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Boca Raton Estate Planning, Probate & Real Estate Blog

Have you included your prized collection in your estate plan?

Many people are involved in collecting, whether it is comic books, dolls, figurines or sports memorabilia. Most of them make an effort to take care of their collections, maintaining the original packaging or even keeping the items in a climate-controlled area. Yet far too few collectors actually plan for how their collections will be handled once they die.

Your collection might be valuable. You should find out whether it is and how best to maintain that value. Or, your collection might not be worth much in money terms, but it could be a treasure to the right party. After all, you've spent considerable effort building it.

Dealing with a decedent's debt during probate

Millions of Americans carry debt, and many people will pass away owing at least some money. This could be in the form of a mortgage, credit card debts, personal loans or other types of liabilities.

After a person passes away, it will be necessary to determine what debts he or she has and how to resolve them. 

What to know about seasonal decorations in a Florida HOA

Homeowners' associations (HOAs) are quite common across Florida, and many people living in them enjoy the benefits of being a part of this type of community. Though, HOAs come with rules with which homeowners must comply.

It is also important to note that HOAs must follow the rules as well. There are numerous statutes in place here in Florida that dictate what an HOA must and must not do. However, disputes can arise when members and an HOA do not see eye-to-eye on a particular issue, like seasonal decorations.

Can your estate plan include your pet?

A pet can be one of the most important members of your family. As such, it is important to make the necessary preparations for your pet in the event of your death.

While you can account for pets in your will, a will does not always ensure your pet’s new caretaker will follow your wishes. To guarantee your pet will receive the care you intended, you might want to create a pet trust.

Paul Allen’s will made public, asset details stay private

We often discuss the various options people have to keep details of their estate private when they pass away. One of the most common solutions is to have a trust set up and properly funded.

Having a trust can be wise for a number of reasons, but people often establish them to avoid probate and keep the details of their assets out of the public record. This is what billionaire Paul Allen did, according to recent reports.

Mistakes personal representatives should avoid during probate

Serving as the personal representative of an estate is a major responsibility. And despite the fact that it often involves complex legal and financial elements, the people who often serve as a personal representative are not people with legal or financial backgrounds. Instead, they are often loved ones who were close to the decedent and understood his or her wishes.

If you are named as a personal representative and are in latter group, try not to get overwhelmed. You can get through this process by avoiding some common pitfalls during probate.

Failure to disclose defects can have costly consequences

Buying a house involves some amount of risk, no matter how much research you've done and how thorough your inspections were. After all, you can't know for sure about all the quirks and headaches with living in a home until you are actually living in the home.

However, that doesn't mean sellers can engage in deceptive practices to conceal defects and other problems with the house. Those who do risk facing a lawsuit from unhappy buyers.

Estate planning doesn't have to be overwhelming

Whether you are a parent who just had your first child or someone focused on retiring, having an estate plan can be critical. However, too many people put off creating one because they are unsure of how to get started or overwhelmed by the process.

If this sounds like what you might be feeling when you think about creating an estate plan, then it can be helpful to know that there are ways to approach this process to make it a little easier and less intimidating.

A guardianship can grant legal decision-making power

There are many positive things that come with age. Unfortunately, everyone eventually hits a point where faculties begin to fail and things get harder. This comes in many forms: for some it is in response to a medical procedure or treatment for disease, for others it may be a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

When a parent or loved one can no longer take care of themselves, it’s necessary for others to step in and help. To prevent fraud and abuse of vulnerable adults, the law is clear that only certain people can help with medical, legal or financial matters. If you want to help a loved one who needs it, you will need to explore your legal options first.

Ensuring others R.E.S.P.E.C.T. your wishes with an estate plan

Recently, legendary singer Aretha Franklin passed away. And almost as quickly as news of her death spread, reports that she died without a will or trust spread as well. 

While it seems strange that someone with such a massive fortune did not create an estate plan, unfortunately, this is not unusual. Many adults pass away without having any type of estate planning documents in place. When this happens, a person's wishes will have little or no bearing on the management of their estate.

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