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THE CORONA VIRUS AND ESTATE PLANNING IN MIAMI BEACH, FL

THE CORONAVIRUS AND ESTATE PLANNING IN MIAMI BEACH, FL

I received a call from a close friend who said her father was sick and asked to be tested for the Coronavirus after testing negative for the flu and he was told there were no tests available. The worst part of the Coronavirus is that it is so contagious and most people may show no symptoms for up to 14 days after exposure.  The symptoms of the Coronavirus are a sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, and coughing. If we all do our parts and stay in our homes, hopefully, we can shorten the devastation of this pandemic. 

WHY MY FRIEND WAS CONCERNED AND HOW CAN ESTATE PLANNING IN MIAMI BEACH, FL HELP HER AND HER ELDERLY FATHER? 

My friend’s mother passed away four years ago from cancer, leaving her father a widower and single for the first time in over 50 years. My friend was not only concerned about his health but also asked me about his assets. He owns an apartment in his and his late wife’s name, stocks, bank accounts, and other investments mostly in his and his late wife’s name. 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ACCOUNTS ARE IN YOUR DECEASED SPOUSE’S NAME? ARE YOU FORCED TO GO TO PROBATE COURT IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FL?

Joint assets, if titled properly, can easily be transferred to the surviving spouse, but after the first spouse dies, the second spouse in need of a good estate plan. My friend’s father can avoid probate court involvement by creating a revocable trust and placing all of his assets inside of this trust. Once the trust is created, he can also sign a deed transferring the apartment into the trust. A short form (without cause of death) death certificate of his late wife should be recorded in the Miami -Dade County Recording Office at the same time as the deed is recorded.  All of his other assets can be transferred to the trust and an original death certificate may be required here as well if the accounts are owned jointly. If done properly, this process will avoid probate court completely. 

WHAT IF HE DOES NOTHING AND THEN PASSES AWAY WITH EVERYTHING IN HIS AND HIS LATE WIFE’S JOINT NAME?

If my friend’s father does nothing, upon his death, his loved ones will need to initiate a probate court case in Miami-Dade County, FL and a Judge will decide how everything is handled. A probate attorney will need to be retained to assist in the court process and guide the family. The probate process is public, long, and expensive, and, a Notice to Creditors is usually required to be published in a local newspaper; thus, causing more delays and more expenses.

WHY SHOULD YOU USE ALLY M. GLASER, PA TO HANDLE YOUR WILLS AND TRUSTS, ESTATE PLANNING IN MIAMI BEACH AND MIAMI-DADE AND BROWARD PROBATE MATTERS?

As a Miami Beach Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts and Probate Attorney in Miami Beach with over twenty-three years of experience and both a Psychology and Law degree, I handle these matters with care and sensitivity. I am familiar and comfortable with both the Broward County and Miami-Dade probate court system and know how to get things done. Call or email me today to discuss your Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts and Broward or Miami-Dade County Probate matters.  I am happy to help you and your loved ones.

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“BUT MY HUSBAND LEFT ME EVERYTHING IN HIS WILL, WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS IRA?”

I received a call from a sad second wife. She was mourning the loss of her husband and the loss of her money. Before he died, her husband executed a valid will leaving $200,000.00 to each of his four adult children and everything else to his current wife. That same husband also never changed beneficiary designations leaving his IRA with millions of dollars to his adult children. Even if you have a will that says otherwise, whoever is listed as the beneficiary on the IRA will get that money. The same rule holds true for insurance policies, bank accounts, and annuities.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?  DO WE NEED MIAMI, FL PROBATE COURT INVOLVEMENT?

Yes, probate court involvement is required in both Miami-Dade and Broward county even if there is a valid will. Once a person dies with real estate, stocks, investments, or bank accounts in their name alone with no paid-on-death beneficiary, a probate case must be initiated in order for the loved ones to receive these assets. In the case above, the wife will receive all other assets through probate court and the adult children will get their $200,000.00 each through the same probate process. 

WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE IRA?

The IRA will be divided among the four surviving adult children as stated in his beneficiary designations without probate court involvement. This asset is easily distributed upon showing a death certificate and contacting the investment firm that handled the IRA directly. Once the death certificate is presented and the children’s identity ascertained, the monies are distributed. 

WHAT COULD THE DECEASED HUSBAND HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?

The first thing the deceased husband could have done is check and recheck all of his beneficiary designations. In a second marriage, this should be done regularly as the situation changes through time. In addition to reviewing your beneficiary designations and documents regularly, you may also consider doing a proper estate plan with a revocable trust which if funded properly will avoid the need for probate court involvement.

WHY SHOULD YOU USE ALLY M. GLASER, PA TO HANDLE YOUR WILLS AND TRUSTS, ESTATE PLANNING IN MIAMI BEACH AND MIAMI-DADE AND BROWARD PROBATE MATTERS?

As a Miami Beach Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts and Probate Attorney in Miami Beach, FL with over twenty-three years of experience and both a Psychology and Law degree, I handle these matters with care and sensitivity. I am familiar and comfortable with both the Broward County and Miami-Dade probate court system and know how to get things done. Call or email me today to discuss your Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts and Broward or Miami-Dade County, FL Probate matters.  I am happy to help you and your loved ones.