Florida Legal Blog

What kind of qualifications should a good executor have?

If you own a business, you probably appreciate employees who turn out to be great administrators. This is a skill you would ideally like to have in your personal representative.

If you are about to prepare your will, here are three tips to help you make the right decision when choosing a personal representative, also known as an executor.

Avoid tenant disputes by following these tips

Being a landlord can be hard. While owning rental property is often a financially rewarding venture, the experience of dealing with tenants can be somewhat difficult and frustrating.

To minimize the stress you experience and the conflicts you may have with your tenants, here are some tips every landlord should follow:

Have a strategy for avoiding estate planning mistakes

When it comes to estate planning, many people do whatever it takes to speed up the process. While it's not the most enjoyable thing you'll do this year, the creation of a comprehensive estate plan will give you peace of mind.

Any estate planning mistake you make today can have an impact on you and your family in the future. Here are five mistakes that have plagued many people before you:

  • Opting to live without an estate plan: Since you're not required by law to create an estate plan, you may think it's okay to put this off. Don't take this approach, as it could cause trouble for your loved ones upon your death.
  • Forgetting you have young children: If you have minor children, name a guardian. This person will care for them should you pass on before they reach age 18.
  • Neglecting to update your estate plan: Your estate plan will call for changes as the years go by. For example, if you've created a living trust, active management is a must.
  • Not planning for incapacity: A comprehensive estate plan is one that plans for disability, such as through the creation of a health care power of attorney.
  • Choosing the wrong executor: This person is in charge of all things related to your estate upon your passing. When you choose the right person, you can be confident in their ability to make all the right decisions. You know your estate is in good hands.

Choosing a long-term care facility: A focus on finances

There may come a point when you need to choose a long-term care facility for yourself. But before that, you could find yourself helping an elderly loved one, such as a parent.

There is a lot to consider when choosing a long-term care facility, including which one has the best reputation for providing high-quality care.

5 myths about estate planning

As with many topics, myths abound when you talk about estate planning. You may even hear them from well-intentioned friends and family members. People repeat them without realizing that they're spreading misinformation.

To help you avoid any issues down the road, here are a few myths to watch out for:

  1. You don't need a plan if you're married. People assume their spouse just gets everything, so the plan doesn't matter, but this ignores important issues like passing assets to your children directly or what to do if the same event -- a car accident, for instance -- takes both of your lives.
  2. You're too young to think about it. Estate planning isn't just for the elderly. You can pass away in an accident any day, at any age.
  3. You only do it if you're rich. While the wealthy may have more assets to worry about, don't ignore your assets just because you're not a millionaire. You still need to pass them on effectively.
  4. It's a personal decision, and you don't need to talk to anyone. While you do have that right, the reality is that communication is important. Talking to your spouse and your heirs while you do your estate planning can help avoid many issues.
  5. Once you're done, you're done for good. You may not be. You have to update your documents after major life events like the birth of a child or the end of a marriage.

Selling your home? Avoid these 3 mistakes

Selling a home can be tricky, especially if you have no experience doing it. Buyers and markets can be unpredictable. As a first-time home seller, you may experience a lot of confusion and frustration. This can make it easy to make mistakes.

Of course, everyone has some slip-ups and learning moments, but you do not want to make many errors regarding the most important things about selling a home. When it comes to preparing your home, pricing it and making repairs, you want to be as close to perfect as possible. Here are some home-selling mistakes to avoid.

Do you have to pay estate taxes to Florida?

You're doing your estate planning, and you want to ensure that you pass as much of your estate as possible on to your heirs. That's why you're working so hard to plan in advance.

One major concern you have is paying estate taxes. You've moved around a lot during your life, and you know that some states collect a hefty tax after death. Is Florida one of those states?

An estate plan can lead to 'sibling divorce'

An estate plan tells the children about their parents' wishes and helps to divide up assets after death. It's a very important plan that is based around a will, but which may also contain many other documents and legal tools, like powers of attorney and irrevocable trusts.

As the estate passes through probate, it can sometimes cause what experts call a "sibling divorce." When this happens, children may get into such deep arguments and disagreements that they never talk or see each other again. This can last for decades or for life. It may be the end of that relationship entirely.

How many people didn't write a will yet?

You have been putting off writing your will. You feel like you don't need one yet. You're relatively young and healthy. You'll deal with estate planning later.

If that's how you feel, you may not be surprised to learn that around 60 percent of people in the United States are right there with you: They have not written a will or created an estate plan.

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