Do you need to Probate an Estate in Florida?
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Affordable Attorney is available to provide legal counseling and guidance as we walk with you through the Probate process. Dealing with a death of a family member can be a very hard time in your life, let us help you. Affordable Attorney is available to accept Probate cases in any county in Florida, and the personal representative can live anywhere in the United States. To begin we will need a death certificate, original will (if applicable), and then we will set up a free initial consultation.
We are available to answer all of your questions:
What is Probate and does it apply to my case?
Has someone you know passed away owning assets or owing debt?
Are you asking yourself what needs to be done to settle the estate?
Are you familiar with the Probate laws and requirements of Florida?
Is there real estate to sell? How does the homestead law apply?
Do you know what needs to be done with Florida and Federal Taxes?
What are the fees involved with Florida Probate?
What happens when the bills come in?
What can we learn about estate planning from the rich and famous?
There are many estate planning lessons to be learned from the recent celebrity deaths. Many celebrity wills are available to the general public on the internet. The rich and famous seem to use Trusts in their planning, which for reasons other than wealth, allow them privacy in the administration of their Estate Plans. As we have seen, we are easily able to access celebrities’ Wills in the age of the internet by just looking online. Michael’s Jackson’s Will can be found at http://www.aolcdn.com/tmz_documents/0701_mj_will_wm.pdf. These documents can be used as valuable teaching tools to illustrate common estate planning do's and don’ts.
It you look at Michael Jackson’s Will you will be able to learn several key factors about his Estate Plan. His will is a Pour Over Will, which requires that all assets not already held in a Trust will be transferred into a trust upon his death. As stated in Jackson’s Will, his assets will be transferred to the “MICHAEL JACKSON FAMILY TRUST” as amended and restated on March 22, 2002. The language “as amended and restated” simply means he had a prior Trust that he has completely changed. The terms of his revocable trust will govern the disposition of his property. It can be assumed that the majority of assets will remain in trust for his children and future grandchildren, while remaining assets will likely be distributed to other relatives and charities. Jackson’s mother is named successor Guardian, with Diana Ross as a second option if his mother is unable to carry out her duties. This is an example of how a good estate plan can help to ensure that your wishes are met by offering the court a clear picture of how you want your affairs handled. In Michael Jackson's case, the question debated in the media is whether the children's mother should be named guardian. This sort of ambiguity should always be explicitly defined in estate planning documents, so that these decisions will not be left up to the court. You should always update your Estate Plan to ensure that it reflects your current situation.
Another celebrity who passed away recently is Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park and producer of the television show “ER”. The major complication in his case is that he had been married five times and in the most recent marriage left a prenuptial agreement, a living trust and many unanswered questions. Crichton’s Trust, entitled the “John Michael Crichton Trust dated May, 1998”, omits his children and has been amended three times. Because of the privacy that a Trust typically allows, we do not know the size of the trust or the beneficiaries. To further complicate the matter, his surviving spouse, Sherri Alexander Crichton, was pregnant at the time of her husband’s death. The unborn child likely has a statutory claim to the father’s estate, allotting Mrs. Crichton a larger percentage of the total estate as the minor child’s Guardian. Crichton’s Will was filed in California; however, if it had been filed in Florida, the baby and its mother might both have claims to the estate. A spouse in the state of Florida is automatically entitled to an Elective Share of the estate along with a life estate in the decedent’s homestead real property. In a valid prenuptial agreement a spouse can waive those rights, but the surviving spouse’s attorney will be carefully reviewing the agreement with regard to its validity.
The rich and famous are not that different from the rest of us. They may live their lives with more grandeur, but in the end, they are held to the same standards when it comes to disbursing their estates. Everyone should have an estate plan that is kept up to date when significant life changes occur. These changes can include marriage, birth of a child or grandchild, receipt of inheritance, illness, change in place of residence or death of child or spouse. There are a variety of estate planning documents available to you. We can help you with all of your estate planning needs, and remember -- you don't need to be a celebrity to plan for your future.
6148 State Road 70
East Bradenton, Florida 34203Telephone: 941-756-6600