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May 2015 Archives

Have a loved one with special needs? Include them in your plan

Establishing a good estate plan is more than just dictating what you want to happen to your property and assets when you die, it's about making sure that your loved ones are being taken care of after you're gone. This is why it's key for all of our readers to talk to a lawyer about their end-of-life wishes before it's too late.

What you need to know about insider trading - Part II

In a post a few days ago, we talked with our readers about insider trading. Considered an illegal activity, we wanted residents here in Melbourne, as well as across the state, to be aware of what activity might lead to accusations of insider trading. Today though, we'd like to expand on the topic and talk about the legal challenges an individual here in Florida could face if they are accused of insider trading.

What you need to know about insider trading - Part I

Most people, given the opportunity, would help out their family and friends if they could. While for some this may be as simple as helping them move, others would like to do more. For some people, making suggestions for stock purchases or giving ideas about good investment opportunities is one way they can help provide their loved ones with more financial security.

BB Kings' heirs accuse two aides of assisting in legend's death

If we asked you to describe a scenario involving a probate dispute, would your answer involve the family members of a celebrity or wealthy individual locked in civil litigation with the personal representative of the estate? If so, you wouldn't be alone. A lot of people all over the country associate probate litigation with wealthy individuals.

Help explaining how inheritance tax will affect your loved ones

Just about everyone in Florida -- and across the nation for that matter -- have a plan to leave assets behind to their loves ones when they pass away. Oftentimes accounted for in a will, the portions of your assets that you leave behind will become an inheritance to your loved ones. But as important as it is to tell your beneficiaries about their inheritance, it is more important to explain how it will be taxed later on.

What you can do to stop financial exploitation of a loved one

Whether it's an email from a "Nigerian Prince" requesting your bank account information or a company you've never heard of insisting that you owe money, most people know a money scam when they see it and know not to give out any information that could jeopardize their bank accounts or identity. Unfortunately, these scams aren't always as obvious to spot by elderly people.

Mistake made by SSA could end up costing you

If you're like a portion of people here in Florida then you may not have given your retirement age a second thought because you had a pension to fall back on along with other forms of savings. There was also Social Security retirement benefits to look forward to, which made the decision to retire on time or even earlier all that much easier to make.

Planning ahead (way ahead) for your estate plan

In a post we wrote last month, we talked with our younger Melbourne readers about drafting an estate plan early because it can help them greatly when they get older. We stressed, however, that as new events change a person's life, so too should an estate plan. This is because you always want to make sure that your estate plan is as up-to-date as possible to avoid the legal pitfalls that can sometimes occur when you ignore your plan for too long.

The finer points of guardianships: establishing incapacitation

If you're a regular visitor to our blog, then there is a strong possibility that you read our two-part series on guardianships -- one post, which appeared on our blog in late January and the follow-up post, which was written in early February. In the first of these posts we explained the general functioning of a guardianship, which is to allow an individual or institution the right to control a ward's property in the event that the ward becomes incapacitated.

A QPRT could leave you saying, 'OMG!'

Have you ever heard of a QPRT? If you answered no, you're probably not alone. That's because the use of QPRTs, which are Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, have fallen out of favor, explains an article in Accounting Today. This means that fewer people are using them across the nation, including here in Florida. But just because people aren't using them doesn't mean they aren't incredibly useful to people looking to bolster their estate plan.

Can an employer fire an employee accused of domestic violence?

The accusations of domestic violence against many big name athletes in the last few decades has sparked national debate on how society should be reacting to this serious safety problem. Some have called for tougher legislation that would levy harsher penalties against those convicted of the crime. Others believe more resources need to be made available to victims.

Save your loved ones the headache, tell them about your plan

A lot of retirees here in Florida planned well for their retirement and are now enjoying their older years with relative ease -- financially speaking, of course. It's the dream that so many of our younger readers are striving for, especially now that depending on Social Security benefits down the road is an uncertainty.

Florida is being coerced into expanding Medicaid, Gov. Scott says

When the Obama Administration rolled out the Affordable Care Act, it was supposed to be the answer everyone was looking for when it came to offering affordable health care to thousands -- if not hundreds of thousands -- of Americans across the nation. One way this was to be done was by expanding Medicaid programs to provide low-cost health care to people below the poverty line.

How a smell could trigger the physical loss insurance clause

If you own a rental property here in Melbourne or another city in Florida, you probably work very hard to maintain your property so as to attract more tenants and make a profit. But despite your best efforts, you know that your property could suffer damage that may cause it to lose value or become unusable later on.

What is intestate succession and how will it affect inheritance?

There are some people here in Florida who think that estate plans are only for those people with incredible wealth. Perhaps perpetuated by Hollywood and what we see on television, we'd like to point out to those who are new to our blog that this sentiment simply isn't true. As any of our regular readers here in Melbourne will tell you, everyone should create an estate plan, regardless of the size of their estate.

How a secret descendent could wreak havoc on an estate plan

Imagine for a moment that you are attending the funeral of a loved one -- let's say one of your parents -- when you are approached by an individual who strikes an uncanny similarity to you. The individual strikes up a conversation with you and before long, you learn that they are your half sibling from a previous marriage. You're shocked to say the least because your deceased parent never mentioned having other children let alone a first marriage.

Should I appoint a guardian for my minor children in my will?

There are a lot of people here in Florida, as well as across the nation, who are in their thirties who haven't started drafting their estate plan. So if you're one of those people, you're not alone. But if you're one of those people, we'd like you to consider your situation. Are you married? Do you have children? Because these life events are reason enough to stop doing what everyone else is doing and talk to an estate planning attorney today.

Verbal contract at center of litigation for Miami Beach business

When it comes to business dealings, many prefer to make agreements on paper rather than take someone else's word for it. That's because many business owners here in Florida know that when legal disputes arise because of a contractual agreement, it is far easier to prove something when you have it in writing than it is to play the he-said-she-said game.

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