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STEP RIGHT UP--FORM A STRAIGHT LINE--NO SKIPPING

Estate planning simply allows you to decide who will or will not receive from your estate when you are gone. Of course there are more complex issues surrounding estate planning, but for this moment, we are just going to focus on this one issue; beneficiaries.

A beneficiary is any person who gains an advantage and/or profits from something. You can be the beneficiary of someone's kindness, the beneficiary of a good education, or even the beneficiary of your own hard work.  When it comes to estate planning, you can be the beneficiary of an estate plan and receive money passed down from a loved one.

There is no black and white rule that says you must make your family members your beneficiaries of your will. Yes it is true, you cannot entirely disinherit a spouse, but if you were planning to do that, why are you even married to that person?

If your children did not treat you right while you were alive, why hand them a stack of cash that you worked so hard to receive and allow them to enjoy the fruits of your labor when you are gone?

If you fail to plan or if your plan is invalid because you thought you would save a few dollars by drafting your own documents, you will pass away 'intestate' and the state will decide who will receive from your estate based on Florida Statutes.

With proper estate planning, you can name specific beneficiaries to receive from your estate. If you want to leave everything to charity, go for it. If you want to leave $1.00 to your brother to annoy him from your grave, go for it. If you want to treat your children differently and give them different amounts, go for it.

Be sure to be specific when drafting your estate planning documents to avoid challenges to your will. Challenges to wills by distant relatives are so common that lawyers have a nickname for those people: "laughing heirs"- as in they will be laughing all the way to the bank if their challenge succeeds. People tend to come out of the woodworks and believe that they're closer than they are and should have some claim.  

There is no need to worry about a guilt trip when you are gone. Remember, you are GONE. Do not worry about how you will make a family member feel when they realize they are not a named beneficiary in your estate plan.  Be selfish, do what you feel is right inside, not what you think others would expect of you.

To avoid challenges to your will and make sure the right beneficiaries receive from your estate, you will need to work with an experienced estate planning attorney.

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach county contact an experienced estate planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm at (954) 303-9468, to discuss your estate planning needs.

You Can't Predict The Future But You Can Plan For It.

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WHEN THE SUNSHINE FADES, WHO WILL REMAIN?

When you are healthy you feel invincible, independent and less likely to feel sympathy for those that are ill. When you are healthy you go about your daily life; you work out, see your friends and family, enjoy the beautiful weather and ultimately just live.  

However when you become ill, life stops and you begin to view life through a different lens. Everything and everyone continues to move around you at their regular pace, and you are left by yourself to deal with your own misery. You might have some friends and family 'check in' on you, but the reality is, you are left to deal with the pain and the slow process of getting better all by yourself. 

It is not that your friends and family don't care about you, it's just that as humans, it is hard to put your life on hold to care for another when you yourself are healthy and have things you wish to do. Caring for another is somewhat a subconscious inconvenience. 

What if it is not simply a common cold, but something more severe where you require assistance from others on a more permanent basis. For instance, you are incapable of 2 daily acts of living and require the help of a caregiver. Or worse, you have become mentally incompetent to care for yourself. 

Don't assume that your spouse, your parents, or siblings will fill this role of caretaker for you (although you hope they would)  The reality is, just because life has stopped for you because of your illness, if they are healthy and able bodied they still have their own life to live and worry about.

This is why it is so important to make sure you have your Advanced Directives in place while you are healthy and able to make the decision for yourself. That includes your Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate and Living Will. You can even go so far as taking the burden away from your loved ones, by having a Long Term Care Insurance policy.

Love me when I am healthy, but love me more when I am ill. Those that remain when the sunshine fades are the ones I want in my world

Durable Power of Attorney: Name someone to manage your financial affairs either immediately or in the future should you become unable to do so yourself. 

Healthcare Surrogate: Name someone to act on your behalf if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself.

Living Will: Document that will state how and if you want to prolong your life if you fall into a vegetative state

Long Term Care Insurance: Long-term care is care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks (activities of daily living) by yourself due to chronic illness, injury or the aging process.  Long-term care is not only for the elderly. A large percentage of people receiving long-term care are under the age of 65.

Caring for another is somewhat a subconscious inconvenience 

You need to have an open discussion with whomever you wish to fill those roles and make sure they want to take on that responsibility for you. 


If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.

REMEMBER: You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.
 

