CAN WE OVERCOME THE FEARS OF DOING ESTATE PLANNING?
I hope we can overcome the fears of doing estate planning so we can protect those we love. I had two apprehensive people call this week who could benefit tremendously from estate planning. One was an 84 year- old widow who owns real estate properties, investments, and bank accounts all in her own name. She has three adult children and they do not get along well. She is too afraid to do planning and when she does finally pass away, this is guaranteed to be a major probate problem for the kids who do not see eye to eye.
Another call I received was from a woman who has been living with her “husband” for twenty years. She has two adult children and he owns real estate, investment real estate, and bank accounts all in his own name. In Florida, there is no common law marriage. Some states do have it, but Florida does not. Thus, the “spouse” will not be entitled to anything because they are not legally married and the adult children are not entitled to anything because they are not legally his children.
HOW DOES ESTATE PLANNING PROTECT US?
Estate planning in Miami Beach, FL protects us in so many great ways. In the elderly mother’s case with the three adult children, she can form a revocable trust and transfer her real estate, investments, and bank accounts into this revocable trust. She can select the most neutral and responsible child to be her alternate trustee and then give instructions on how things should be handled in the case of her death or incapacity.
In the case of the woman and adult children, a revocable trust can be used to protect the “spouse” and children and she can be the alternate trustee, making sure his wishes are carried out properly. He hasn’t done this because he is fearful of losing control. A revocable trust is the perfect tool to limit a person’s control over your assets as you are the trustee while alive and competent.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN BOTH SCENARIOS IF WE HAVE TO GO TO PROBATE COURT IN MIAMI-DADE OR BROWARD COUNTY, FL?
Probate court involvement is expensive, time-consuming, and a hassle for all of those involved. In the first scenario with the 84 year -old mother, when she dies, her three children will begin fighting about who is the personal representative and then can argue about how to proceed with the asset distribution. Everything will need to be approved by the Judge and probate court takes 6-12 months minimum for even the simplest of cases.
Sadly, in the second scenario, this woman and kids that he lived with for over 20 years and treated like family will get nothing. If there is no will or trust, the probate case will be handled by the intestacy laws in Florida Statute 732.103 which states that if there is no legal spouse or children, next in line are the parents of the decedent, then brothers and sisters, and then to the maternal and paternal relatives. This is definitely not how this man intends to leave his assets upon his death. Hopefully, he will do his estate plan and allow an attorney to properly create a will, revocable trust, health care documents, and a limited power of attorney so that he and his loved ones are fully protected in the case of his death or incapacity.
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.