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January 2016 Archives

It's time to talk to your family about estate planning

When Florida residents decide to create estate plans, they are taking the first steps toward ensuring their future and the future of their loved ones. After taking that crucial first step, it is important to take the next step in the process, which is to discuss the contents of that estate plans with loved ones. While such a conversation may be uncomfortable, it can prevent future disagreements that often arise from simple misunderstandings.

Florida veterans may find their benefits impacted by 'crisis'

Veterans in Florida and other states turn to the federal government for the help they need after having served their country. Unfortunately, upon requesting veterans' benefits, many find themselves victims of a system that many say is broken, resulting in a crisis for veterans in need. This crisis has resulted in cries for reforms at the federal level.

Understanding inheritance laws for spouses in Florida

While many Florida residents choose to create estate plans to ensure their wishes are followed after their deaths, many others fail to make estate plans in time. When an estate plan is not in place, Florida inheritance laws govern the distribution of that individual's assets. Continue reading if you would like to learn more about what could happen to your assets if you fail to create an estate plan.

Contract dispute affects thousands in South Florida

Contract disputes regularly occur in Florida and throughout the country. However, most contract disputes between companies are resolved before they affect the public. This is not the case with one recent contract dispute between telecommunications companies AT&T U-verse and WSVN-FOX 7.

Who should you choose to handle your estate administration?

The fact that estate planning is important for all Florida residents is clear. However, for many who are preparing to create estate plans, the role of an estate administrator is not so clear. Due to this lack of clarity concerning the responsibilities of an administrator, many find themselves facing uncertainties when deciding whom to choose to handle their estate administration. Fortunately, information is available about the role estate administrators play, and, by gathering this information, one can make a better decision about who to appoint.

Residential real estate transactions governed by multiple laws

When most people consider buying residential real estate in Florida, they think the process is fairly simple. They picture themselves looking for the right properties, making decisions, securing financing, if necessary and making their purchase. However, the actual process of buying residential real estate is much more complex than it appears.

Common reasons for probate litigation in Florida

In Florida, as in all states, the probate process is in place to ensure the assets belonging to a deceased individual are distributed correctly. In some cases, wills and trusts created by the decedent are used to distribute assets, while in cases in which the decedent failed to create estate plans, state law determines the distribution of assets. In cases in which wills or trusts were created, but their contents are questionable, the immediate family members of the decedent have the right to dispute the distribution of assets via litigation if they feel valid reasons are in place to do so.

What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?

Medicaid and Medicare, while sounding very similar and often confused, are two significantly different federal programs.  In a broad sense, you are eligible for Medicare when you've worked and paid into Social Security throughout your life. Medicaid, on an equally broad base, is a program that is based on your financial portfolio, or lack thereof.

Protecting your assets from depletion as you require more help

Elder care is a part of life that we may only need to address if we are lucky enough to get the opportunity of a lengthy life span. Statistically, one-fourth of adults between 65 and 80 will require the care of a nursing home during their life. Since the average cost of a nursing home, per month, is in excess of $7,000, anyone requiring the care of one is very likely to face asset depletion.

What assets figure into my eligibility for veterans' benefits?

You've raised children. You've defended our great nation. As you age, you find that your body isn't as agile as it once was. Perhaps you feel a bit of comfort knowing that you have earned veterans' benefits, which will lessen the burden of any expenses from medical care you may need, without relying on your children or anyone else.

Deciding the best formation for your business

You have a product or service and are ready to leave your nine to five and become your own boss. The world of entrepreneurship is a sometimes rewarding and often brutal road to success by your own terms. You've done your homework and cornered your market but still may have questions about how to formally set up your business.

Is earnest money a risk-free return if the home deal falls out?

When you make an offer on a house, you should anticipate a somewhat lengthy process of approvals, appraisals, inspections and documentation before you are granted the keys to the kingdom. Substantial money is going to be tied up in the process, most contributing to the purchase price on the house and some in addition to the final cost.

How do I ensure I keep my tax-exempt status?

In a nutshell, if you have started a nonprofit business, you need to keep detailed records from meetings with board members. If you do not have records the limited liability that is invaluable to your board members may go by the wayside. Notes from meetings and major decisions should all be recorded.

What extra costs should I expect when making an offer on a house?

Buying a home is an exciting thing and also a considerable investment that continues to build equity throughout your lifetime or until you sell it. In Florida, once you make an offer on a house, you will use a title company or an attorney to close negotiations and transfer ownership.

Establishing a guardianship of the estate

Occasionally, some lucky children are left valuable gifts after a loved one's passing. In the event these inheritances are of a value in excess of approximately $5,000, parents must establish what is called a guardianship of the estate. Depending on if the inheritance is left in the form of money or property, individual state laws dictates if and when a guardianship of the estate must be established by the minor's parents.

Probate court or a living trust?

Heuston - for website.jpgMany people that are considering their estate plan are curious about probate. After a person passes away, the probate court takes over and sees that the estate is handled properly. Probate court can do things like settle debts and distribute property. However, the probate process is quite lengthy and can take even longer if the estate is complex. To avoid probate, many individuals consider a living trust. While avoiding probate may be an attractive characteristic to a living trust, there are certain things about these types of trusts that may be seen as undesirable.

Are there rules to raising rent?

residential-real-estate-raising-the-rent-brevard-county-attorney-frese-hansen.jpgLike many other business relationships, the relationship between a tenant and property owner is built on a contract. A property owner agrees to provide a suitable residence for the tenants, and in exchange, the tenant agrees to pay a set amount of rent each month. Just as with most services, the price of rent may increase occasionally. While these periodic rent hikes may be undesirable to most renters, aside from a few situations, property owners are free to raise rents at will.

Tax advantages to a charitable trust

A charitable trust is a special estate planning device that allows you to gift a substantial amount to the charity of your choosing while taking advantage of certain tax benefits. For a charitable trust to be the most beneficial form of gift giving to a charity, typically the charity must be accepted by the Internal Revenue Service as tax exempt. There are several tax advantages to a charitable trust. A comprehensive understanding of these benefits will not only help the gift giver and charity, but the gift giver's heirs as well.

Taking the guesswork out of your health care

health-health-care-law-advance-directives-living-will-brevard-county-fl-attorney-frese-hansen.jpgAs difficult as it is to consider, we all grow old. Part of aging is a deterioration of our bodies and minds. Even without injury or illness, old age can significantly impact an individual's ability to make decisions. Our ability to communicate our wishes may be impacted by aging, medical condition or injury. It is for this reason that drafting an advance directive is so important to aging individuals.

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