A Florida Probate Lawyer Long Duong is reporting a mistake a client of his made with a modification to a Florida Will. The document was not properly executed and it was held to be invalid. This mistake cost the intended beneficiaries over $75,000.
Some other examples of Do it your self wills and bad news are covered in my articles listed below
Do it Yourself Wills? More bad news and Do it Yourself Wills? a Good Idea or Not?
Recently I saw a Florida Probate case, where a mistake was made in a will that changed a homestead to non-homestead property. Luckily there were no creditors, but in the even that there were creditors, the home could have been lost because of this mistake.
As a Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer, I learned that Florida did not recognize common law marriages. About a week ago, the founding partner of Wood Atter, came into my office and asked me about an estate plan involving a couple that were married under the common law many years ago.
Later I discovered that common law marriages prior to 1969 were valid in Florida. I asked some divorce Lawyers some questions and learned, that once married under the common law, you must still be divorced in a court. The divorce is the same process as with a traditional marriage.
Then I began to think that with the number of people who separate and never get divorced, there must be some estate plans had the potential for disruption because of an unreported common law marriage.
A Florida Enhanced Life Estate Deed (sometimes called “The Lady-Bird Deed”) is a tool used by Florida Estate Planning Attorneys, Florida Elder Law Attorneys, and other by Florida Lawyers to preserve the homestead for the benefit of the family. Upon the death of the homeowner’s the property will pass to the people designated without the need for a costly probate process.
Why Use an Enhanced Life Estate Deed?
The Enhanced Life Estate Deed provides a mechanism to bypass the probate process and thus the creditors. Under this document, the husband and/or wife retain a Life Estate Interest under which he or she retains the right to live on the property for their life. Unlike a Life estate, the husband and/or wife retain the right to sell, mortgage, convey, gift, or cancel the remainder interest at any time during their life. If there is any property interest upon the last to die of the husband and/or wife, the remainder will pass in fee simple to the designated individuals named in the deed.