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April 2015 Archives

What to know about estate administration

The estate administration process can be overwhelming and complex if you recently lost a loved one. However, there is some basic information about estate administration that can be beneficial to understand before and during your involvement in the process.

How your race could play a role in your health care plan

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan. It's a joke some of our Brevard County readers may have heard in their lifetime and even cracked a smile at. That's because most people across our state understand how unpredictable life can be at times. Though you may feel fine one day, things can change in a heartbeat.

Does your estate plan include these four important documents?

If you're just like some of our older readers who are well into their retirement years, then you may have started thinking more about your estate plan now than you did when you were younger. That's because you, like so many of our Melbourne readers, probably want to make sure that you have all of your affairs in order before the unfortunate happens. If you feel this way, you're not alone.

What to have in your estate plan if you are single

Every person should have an estate plan, especially if you are single. Single individuals have a few different factors to consider when it comes to estate planning compared to married couples. 

Do veterans get extra old-age benefits if they were active duty?

Most people have a lot of respect for veterans of the armed forces. That's because, in many cases, these individuals have sacrificed years of their life to serve their country, perhaps even going to war for it. In a lot of people's minds, we should all show veterans our gratitude for their service, including the government for whom they served.

Recent changes regarding filing for veterans' benefits

Certain veterans' groups are filing a lawsuit to reverse recent changes regarding the manner in which veterans file for benefits. The president of the Vietnam Veterans Association feels the government is simply placing obstacles in the way of disabled veterans to receive these benefits. Though this concerns only two changes, VA officials have provided little information about identifying the veterans affected by these changes.

What is the state of medical marijuana legalization in Florida?

A number of studies have come out in the last few years that have supported the use of marijuana for medical uses. From seizures to glaucoma, medical marijuana is slowly gaining popularity in a number of states. But will it become a reality here in Florida? If Sen. Jeff Brandes gets his way it could.

Carefully consider business succession then talk to a lawyer

Owning a business is one of the many ways in which people across the nation, including here in Florida, have been able to increase their wealth and ensure financial security for themselves when they retire. But as business owners get older though, they are faced with a difficult decision: to sell the business or hand it off to someone else. For many people, this decision isn't always an easy one and might eventually require the intervention of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney who also has an understanding of business law as well.

Will my beneficiaries have to pay tax on benefit payments?

A lot of people across the state of Florida have probably considered at one time or another how their death would impact their loved ones financially. This is especially true when one individual is relied on for a majority of income. Most people want to make sure that their loved ones will be well taken care of financially after they passed away, which is why they often invest in life insurance policies that provide benefits to their loved ones in their absence.

When should you request a guardianship over a loved one?

If you're a regular visitor to our blog then you may have read our two part series on guardianships. For those who are new to our blog, in the posts, we talked about what a guardianship is and the legal responsibilities that come with it. We had hoped that our posts would give readers in Brevard County an idea of the legal options they have in Florida, especially when it comes to old age and end-of-life decisions.

Avoid probate litigation by discussing your will with a lawyer

If you're like a lot of people across the nation, you probably have an idea of where you'd like portions of your estate to go and who you'd like to receive them when you pass away. Laid out in your will, these post-death directions should cover everything in your estate including assets, real estate property and personal property as well. Your directions should be clear and include detail when applicable. That's because failing to do this can lead to litigation after you die.

Who pays for the damage caused by a leak in a Florida condo?

Imagine that you live in a condominium and have just returned home after a long day at work. You go to turn on your television only to find out that it's not working. You then see water dripping from the ceiling. You quickly realize that this leak has shorted out the electronics directly under it and caused extensive water damage to the wall and ceiling.

Are your retirement plan and estate plan in sync?

There are a lot of people all over the country who know and understand the importance of getting their retirement plan in place early so that they can enjoy life after work instead of worrying about their finances. If you're like these people, then you probably contributed heavily to your 401K or established a Roth IRA. You probably also have life insurance policies in place and a will as well.

Do you need to change an estate plan if you move?

There are some people in Florida who take investing at an early age to be an important part of planning for their retirement. In many cases, it is these same people who also believe in getting their estate plan in order prior to retirement as well. If you're one of those people, then today's post is something you'll want to read.

Should you put your loved one in a nursing home?

Along with the ever increasing need for nursing home care has also comes an increasing demand for qualified nursing staff. Unfortunately, in many states across the nation, including parts of Florida, the rate in which nursing staff are entering the job market has not been able to keep up with demand. In some cases, this has resulted in staff being unable to provide the quality level of care that is expected of them, oftentimes resulting in prolonged sickness and other health problems among patients.

What is an arbitration clause and what is its effect?

As is the case with just about any contract or terms of agreement document, many people don't fully read what they are signing. It isn't until later on that they realize that they have agreed to something that conflicts with what they are trying to do. This is certainly the case with arbitration clauses, which can create complex legal scenarios that typically require the help of an experienced attorney in order to reach a resolution.

What the Williams' estate teaches us about estate planning

Have you ever thought to yourself that things would be easier if you were rich? If so, you're not alone. A lot of people think that celebrities and wealthy individuals have it easier than most because they seem to be able to pay their bills and debts effortlessly, among other things. But when it comes to estate planning this is where this sentiment turns into a myth.

Should remodeling your home be in your retirement future?

For a lot of people, preparing for retirement includes strategic planning across bank accounts and 401Ks to make sure that you have the financial security necessary to retire from the workforce one day. For a lot of people, a good retirement plan not only sets aside money for everyday expenses and other obligations, but it also accounts for travel and other indulgences.

How a simple typing mistake could create major problems for you

Imagine that you are a retiree enjoying your new found freedom. Even though you now have a more limited income -- only receiving a small stipend from the federal government for Social Security -- you manage to indulge once in awhile and take a trip every now and then. Upon returning home from one of these trips though, you discover a letter in the mail that turns your world upside down. It's a letter from the Social Security Administration and according to their records, you're dead.

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