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I WISH I COULD RECORD MY DREAMS AND WATCH THEM LATER

 

Do you ever wake up in the morning and you can vividly remember the details of a crazy dream you just woke up from? Then you get out of bed, start your day, drive to work, and make a few phone calls. By the time you get to work and want to tell your best friend about your dream, you realize you can't remember what the dream was even about. 

The dream obviously had some meaning to you, but without it being written down, it just slipped through your fingers and *poof* no longer exists.

You may not be able to record your dreams and watch them later, but you can record your wishes and your loved ones can watch them fall into place when you are gone.
 

People always say that they are 'thinking' about the perfect estate plan. They have it written in their head but it's not quit ready to be written down on paper.  They feel that once they have  come up with the perfect plan, they will write it down. Until then, ehh, it can wait for a rainy day.

Don't delay- start today. You may have forgotten what you want to happen.

What should an estate plan consist of in South Florida?

Last Will & Testament: State your final wishes regarding who will receive or who will not receive from your estate, name guardians for your minor children, state directions regarding organ donation and burial.

Revocable Trust (Living Trust): In depth document that will state your final wishes. You are able to place stipulations and retain control of your assets during your lifetime. 

Durable Power of Attorney: Name someone to manage your financial affairs either immediately or in the future should you become unable to do so yourself. 

Healthcare Surrogate: Name someone to act on your behalf if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself.

Living Will: Document that will state how and if you want to prolong your life if you fall into a vegetative state

REMEMBER:  Your estate plan will never be perfect. Stop using the excuse that you will start planning once you know exactly how you want it written. There are so many moving parts in your life, that your estate plan will be consistently changing.

However, if nothing is written down, your wishes will not be known to your loved ones.

You may not be able to record your dreams and watch them later, but you can record your wishes and your loved ones can watch them fall into place when you are gone.  

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties it is time to start discussing with loved ones their estate planning needs. You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.

Contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Plantation, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.

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HOORAY! HAPPY 2ND ANNIVERSARY

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It is one thing to say you have a dream. It is another thing to see your dream come to life. All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.

One of my biggest dreams came to life TWO years ago today when I took a leap of faith and turned my dream into a reality by opening The Hershey Law Firm.

To be able to remove myself from my comfort zone and step into the unknown was probably the most terrifying yet exhilarating experience of my life. You don't truly feel alive until you get that initial rush of adrenaline through your system.

Looking back on the past TWO years I can not believe everything I have accomplished. How I built something from nothing. How I have been able to help so many families along the way.
 

The relationships I have formed with not only my colleagues but also my clients have turned into truly amazing and lasting friendships.


Like they say in the movies...."If you build it, they will come" BEST. DECISION. EVER

Thank you to all my family and friends for believing in me and supporting me. For everyone who has trusted me with taking care of their families and referring me to their family and friends. I am forever grateful to you all. 

I am looking forward to year THREE. Lots of big things are on the horizon. Can't wait to share it with everyone.

If you haven't begun planning for the future, now is the time!

Just remember:  If you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!
 

One of my biggest dreams came to life TWO years ago today when I took a leap of faith and turned my dream into reality by opening The Hershey Law Firm.

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Who Is Going to Pay My Bills?

Can you pay my bills? Can you pay my telephone bills? Do you pay my automobile bills? If you did then maybe we could chill.

Okay, so maybe we are not concerned about a boyfriend taking advantage of us like Beyoncé. However, the question of who will pay your bills when you pass away is a valid question and one that is determined based on the solvency of your estate when you pass away.

If you die and your medical and credit card bills start piling up it is important to understand who will be responsible for paying off all of these debts and in what amounts. The answer will depend on whether the estate of the decedent is solvent or insolvent.

What is a Solvent Estate?

A solvent estate is one that has enough assets to pay off the decedent's bills. This essentially means, the value of all the decedent's individual assets exceeds the amount of bills owed. If the estate is determined to be solvent, then the Personal Representative of the decedent's estate will be responsible for paying all of the bills from the assets owned by the estate. So basically, if there is money to pay the bills, the bills will be paid.

Example:

If all of the decedent's individual assets equal $50,000 and the credit card and medical bills equal $25,000, then the decedent's estate is solvent and can be used by the Personal Representative to pay the bills in full and the remaining $25,000 will be paid to the beneficiaries named in the Last Will and Testament or Living Trust (if there are estate planning documents prepared). If no estate planning documents are in place, the decedent's heirs at law will receive based off Florida Statute.

