May 2018 Archives

Impact of divorce on assets such as life insurance which pass outside probate

In Florida, as in many states, certain assets belonging to a deceased person pass outside of probate. A few examples are life insurance, annuities, IRA's and 401K's. What each of these have in common is that the owner can designate a beneficiary so that upon the owner's or the insured's death, the asset passes to the beneficiary and is not involved in the decedent's probate. This is good for a number of reasons, including saving significant time and expense caused by undergoing probate.

There's nothing "Pro" about Procrastination.

As an estate planning lawyer, I protect clients by preparing documents such as Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills. These documents play a vital role in protecting individuals and their families in the event of illness, injury, incapacity, and death. Simply stated, having these estate documents in place is a "great thing" and every adult should have them. When I explain to clients what these basic estate documents accomplish, they rarely disagree with the importance of having these in place.

Voluntarily Filing Probate to Resolve Creditor Claims

With effective estate planning, probate in Florida can almost always be avoided. This can be accomplished by establishing a Living Trust (also referred to as a "Revocable Trust") and transferring assets into the Trust before death. Avoiding probate may also be accomplished by use of beneficiary or "pay-on-death" designations with certain financial accounts, annuities, retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

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