Peter J. Snyder, P.A.
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Boca Raton Legal Blog

Don't leave room for interpretation in your estate plan

Many people have strong views on the type of care they want or don't want to receive if get very sick. You can preserve your decisions with a living will which informs medical professionals of your wishes in the event that you cannot express them yourself.

Unfortunately, without this legal document, disputes over your care can arise. Even if you think you have clearly communicated this information in other ways, there could still be room for interpretation if you don't have a living will or health care proxy. This was the situation facing medical professionals and ethics consultants in Florida recently.

Make probate easier by making a will accessible

In the days following a person's death, family members and loved ones can be suffering with immense grief and sadness. During such a difficult time, any task that creates contention or confusion can make the situation that much more upsetting.

This is why it is crucial that people take steps to ensure their will is accessible. If loved ones cannot find a will, or if there are disputes regarding the validity of the will, then the probate process that follows could be far more painful than it needs to be. In this post, we will discuss some tips to protect your loved ones from the difficulties of trying to find a will.

What is a quiet title action?

If you are buying a home, chances are you do a lot of research into the homes you look at. You likely have at least one inspection, take multiple tours, talk to neighbors and research everything from taxes to school ratings. One thing you might not think about is whether ownership of the property is in question.

There is the potential that multiple parties could have interest in a single property. This can happen as a result of invalid transactions, foreclosure, divorce, easements and surveying errors, for instance. In order to ensure you won't have to face legal disputes and claims against your property from other owners after you buy, you can file a quiet title action.

4 events that should trigger a review of your estate plan

Creating an estate plan is a wise decision and critical step in protecting your wishes, your family and your property. However, it is only one part of the process; you must also review these documents regularly to ensure they remain accurate and valid.

Certain events or circumstances should trigger a review of your estate plan. Below, we examine some of the most common scenarios that can affect your plans unless you review them and make necessary adjustments.

Understanding the important benefits of a special needs trust

A trust is a valuable estate planning tool that provides numerous benefits. 

In a trust, an individual can dictate how and when specific assets are distributed upon death. A trust also passes outside of the probate process, which can help reduce the costs of administration of an estate. 

Is power of attorney the same thing as a guardianship?

If you have an elderly parent or loved one, then end-of-life care and decision-making authority may be something you are thinking about. After all, it is natural to be concerned with someone's well-being as he or she gets older and perhaps begins to show signs of mental and/or physical decline.

For instance, you should understand the differences between a guardian and power of attorney, as elderly Floridians often require someone in one of these roles at some point. 

Homebuyers: Be aware of these 4 contract clauses

Buying a home is typically the most significant transaction people make. Not only are you spending a massive amount of money, but you will also walk away owning a home for which you will be completely responsible.

As such, it is crucial that homebuyers and sellers proceed with caution when it comes to signing a purchase agreement. Failure to understand or read certain clauses could prove to be a costly mistake you could be paying for for the rest of the time you own your home. Below are four such components that could prove to be problematic.

A Trust Without A Beneficiary

In Florida, in order for a trust to be deemed valid, the trust must meet certain requirements. One of these requirements is that the trust name a specific beneficiary. There are exceptions to this rule, however, and under certain circumstances, a beneficiary need not be named.

One of these circumstances is that of the noncharitable purpose (NCP) trust, which protects assets that are to be used in a specific way that is not considered to be charitable. Noncharitable purpose trusts have no obvious beneficiary. Some examples of a noncharitable trust would be trusts that are set up to:

Durable power of attorney: do I really need to create one?

People typically do not like to think or talk about subjects like what will happen to assets and property when we are gone, or who will make decisions for us if we cannot make them ourselves. However, ignoring these subjects because they are uncomfortable will not make them go away. In fact, it could only make things more difficult. 

For instance, if you do not have a durable power of attorney established, then your loved ones can wind up facing complicated and unexpected decisions if you should become incapacitated. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you can make the decision to assign durable power of attorney.

App aims to increase donations to charity - what could go wrong?

It sounds like a great idea: a young woman is inspired to cure cancer. She is not a medical professional, but she is tech savvy. She uses this knowledge to build an app that aims to increase charitable donations -- hoping many will donate to cancer research.

To achieve this goal, the app helps people put together estate plans geared towards charitable giving. The app is free and aims at removing the hurdles that are often associated with putting together an estate plan.


Peter J. Snyder, P.A.
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