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Cape Coral Legal Blog

Types of elder financial abuse: Is your loved one being hurt?

One of the dangers of growing older relates to the fact that -- even if you're financially independent -- you could become physically dependent on others for your care and daily life needs. This will leave you vulnerable to elder financial abuse.

Hopefully, as an elderly adult, you will have people around you who make your best interests their priority. And hopefully, all Americans will keep a watchful eye to ensure that their loved ones, family members and friends do not get hurt by one of the following types of elder financial abuse:

What is zoning?

When dealing with real estate in Florida, one concept you likely will run into is zoning. According to Property Metrics, zoning is the act of assigning areas of land o permitted uses. For example, authorities may assign a piece of land or an area of a specific county as residential. This means builder may build homes here, but businesses and agriculture may not be in this area. Some zoning may allow for mixed use. You may have seen such areas where residential homes and businesses are side by side.

Zoning laws may also regulate where a builder may build, such as how close to the road or to the neighboring structures. It may enforce stipulations, such as the insulation of specific ventilation or soundproofing. It is important to note local authorities handle zoning.

How can I avoid common estate planning mistakes?

If you have assets and property in your name, you should have an estate plan in place in the event of your death. Additionally, your estate plan should be free of common mistakes and oversights, which can impact whether your final wishes are carried out. To help you create a valid and legally binding plan, Forbes offers the following tips.

Be sure to update your plan as needed

Your spouse has rights to the estate if you die, despite the will

People create and change last wills for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, early estate planning is a wise decision for anyone with children or substantial assets. Even those who only have moderate overall assets should consider planning their estate if they have strong feelings about the disposal of their assets after they die.

It is important to understand, however, if your estate plan deviates from Florida state law, your wishes as outlined in your last will or estate plan may not get followed. Specifically, you should educate yourself about the rights of your spouse to a specific portion of your estate.

Reviewing your beneficiary designations

There are all sorts of considerations when it comes to creating an estate plan, whether you plan to set up a trust or create a will. Protecting your assets includes ensuring that they will be distributed among those you love in accordance with your wishes. However, there are many different issues to consider with respect to beneficiary designations. For some people in Cape Coral and across the state of Florida, naming beneficiaries and deciding how to split up their estate can be relatively straightforward, while others may struggle with difficult decisions.

First, it is vital to review your options and decisions with respect to beneficiary designations from an individualized point of view. Every family is in a different position and you should look over your loved one's needs, your own wishes and certain challenges that may result in the misuse of proceeds (such as a loved one who struggles with a gambling problem or a drug addiction). Furthermore, some family members become hostile over estate decisions, resulting in a bitter dispute. While you may not be able to prevent these disputes, there could be certain steps you could take to avoid a standoff or lessen the severity of a dispute, such as talking about your estate plan with loved ones (this is not always a good idea).

3 benefits of creating a trust

If you have spent a significant number of years building a business or accumulating substantial assets in Cape Coral, you may be wondering how best to preserve your hard work for your heirs. While a will can contain certain details about your wishes for how you want your wealth distributed when you pass, it is only the most basic tool in a complete estate plan. To protect your property for future generations, you may want to consider creating a trust.

In general, a trust is a legal entity that includes a specific set of instructions regarding how and when your property will pass to your named beneficiaries. For example, if you have a son or daughter that is not very skilled in money management, you may want to set up a trust that portions out the assets over time instead of in one lump sum. Here are some other common benefits of creating a trust.

Going over some consequences of business litigation

Owning a business can be incredibly profitable and open up many new opportunities, but it can also be tough. In Cape Coral and around the state of Florida, business owners may have to work through many different challenges each day. From issues with clients and partners to problems with employees, there are many hurdles business owners have to deal with and this is especially true when it comes to litigation. If your business is being taken to court for any reason, it is vital to have a good understanding of your options and be aware of some of the consequences that may come with an unsuccessful outcome.

First of all, the financial ramifications of a business lawsuit can be overwhelming. Aside from this, you may lose critical partnerships and the reputation of your business may be adversely affected for years. For example, if your business is taken to court over discrimination or sexual harassment, this could impact the way that others view your company, including clients, customers and current staff members. Furthermore, some cases can have such an impact on a business that it leads to closure. Those who own sizeable firms and smaller businesses may be pushed to shut their doors as a result of litigation.

Do I need a power of attorney?

A power of attorney allows another to make financial and health decisions at times when you are unable. This could be due to injuries suffered during an accident or while battling a disease. It is often impossible to predict when an individual would need an agent to act on his or her behalf. As such, it is wise to have power of attorney documents as part of a well-balanced estate plan.

Those who do not yet have one likely have questions. This post addresses some of the more common questions that involve power of attorney documents.

The importance of keeping your estate plan up to date

It’s truly never too early to start planning for the future. Many people in Florida hold the misconception that estate planning is only for married people in their 40s or 50s with children and a house. On the contrary, even young, single people with no dependents should start considering their long-term goals and implement those into a comprehensive estate plan.

Once you’ve taken the step of creating an estate plan, the work does not stop there. It’s important to keep estate planning documents relevant to a person’s changing lifestyle and circumstances.

What's nesting? 3 ways it can benefit your family after divorce

You and your spouse have decided to call it quits on the marriage. You've hired an attorney and are ready to begin the emotionally and mentally draining divorce process. But what about your kids? How do you make this transition easier for them? Nesting may be good solution. 

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