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Boca Raton Estate Planning, Probate & Real Estate Blog

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.

4 key phrases you'll likely hear during probate proceedings

After a loved one passes away, the probate process begins. This can be a highly complicated and emotionally-wrought experience, especially when people are still coping with grief and loss, so it is important to have a basic understanding of what to expect.

Understanding some of the terminology used during probate can help you get a better handle on the Florida probate process. Below, we explain some of the more common terms people encounter during probate.

What is an escalation clause?

If you fall in love with a home and want to buy it, it is important to know that you could run into some competition from other potential buyers. As such, you want to make your offer as attractive as possible.

This could mean including an escalation clause, which is a clause that increases your offer by specific increments if the seller receives a higher offer.

What should I know about powers of attorney?

When people think about an estate plan, they typically think about wills and trusts. However, there are numerous other elements of a comprehensive estate plan, including powers of attorney.

Giving someone power of attorney means that you are giving them the authority to act on your behalf. Depending on the type of power of attorney, this means that someone else can make medical, financial or even business-related decisions if you cannot do so yourself. If powers of attorney are part of your estate plan -- and for most people, they should be -- then you should know some basic facts about how to do this.

Thinking about an unconventional will? Why you should think again

There are countless ways to connect and communicate with people today. We can send emails and texts, direct message someone on Facebook, send a letter through the mail or just pick up the phone and make a call.

While these are all effective ways to get a message to someone, they are not exactly sounds when it comes to sharing legal information. For instance, if you want to create a will or make end-of-life decisions, the way to do that is in a traditional legal document. If you opt for another route, you may not have the legal protection you think you have.

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Peter J. Snyder, P.A. 21301 Powerline Rd #106 Boca Raton, FL 33433 Phone: 561-544-7324 Fax: 561-367-7322 Boca Raton Law Office Map

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