When to Update Your Will

If you are an Orlando resident, you might be surprised to know that approximately 55 percent of American adults don’t have a will. For those under the age of 34, the percentage swells to 71 percent. Another disturbing statistic: 75 percent of American parents with minor children don’t have a will, either. Baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964) fare somewhat better: 59 percent of them have planned for the orderly distribution of their property after their demise via a legally … Continued

Orlando Estate Planning for Wealth Transfer

Your estate consists of all of your wealth and assets, including your bank accounts, money market funds, stocks, bonds, precious metals, life insurance policies, real estate and all your personal property, such as automobiles, jewelry, artwork, etc. The value of your estate is equal to the sum of all your assets, minus the sum of all your debts and liabilities. Estate planning is the process of making whatever legal arrangements you consider necessary to protect and manage your estate while … Continued

Orlando Probate Law and What You Should Know

As I counsel clients throughout the Orlando area, I often find that people do not have a clear understanding of probate law, and why it matters when it comes to estate planning in Florida. What is Probate? Probate is a legal process that ensures that a deceased person’s assets are properly identified, that the property of his or her estate is carefully administered, that all debts and taxes are paid, and that any remaining estate assets are distributed in a … Continued

Why Create a Trust Fund?

A trust fund is a legal entity that holds property, in the form of cash, stocks, bonds, or other types of financial instruments, or anything else of value, such as real property, for the benefit of another person, group or organization. While there are different types of trust funds, set up for different reasons, all of them have three things in common: a grantor, a beneficiary, and a trustee. The Grantor The grantor is the person who creates the trust … Continued

Why Create an Estate Plan?

For most of us the word “estate” conjures up images of an imposing and architecturally flamboyant mansion sitting atop a large tract of property, replete with green rolling hills, majestically tall trees, rows of ornate statuary, and an abundance of glimmering pools and bubbling fountains. In the realm of law, however, the word “estate” actually has a different meaning. An estate is simply the net worth of a person at any point in time, whether that person is alive or … Continued

What is a Living Will, and Why Do You Need One?

People are often reluctant to think about, much less plan for, the end of their lives. It’s simply an unpleasant task to make arrangements for the time when we have to, as Shakespeare eloquently wrote, “shuffle off this mortal coil.” And yet, is some regard, it’s irresponsible to leave certain difficult decisions to loved ones or close friends. For example, when a person dies intestate, that is, without a will, his or her survivors may have no idea how to … Continued

Who needs an estate planning attorney?

Countless people make the mistake of believing they don’t need an estate plan. After all, only the extremely wealthy have an “estate”… right? Like many people living in the Orlando area, you might be surprised to learn that you have an estate—at least you do if you have: investments, a house, a car, or a savings account. Don’t have any of those? How about personal possessions? If you have clothes on your back, you have an estate. We all want … Continued

Succession Planning for Your Family Business: Start Preparing Now!

Every owner of a closely-held family business wants to know the business will continue—even thrive—once they’re gone. A well run, well managed family business can provide for you and your loved ones long after you’ve stepped down from its operation. It can even support your family after you’re gone. Most owners I talk to expect that their business will continue long into the future. The reality, though, is less encouraging. According to the Family Business Institute, only 30% of family … Continued