Elder Law Archives

Use a Lady Bird Deed Very Cautiously

A "Lady Bird Deed" (or more accurately called an "Enhanced Life-Estate Deed") is a type of deed which provides the grantor--i.e. the real estate property owner--with certain rights during life, with the remaining interest going to a named grantee at the grantor's death. The grantee under a Lady Bird Deed receives a "remainder" interest.. This means that the grantee gets title to the property upon the death of the grantor but has virtually no rights during the grantor's life. Florida is one of a list of states that recognize the use of this type of deed.

Common Estate Planning Mistake: Naming as Personal Representative a Nonresident Not Related by Blood or Marriage

When doing basic estate planning, one of the most important instruments to set up is a Last Will and Testament. This allows you to designate beneficiaries, i.e. who will receive your estate assets. The Will also designates the Personal Representative, i.e. who will be in charge of your probate estate. [Note: in some states, this person is referred to as an "Executor" or an "Administrator" but regardless of the name, they are essentially the same position.]

What I learned from my broken crown!

I recently broke my crown. I'd worn the crown for a few years and it served me well. However, people noticed when I broke my crown because I was unhappy and had a pained look on my face. No, I'm not talking about the kind of crown that rests on your head---I wish I had one of those but it wasn't in the genes! The crown that I broke is of the 'dental" kind. When it broke, I learned a valuable lesson which can be applied to my estate planning law practice. Don't put things off!

Being of "Sound Mind" to Execute a Will

In Florida, as in most states, it has long been emphasized that the right to dispose of one's property by Will is highly valuable and it is the policy of the law to hold a Last Will and Testament good wherever possible. Not uncommonly, disgruntled beneficiaries sometimes challenge a Will on the grounds that the person who executed the Will (known as either the Testator if a man or a Testatrix if a woman) did not have testamentary capacity. In other words, they allege that the person's mental state was such that they could not validly sign a Will. 

Preparing for Alzheimers and Dementia Ahead of Time

"Dementia" is an umbrella term describing a variety of diseases and conditions that develop when nerve cells in the brain die or no longer function normally. The death or malfunction of these nerve cells, called neurons, causes changes in one's memory, behavior and ability to think clearly. Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia, making up as much as 80 percent of dementia in elderly persons. Ultimately, after losing one's quality of life, Alzheimers leads to death. In fact it is the fifth leading cause of death in person over age 65 and it is the only cause of death in the top ten that has little treatment, ability to slow progression, or cure.

Avoiders, Do-it-laterers, Around-to-iters, Out-of-sight, Out-of-minderers, and Other Procrastinators!

As an estate planning law firm, we advise and counsel clients, and establish and implement a plans in order to protect individuals, families, and businesses in the event of illness, incapacity, disruption from the unexpected, and death. Who needs this advice, planning and protection? Simply put-everyone! Illness, incapacity, disruption from the unexpected, and death are inevitable. We all face these realities, so why not be prepared?

Consecutive or Co-Agents: Naming Multiple Persons to Act in a Florida Durable Power of Attorney

An essential document in any Florida estate plan should include a Durable Power of Attorney ("DPOA"). This document allows a person to designate another person or persons to act on their behalf in connection with personal, business and financial matters. A DPOA is critical in the event a person has a health crisis or becomes severely injured or incapacitated. Elderly persons particularly benefit by having a DPOA because their designated person, i.e. their agent, can act for them on matters that they can no longer do themselves. Without a DPOA, often a court-administered guardianship becomes the only alternative.

Elder Law: Helping Our Older Loved Ones

Like many professions, lawyers tend to concentrate their practices on certain areas. There are lawyers who practice in almost every imaginable topic. One popular lawyer website lists over 235 areas of the law in which lawyers concentrate their practice. This is in contrast to a general legal practitioner who does a little bit of everything. As the old adage says, a general practitioner is a "jack of all trades but master of none."

Will Medicare Pay for Nursing Home Care for Elderly Parents?

elder 2.jpgMany people mistakenly think that Medicare will pay for nursing home care for their elderly parents or loved ones. Unfortunately, except under limited circumstances, they are mistaken and that mistake can be a costly one. Families of elders should seek advice when facing long-term care issues.

Where Can You Turn When Seeking Help for Aging Parents?

The population of the United States is aging rapidly. The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to increase dramatically from 46 million today to over 70 million by 2030. Known as the "baby boomers", the 65-and-older age group's share of the total population will rise from 15 percent to nearly 24 percent.  

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