If you are a Trustee or Guardian over property in Florida There are many things to consider when remodeling or purchasing an older home, which is common in the real estate industry.

I recently became aware of problems with some homes built before 1980 because they have a strong likelihood of containing asbestos. Due to a steady progression of technology and green sustainable methods, there are many ways to ensure your home or property is asbestos free. If you are interested in saving money, remodeling and improving your carbon footprint, here is some information that I found to help you get on the right track.

Asbestos insulation was used in millions of homes throughout the last quarter of the 20th century and can become a real dilemma for homeowners due to a variety of health problems, including malignant mesothelioma and a variety of other lung ailments. Mesothelioma takes the lives of thousands of people each year and has lead to a variety of mesothelioma lawyers throughout the nation. Manufacturers of asbestos products knew about the harmful effects of asbestos and continued manufacturing the products anyways.

a Florida Revocable Trust is a trust created during the life of an individual which can be modified, amended, or revoked at anytime during their life. Often they are used to:

1. avoid Florida Probate;

2. Keep your assets and decisions private;

3. Simplify after death distributions;

Florida Trust Litigation involves disputes between beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of assets in ones estate or trusts (a Trust Contest). Trust litigation in Florida is most often centered around Mistakes in Execution, Undue Influence, or Lack of Capacity.

If you feel that there are problems with a Florida Trust and would like your options reviewed by a Florida Trust Litigation Lawyer, please Contact Florida Trust Attorney

While a Florida Revocable Trust can avoid the necessity for a Florida Probate to be filed, there are often circumstances that require a Probate. A Florida Revocable Trust only eliminates the need for a probate when it is funded and to the extent that your assets are inside the trust prior to death.

One of the most common problems is that people create trusts but never fund them or do not fund them completely. One of the most common assets, the Florida Homestead, must be dealt with or a probate will be required to transfer marketable title to the beneficiaries. Even though, the home, in most cases, will transfer automatically upon death under the Florida Constitution, it is necessary to open a Florida Probate to transfer the home with Marketable title. The title companies require the probate court to establish the home as a homestead, notify potential creditors, and have the title transferred in the probate to insure the home against future claims from creditors who claim they were not notified. For more information on this and other issues with avoiding probate, Julie Garger wrote an article why a Florida Revocable Trust may not avoid probate.

To discuss how you can reduce your risk of a probate in Florida Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer

In Florida, a surviving spouse is usually entitled to take an elective share of their spouse’s estate. This is to prevent one spouse from disinheriting the other. Unless there is a valid Prenuptial or Post Nuptial agreement in place, the surviving spouse is entitled to take 30% of the spouses entire elective estate.

Florida Statute § 732.2035 describes what property is included in the elective share of the decedent’s estate.

There are time requirements on filing for an elective share and failure to timely file may result in waiver of this option. To evaluate the effects of electing a Florida Elective Share, Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer who is familiar with Florida Elective Share Litigation.

In Florida, the question of whether an attorney should charge fees based on the value of the home or land is a common one. The answer to this question depends on whether the Home is considered a homestead. A Florida Homestead is a constitutionally protected piece of property which is exempt from being counted as an asset of the decedent in a Florida Probate. If the home is a Florida Homestead, the fees for transferring the property to the decedents must be reasonable and unless the home a very small value it would be unreasonable to charge 3% of the homes value to transfer the property. In all Florida probate cases a lawyers fees must be reasonable. When a home is considered a homestead, the lawyer must file a petition to determine homestead, publish notice to the creditors, and if there are no objections, file a PR deed to transfer the property.

If you are a creditor or a beneficiary of a Florida Probate and think that the fees in the Probate are unreasonable Contact us and we can review the fees and the court file to determine if you are being treated reasonably. When fees are higher than necessary, we can often resolve the dispute with a letter and a few conversations. Sometimes the issues are more complex and it becomes necessary to attend a hearing in the probate court to present evidence or dispute the fees. When this happens a Judge will make the determination of whether the PR fees and the Legal fees are reasonable.

Update:

A GRAT or Grantor Retained Annuity Trust is an estate planning technique that minimizes the tax liability existing when transfers of estate assets occur. Under a GRAT, an irrevocable trust is created for a certain term or period of time. The individual establishing the trust pays the taxes associated with income and the transfers. As long as the individual outlives the term of the GRAT then the assets that are transferred go to the beneficiary free of Estate taxes.

GRAT’s are typically used with high net worth individual who want to reduce the amount of estate taxes their estate will be subject to.

If you have questions on Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to discuss your objectives.

Florida Will Litigation involves disputes between beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of assets in ones estate or trusts (a Will Contest). Trust litigation in Florida is most often centered around Mistakes in Execution, Undue Influence, or Lack of Capacity.

If you feel that there are problems with a Florida Will and would like your options reviewed by a Florida Will Contest Lawyer, please Contact Florida Will Litigation Attorney

In Florida the personal representative is the person named in a will collect and distributed the assets of a person after death. In a Florida Probate this typically involves taking care of and real or personal property, paying legitimate outstanding bills and filing and paying taxes. Once the debts are paid, the remaining assets are transferred to their new rightful owners. The Personal Representative or Executor can request payment from the estate for the job that they are doing. Florida state law and what is contained in the decedent’s will regulate the exact amount a PR is paid. Often in simple estates and where the PR is a close family relative the PR will not charge a fee for administering a Florida Estate.

If you have questions about a Florida Probate or your job as a Personal Representative in Florida, Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer

The National Care Planning Councel has an article on Elder Law Mediation as a non-adversarial approach to solving disputes. Mediation is a process of bringing two or more disputing parties together and having them mutually negotiate a solution to their disagreement. The mediator is not a judge and does not render a decision but is there to make sure that communication flows freely between the disputing parties. Elder Mediators are trained in the art of negotiating resolutions between elderly parents and family members.

Mediation can achieve results that the family by itself may not be capable of realizing or have the expertise of achieving. Here are some reasons that make Elder Mediation so valuable.

• A trained expert on communication gives the family a perspective it could not gain by meeting together on its own;

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