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Cape Coral Legal Blog

Do you need to fund a trust for your pets?

People who feel comfortable that they have tended to all of their estate-planning needs sometimes forget to make provisions for their companion animals. What will happen to Fido or Fluffy should you die before they do? Will a friend or relative step in and care for them or will they wind up in a shelter, heartbroken and confused, or be euthanized?

It's distressing to contemplate such a harsh future for a pet that has lovingly lived its life by your side. But take heart, as there is a way to make sure that your pet will be lovingly cared for even after you have left this earth.

Probate disputes and beneficiary rights

After a loved one passes on, various challenges surrounding their estate may arise, which can make daily life especially tough for those who are already struggling with the loss of someone they love dearly. Sadly, probate disputes are not uncommon and they can wreak havoc on an entire family. These disputes surface for various reasons, but some disputes are centered around a beneficiary not receiving assets that they were entitled to. If you believe that your rightful inheritance was kept from you, it is pivotal to examine all of the legal options you may have.

Unfortunately, many beneficiaries have had their rights violated during the probate process, often at the hands of another relative. For example, a beneficiary's brother or sister may be in charge of managing an estate, and they may intentionally withhold assets. Or, someone who was married to a loved one that passed away may purposely ignore their responsibilities and fail to distribute assets properly. This can be an incredibly confusing and emotional time for those whose rights as a beneficiary have been violated, and people subjected to this mistreatment should not remain silent.

Do adults who don't have a spouse or kids need an estate plan?

Adults who don't have children or a spouse might think that they don't need to have an estate plan, but this isn't the case. Instead, they need to think carefully about what is going to happen to their assets when they pass away. They also need to consider how they want their affairs handled if they are incapacitated and can't make decisions on their own.

Having an estate plan can address these issues, but it must be set up carefully so that it accurately represents your wishes. When you don't have things in order, there is a chance that your assets will be considered intestate.

Intestate succession in Florida

Many often come to us here at Burandt Adamski Feichthaler & Sanchez PLLC questioning what would happen if they were to die without a will. If you are like many of them, you may assume that your heirs would be given the right to decide amongst themselves how to divide up your assets. Yet this could introduce the potential for serious discord. Thus, the state has set up guidelines that dictate what happens with your estate if you die intestate (without a will). 

These guidelines can be found in Section 732 of Florida's Probate Code. They stipulate that if you leave a surviving spouse behind, they will be entitled to the entirety of your estate if you have no surviving descendants (or if your descendants are also those of your spouse). If you have descendants who are not the issue of your spouse, then your spouse will receive half of your estate, with the other half being divided equally amongst your descendants. 

How can I prevent possible conflicts over an NDA?

A smart non-disclosure agreement (NDA) safeguards your business secrets and makes sure other parties cannot use them to unfairly compete against you. However, not every NDA may prevent conflict. Your Florida employees might have issues with how the agreement is composed and could ignore or contest the provisions later on. Here are some things you as a business owner should watch for in composing an NDA.

Forbes cautions that NDAs need to specify when workers may disclose information. It is simply not possible for an employee to clam up about your secrets in all cases. If your worker is given a court order to disclose information, the worker should be allowed to do so, provided the worker lets you know about it in advance. Also, confidential information may become public anyway, so if the worker was not guilty of releasing it, the NDA should not bind the employee any longer.

Special needs trusts may ease the financial strains of aging

As a person ages, they may face many physical and mental challenges, and may even lose significant portions of their physical and mental abilities. This can make the ongoing needs of daily living difficult, especially when a person needs government assistance to cover the costs of care.

Unfortunately for many people, their income and property disqualify them from receiving government assistance. This is common for elderly individuals who own a home, or have simply build a moderate estate but are not wealthy. Those stuck in this middle ground can lose everything they have to the costs of ongoing care because they own too much to qualify for assistance, but not so much that they can actually afford care without some help.

Different ways divorce can impact your estate plan

For many people, the decision to end a marriage can be a very tough one to make. Outside of a custody battle, property division and hard feelings, there are other issues that may arise in the wake of a divorce. For example, your estate plan may be impacted by the end of your marriage in various ways, and even though you may feel as if you have already been through enough recently, handling these matters promptly is vital. In this post, we will look over some of the different ways in which divorce affects estate plans.

First of all, many people not only list their former spouse as a beneficiary but place them in charge of their estate. After the marriage ends, they may no longer want their spouse to have access to their assets or authority over their estate plan, which necessitates revision. This is not the only way in which divorce can affect an estate plan, however. Some people may remarry after splitting up with their spouse, and they may need to include their new partner (and their new spouse's children) in their estate plan. Or, they may want to remove their former spouse's kids from their estate plan.

Many life changes can impact your will

Growing older can lead to many life changes, and many of them have significant implications that may surprise you. We tend to think of our legal and professional lives as separate from our personal lives, but when it comes to your will, this is not the case.

Your will carries a great deal of importance, both for yourself and for those you love and who love you. When it comes time to read your will and honor your wishes, contradictions or inconsistencies between your wishes and your life circumstances can lead to enormous conflict among your family and other beneficiaries.

Handling a real estate dispute

When it comes to real estate sales, various challenges may arise. For example, people may have little experience with real estate transactions, whether they are selling commercial property for the first time or have never sold residential real estate before. Moreover, these transactions can result in disagreements for a myriad of reasons, and it is pivotal to handle a real estate dispute correctly. After all. there may be much at stake and you could be significantly impacted by the outcome of such a dispute. In Cape Coral, and across the state of Florida, individuals and business owners involved in a disagreement over real estate transactions should carefully examine all their options.

When it comes to real estate transactions, there are many different reasons why disputes surface. From issues involving payments to disputes over a contract, these can be very stressful disputes for all parties involved. The outcome may have a significant impact on your company or personal life, financially and emotionally. As a result, you should try to go over your different choices and make sure that the most sensible route forward is clearly identified.

Remember to review beneficiary designations and estate plans

One of the benefits of setting up an IRA or 401(k) is the way you can designate whom shall receive its contents after you die. By filling out the beneficiary designation on various types of accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k) plans and annuities, you will state exactly whom you want to benefit from the assets. The problem is, you can't forget about them.

There have been countless cases in which an estate planner sets up a last will and testament, and mistakenly believes that whatever he or she writes in the will is more important than the information that appears on a beneficiary designation.

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