Debt collectors are very creative and persuasive. Even if you are not responsible for the debt, they may use terms such as ‘moral responsibility’ and use guilt to make family members feel they have to pay debts.

What is an Insolvent Estate?

An insolvent estate is one that does not have enough assets to pay off the decedent's bills. So when you add up all the assets, the value of the decedent's individual assets is equal to or less than the amount of bills owed.  If the estate is insolvent, then the Personal Representative will need to prioritize payment of the bills as provided by Florida law.

Example:

If the decedent's individual assets equal $50,000 but the credit card and medical bills equal $100,000, then the deceased person's estate is insolvent by $50,000. The Personal Representative will need to look to Florida law to determine which creditors will get paid in full, which creditors will receive only a partial payment, and which creditors will get absolutely nothing.

There are different classes of creditors and depending on where that creditor ranks will depend on if they get paid in full, partial payment or no payment.

Example

For instance, medical bills incurred within 60 days of the decedent's date of death will get paid before a credit card company gets paid.  If there are not enoughassets to pay the credit card company, they will only receive a proportionate share and the remainder will have to be written off by the credit card company.

In an insolvent estate, the decedent's beneficiaries will end up getting nothing. The good news is, that they will not be responsible for paying the balance of the decedent's unpaid debts (unless a beneficiary was a co-signor or co-guarantor on the debt).  The creditors that were not paid in full will simply have to write off the bad debt.

Debt collectors are very creative and persuasive. Even if you are not responsible for the debt, they may use terms such as ‘moral responsibility’ and use guilt to make family members feel they have to pay debts.

BEWARE: Creditors always come before beneficiaries. That is why it is extremely important to protect your assets and start estate planning today!

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach County contact an experienced estate-planning and probate attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.

 

            You Can't Predict The Future But You Can Plan For It.

 

 

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A New Year's Resolution You Can Actually Follow Through With

We are now 4 days into 2016. You may or may not have already ditched your new years resolutions by now.  After all, just because the calendar presents a new year, it doesn't mean you are going to turn into a gym rat, run a marathon, or change your diet from regularly eating pizza and pasta to eating no carbs and drinking green smoothies.

There is one resolution you can make that does not require changing your daily routine; that is reviewing your estate plan! It is time to dust off your estate planning documents and make sure your plan accurately reflects your current wishes and goals.

If you live in South Florida and do not have any estate planning documents, it is time to prepare them! Estate planning documents, such as your will, trust, and power of attorney are living documents. They need to be reviewed and updated as the laws change and as your family and financial situations change.

There is one resolution you can make that does not require changing your daily routine; that is reviewing your estate plan!

Have there been any life changing events since the last time you reviewed or prepared your estate plan? If you can answer 'yes' to any of the following questions, then your estate plan should be reviewed:

* Did you get married or divorced?

* Did your spouse pass away or become incapacitated?

* Did you have or adopt any children?

* Did any of your beneficiaries marry, divorce, have children, pass away or become incapacitated, or encounter creditors or other financial problems?

* Did any of your designated fiduciaries pass away or become unfit to serve in their designated roles?

* Did you retire?

* Did your financial situation change?

* Did you buy or sell a home?

* Did you sell your business?

* Did you acquire new assets?

 

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach county contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.

You Can’t Predict The Future, But You Can Plan For It.

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Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.......Friends vs. Family

Family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what. 

You work hard your entire life; why not pass your hard earned assets on to the ones you love and who you feel deserve it. You are not obligated to give your assets to any specific family member. You can give your assets to your friends. However, without proper planning there is a chance your estate could end up in the hands of family members you are not too fond of.

So how do you stop that from happening? You draft a well written Last Will & Testament or Trust that spells out exactly who you want to receive from your estate and who you do not want to receive from your estate.

Disinheriting someone can be a way to haunt a family member from beyond the grave, but there may be pragmatic reasons involved. So if you plan to leave someone out of a will, there is a blueprint for doing it.

Spouse and Minor Children

Under Florida law, you are not allowed to disinherit a spouse (unless there was a prenuptial agreement). The spouse will be entitled to an elective share of 30% of your estate.

You can not completely disinherit a minor child. Florida's Constitution contains homestead laws which prohibit the head of a family from leaving his or her residence to someone other then their surviving spouse or minor child if either is alive.

Adult Children

As children turn into adults, there are times when there is no longer a relationship anymore. If that is the case, parents don't feel comfortable passing their hard earned assets to their children.  In Florida, if a parent wants to disinherit an adult child, they need to clearly state their intentions in the will and state they don't want that child to receive. Simply by omitting that child from the will, is not enough.

