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Tampa Probate and Family Law Blog

What is a "Spendthrift" Provision in a Florida Trust?

Most well-drafted Trusts contain a spendthrift provision-also sometimes called a restraint on alienation provision. Such a provision sets forth special language preventing creditors from attaching or "taking away" the interest of a beneficiary named in a Trust. Florida law enforces spendthrift provisions so long as they apply to both voluntary and involuntary transfers.

Do you have a Living Will?

If you've ever been a patient at a hospital or any other medical facility, you've probably been asked this question: "Do you have a Living Will?" So what is this document? A Living Will is a document which allows you to declare your desires in the event of an "end-of-life" situation such as a terminal illness, an end-stage condition, or a permanent vegetative state. In making this declaration, here is some typical language contained in a Florida Living Will:

If at any time I have a terminal condition, end stage condition, or am in a persistent vegetative state, and if my attending or treating physician and another consulting physician have determined that there is no medical probability of my recovery from such condition, I direct that life-prolonging procedures be withheld or withdrawn when the application of such procedures would serve only to prolong artificially the process of dying, and that I be permitted to die naturally with only the administration of medication or the performance of any medical procedure deemed necessary to provide me with comfort care or to alleviate pain.

Ready for anything? Are You "In Omnia Paratus?"

A well-recognized Latin phrase, "In Omnia Paratus" is translated as "Ready for anything." Legally speaking, when it comes to life's challenges, many adults are not ready for anything. In particular, they are not ready in the event of disability, incapacity, or death. They simply are not prepared.

Tripped on an Uneven or Damaged Surface...Who's at Fault?

Some people are of the notion that if they're injured in a slip or trip and fall at a business, the business is automatically liable for their injuries. The fact of the matter is that in Florida the owner of property can be held liable if someone falls so long as the fall is due to the owner's negligence, i.e. the owner breaches his duty owed to persons who come on to the property. Liaibility is not automatic.

Ready or Not? Semper Paratus or Non Paratus?

The motto of the United States Coast Guard is "Semper Paratus" which is Latin for "always ready" or "always prepared." When it comes to being prepared for life's challenges, including illness, incapacity, and death, it is wise to be "always prepared." Unfortunately, in law practice many times we see that people are "Non Paratus" or "not prepared."

Emergencies don't happen on banker's hours: So where should you keep your estate planning documents?

As an estate planning lawyer, I'm often asked by clients where they should keep their original estate planning documents. Do they need to keep them in a bank safe-deposit box? Generally speaking, my advice is to keep them somewhere safe and accessible but a safe-deposit box may not be the best answer and in many instances, is actually not recommended.

Do you have per stirpes?

As an estate planning lawyer, one of my principal objectives in drafting a client's Will or Trust is to name the beneficiaries which the client wants to receive their estate. Often this will be a spouse or children and in some cases, other family members. What happens if the person named dies before the person who established the Will or Trust? Does the intended devise (gift) go to the deceased beneficiary's children or to someone else? The answer is, "it depends."

Do you have per stirpes?

As an estate planning lawyer, one of my principal objectives in drafting a client's Will or Trust is to name the beneficiaries which the client wants to receive their estate. Often this will be a spouse or children and in some cases, other family members. What happens if the person named dies before the person who established the Will or Trust? Does the intended devise (gift) go to the deceased beneficiary's children or to someone else? The answer is, "it depends."

Attorney Michael Lins
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