Attempt to Avoid Probate Earns Medicaid Applicant Penalty Period

Often in an attempt to avoid a relatively small probate fee, individuals can create huge penalty periods and taxable issues for themselves. Take for instance, a woman in New York who, two years before applying for Medicaid, transferred money from her account to an account with a co-owner. Transferring...

Estate Planning Tips For Gun Collectors - Gun Trust Lawyer®

If you own firearms and have done estate planning, you might want to review your planning with a Gun Trust Lawyer®. About 5 years ago, I recognized the problems that are inherent with traditional estate planning (wills, revocable trusts, or the default planning offered by each state) as they relate...

Florida Makes Power of Attorney Documents More Dangerous

With the recent changes to the Florida Statutes, it is even more dangerous to use Powers of Attorney documents created by online systems or found in forms books. Not only is there a big risk that they will not comply with the new Florida laws and be worthless, but if they are valid, you run a big risk...

Florida Digital Asset Protection Lawyer: To My Loving Wife I Leave My iTunes Account

Estate planning is an important event in one's life. The fruits of a life time of hard work, passed down in the hopes that they will serve their next owner well. But in this modern age we live in, online digital assets are frequently left out of the estate planning process. Much of our the time...

Are Trust Protectors Good or Bad?

A trust protector is a person or group of people (not the settlor, beneficiary, or trustee) who are appointed to exercise one or more powers affecting a trust and the interest of the beneficiaries. The concept of a trust protector is to protect beneficiaries from a rogue trustee. They can often make...

Tort and Probate Law: Tortious Interference and Expected Inheritance

The recent decision of a Florida appellate court has shed some light on a little discussed aspect of tort and probate law in the state of Florida. The Third District Court of Appeals ruled in the case of Saewitz v. Saewitz that to sustain a prima facie case for tortious interference with expected inheritance...

States That Could Make Children Pay for Dad's Care

Unpdaid long-term care bills are increasing and becoming more of a problem in many states. All 50 States have statutes that obligate adults to care for children or other family members; if your parent lives in one of 29 states, you could be held responsible for your parents unpaid long-term care bills...

Some Inheritances Are Best Bestowed in Different but Equal Ways

Most parents want to love and treat all of their children the same, but when it comes to estate planning, not every child should be treated the same. In fact, insisting on treating all children exactly the same in an estate plan can often lead to disastrous consequences. Each of your children is unique...

Florida Disinterment - Digging up the Dead?

As a Jacksonville Estate Planning and Elder Law Lawyer, not much comes as a surprise anymore, not even the few requests for unburying the deceased. It may sound like a B rated movie, but the reasoning behind the requests I have received are heartfelt and compelling. One family wanted to remove their...

Who Owns Your iTunes Account? and Bruce Willis

Last week [Aug. 27 - 31] there were several articles which brought light to many that our online identities are just licenses which will expire upon out death. While this concept is new to some, most lawyers understand this. Unfortunately there appear to be some who do not understand that we are dealing...

Filing a Will Caveat

Will caveats: one more reason why hiring an attorney is a good idea for estate planning. Will caveats are, basically, objections to a will. For example, let's say Father dies, leaving his entire estate to his niece. That is awfully nice of him, but it probably won't make his two children happy...

Life Estate Deeds May Put Child's Interest In Home At Risk to Creditors

In Florida many parents create Life Estate Deeds with their children in an attempt to avoid Probate on their homes. A Florida Life Estate Deed is a document which changes the ownership of a home or other piece of real estate. Essentially it creates a present interest and a future interest. A traditional...

Trusts and Florida Homestead Property

Florida is a rather unique state in rights associated with homestead exemptions from forced sale. In a nutshell, it is nearly impossible for creditors to force the sale of a homestead (a situation famously highlighted by OJ Simpson, who purchased a large estate in Florida in part to avoid creditors)...

Refusal to Follow Preference for Appointment of Personal Representative Was an Abuse of Discretion

In the case of Bowdoin v. Rinnier, 81 So. 3d 582 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] the Decedent died intestate, leaving her husband, and a minor child as her sole heirs. Decedent's mother, filed a petition for administration seeking her appointment as personal...

Florida Court Finds that Settlor Lacked Requisit Capacity to Execute Trust Amendment

In the Florida case of Jervis v. Tucker, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D349 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Bernice J. Meikle executed a revocable trust agreement in 1991, which she subsequently amended by executing a first amendment. Her trust, as amended by the first...