Disinheriting someone can be a way to haunt a family member from beyond the grave, but there may be pragmatic reasons involved.

Parents

Parents are not entitled to anything in your will. But if you die without a spouse or children, your estate will go to your closest relatives who are your parents. So if you want to deliberately disinherit a parent, you need to write it in the will and designate a different heir.

Extended Relatives

In Florida, there is no legal obligation to leave assets to siblings, aunts and uncles, or cousins. But if you die without a spouse, children or parents, your next closest relatives would inherit your estate.

Just remember, estate planning requires asking yourself 'WHAT IF". It is so important to determine who you want and who you don't want to receive from your estate and the possible scenarios that occur when you pass away. 

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach county contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.

You Can’t Predict The Future, But You Can Plan For It.


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Adding Someone To Your Bank Account For Convenience Can Cause BIG Problems

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STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN- think twice before adding someone to a bank account.  

In South Florida it is common for aging parents to 'add' their children, caregiver, or trusted individual on his/her personal account. A typical reason to add someone to a bank account in Florida is so that person can have access to the funds for the original owners benefit. By setting up the account this way, it will make it more convenient during the owner's lifetime to assist in managing the bank accounts and paying bills.

An account owner’s Last Will & Testament or Trust will not prevent this presumption from arising, and the financial institution has no duty to inform the account owner of this presumption.

However, adding someone to a Florida bank account becomes somewhat inconvenient upon the original owner's death. Setting up Florida bank accounts in this manner can lead to expensive litigation between the original owner's heirs to determine the survivorship rights in these joint accounts. Intent will be questioned in addition to undue influence and fraud.

Under Florida Statute Section 655.79, unless expressly stated otherwise in contract, agreement or signature card executed in connection with the relevant account, any account that is titled in the names of two or more persons creates a presumption that all ownership rights in the account automatically pass to the surviving owners upon the death of any owner.  

There are no explicit words that are required for this presumption- just the fact that there are two or more owners.  An account owner's Last Will & Testament or Trust will not prevent this presumption from arising, and the financial institution has no duty to inform the account owner of this presumption. With that said, the surviving owner can simply walk into the bank after the original owners death and withdraw all of the funds as their own!

Good news, there are alternatives available to making an account a joint account. They allow flexibility and also allow the owner to revoke these designations within his/her lifetime:

Alternative #1- "DPOA"

Appoint someone to act as his/her agent under a Durable Power of Attorney

Alternative #2- "POD"

Create a 'pay on death account' where the owner can designate a beneficiary to receive the account upon his/her death

Alternative #3- "ITF"

Create a Totten Trust where the owner maintains complete control over the account during their lifetime, but all rights pass to a beneficiary who is designated 'in trust for'

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach county contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.

 

You Can’t Predict The Future, But You Can Plan For It.

 

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A Verbal Contract Isn't Worth The Paper It's Written On

Before smartphones and email, a phone call to speak with someone directly was the fastest form of communication. It was much faster then writing a letter, mailing the letter, and then impatiently waiting for the response. By the time you got a response, you might have forgotten the question asked or the question was no longer relevant.

Life moves so fast that our generation expects an immediate response to an email and text. If we don't respond immediately, we might cause a boyfriend/girlfriend to start 'wondering' why you didn't respond (which is grounds for a lot of pointless arguments).  You might lose a potential client if you don't respond immediately. They might assume you are not interested in their business or that you are too busy. The potential client will quickly move onto the next person hoping to gain the immediate attention they are seeking. 

Luckily, people still enjoy face-to-face communication. A lot of business takes place after hours over happy hour drinks and dinner.  If you verbally agree to working with someone over drinks, what are the chances one person might back out of the agreement the next day? With drinks flowing, people are more willing to enter into agreements.  Once they are sober, they might question that agreement and pretend it never existed. In the words of Jaime Foxx,  " blame it on the a a a a a alcohol"

You should never leave your affairs up to chance. Leaving specific and detailed instructions in your will or trust can help solve complications down the line

Well, the good thing is, it was only a verbal agreement. The bad thing is, it was only a verbal agreement.

When it comes to estate planning, many people make the common mistake of assuming their loved ones will honor their true wishes, as expressed verbally.  You should never leave your affairs up to chance. Leaving specific and detailed instructions in your will or trust can help solve complications down the line. There will be no question as to what your wishes are if they are clearly stated on paper.

