documents in Jacksonville is the process of determining what you want to happen to your estate, once you are gone, which includes all the rights, titles and interests that you have in the property you own.
It is important for you to safeguard what you do have and consult with a Jacksonville Estate Planning Attorney who is sensitive to the issues prevalent in same-sex couples, to discuss the Estate Planning distribution methods which will allow you to provide for your surviving partner.
If you are gay or lesbian in Ponte Vedra or the Jacksonville area, having properly prepared Florida Advance Directives is essential. Whether you are young, healthy, and believe you will live forever, the fact remains, that if you wait until illness, injury, or disability to strike, you will not have a voice in your own future health care.
Florida Advance Directives are written documents created by statutory authority that express your wishes and desires concerning many aspects of your future health care. A Florida Living Will expresses your wishes for the type of life-prolonging procedures as well as pain alleviating medications you want in the event you suffer certain serious medical conditions. A Designation of Health Care Surrogate and HIPAA Release will allow you to choose the person you want to make your health care decisions in the event of your future disability, as well as to give that person authority to obtain and review your medical records.
Don't wait until you are unable to make your own decisions. Contact a Jacksonville, Florida Gay and Lesbian Rights Attorney to discuss how these legal documents are vital to your maintaining control of your future healthcare.
Many people residing in the St. Augustine area, suffer from developmental disabilities. Unfortunately, as these individuals get older, the disease progresses to the point where the person is often unable to take care of and manage their own financial and personal affairs.
A Florida procedure can appoint a Florida guardian advocate for a person with developmental disabilities, without an adjudication of incapacity. One way this appointment can be accomplished is if the disabled person has voluntarily petitioned for the appointment of a guardian advocate. If the disabled person is able to care for some, but not all of his personal care and finances, a guardian advocate will be able to act for the disabled person in certain specified matters.
If you have a relative or friend that suffers from a developmental disability and you believe that this person is unable to care for themselves, contact a St. Augustine Guardianship Attorney to learn more about the process of being appointed a guardian advocate.
Most Florida Estate Planning Lawyer deal with planning for the unexpected and protecting your assets for those after we are gone. Part of this protection and planning often involves the use of the Florida Homestead. The Homestead Exemption is not exclusive to Florida. A recent case, a New York Representative is accused of claiming a Homestead exemption for a home located in Washington, D.C.
The homestead exemption varies from location to location, but it generally applies to one's primary home. Recently government officials have noted that even though this exemption was established in the late 1800s, still only few today take advantage of it.
Tax officials in several locations around the country, including Florida, have begun to crackdown on the number fraudulent claims that are being reported every year. The New York Times reported that Jennifer Frastai, City manager of Hallandale Florida, has begun an intensive effort to stop fraudulent homestead claims.
In Florida there are two homesteads. This article is dealing with the property tax credit with is often confused from the homestead that protects your residence from attacks by most creditors. While many states offer homestead credits for taxes, few offer unlimited protection from creditors. If you would like someone to review your estate planning documents to see if you qualify for either type of Florida Homestead Exemption, contact your local Florida Estate Planning Lawyer today.