In South Florida, there are a number of vehicles used with estate planning to protect both your assets and your wishes at your time of death. These documents will take away the possible 'he-said-she said' verbal agreements prior to your passing.

Revocable Trust(living trust): Allows you to control and manage assets in your trust while you are alive.

Living Will and Healthcare Surrogate- Will allow you to designate who will make medical decisions when you are unable to do so yourself.

Assignment of Property: Assign your property into your trust (real and personal property) to protect your assets.

Durable Power of Attorney: Designate and authorize someone to legally act on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated.

Last Will and Testament: Used upon death to distribute property to beneficiaries, specify last wishes, and name guardians for minor children.

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach county contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.

You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.

 

 

 

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PROCRASTION: THE ABILITY TO WITHSTAND THE URGE TO DO ANYTHING PRODUCTIVE.

Being a 'pro' at anything is something to be proud of. That means you are very talented. If you are an athlete, you would want to be a pro-athlete.  When it comes to estate planning, it is not an advantage if you have retained and maintain a 'pro' status when it comes to procrastinating.

To say you never procrastinate, is a lie.  Don't kid yourself. Everyone has fallen victim to the 'dark playground'. After all, the fact that you are reading this article means you are currently in the 'dark playground' and avoiding doing things that are actually on your 'to do list' (which I kindly appreciate and in this instance, I am more than happy to see that you are procrastinating)

Stop being a ‘pro’crastinor and be ‘pro’active when it comes to your estate planning. There is no guarantee there will be a tomorrow, so prepare today.

When it comes to estate planning, procrastinating should never be an option. It eventually causes family fighting and the chance of losing a portion of your estate to creditors. 

Great example of how procrastinating can cause more problems than expected.

Sonny Bono, passed away at the age of 62 due to complications from injuries sustained in a skiing accident. At the time of his death, Bono passed away with no estate planning, not even a simple will.  Fights ensued, due to the fact Bono had multiple marriages and children from each of those marriages. Even worse, at the time of his death, a secret love child surfaced wanting a piece of Bono's estate.

If Bono had not procrastinated and prepared his estate planning documents, he could have clearly stated who would and who would not receive from his estate (including a statement excluding any possible 'love children').

Stop being a 'pro'crastinor and be 'pro'active when it comes to your estate planning. There is no guarantee there will be a tomorrow, so prepare today.

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach county contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs. You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.

 

 

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My Future Ex-Spouse Deserves NOTHING!

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes divorce? If you realized that you never should have gotten married before having children, we salute you. However, most people marry, have children, then have an UH-OH moment and divorce. 

While in the process of getting divorced, you wish for your future ex-spouse to receive nothing! After all, you feel they don't deserve anything. What more is there to say?

If only you could say to your future ex-spouse, 'no soup for you' when it comes to receiving anything from your estate. If you are proactive and decide to update your estate planning documents while in the midst of the divorce process (which can take months or even years), in the State of Florida you cannot fully disinherit your spouse. The only way to leave your future ex-spouse out of your will and receive nothing is to have signed a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Otherwise, your spouse is entitled to the 'elective share'.

In Florida, the elective share to which a spouse is entitled comprises an extensive list of types of assets and property, which is detailed in Florida Statute 732.2035. The spouse is entitled to 30% of your estate through the elective share. However, if your spouse is going to take the elective share of your estate, a request must be filed within 6 months of date of service of notice of administration or within 2 years after the date of the decedent's death.  

If you are in the process of a divorce it is best to update your estate planning documents as soon as possible. Make sure your soon to be ex-spouse does not benefit more then allowed by the State of Florida. Also, do not forget to change any beneficiary designations that list your spouse to receive on anypay on death accounts (ie. life insurance policy, retirement accounts, investments, etc.)

The only way to leave your future ex-spouse out of your will and receive nothing is to have signed a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Otherwise, your spouse is entitled to the ‘elective share’.

Once you are officially divorced, do not forget to update your will or trust yet again. You should remove any language regarding your ex-spouse from your will or trust and at this point they no longer have a legal right to receive anything from your estate.

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach county contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.

You Can't Predict The Future, But You Can Plan For It!


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Heroes Get Remembered, But Legends Never Die

Legend: MICHAEL JACKSON   

Estate Planning Mistake: FAILURE TO FINISH WHAT YOU START

The singer's fame and place in pop culture is so big that even though he was a human being like the rest of us, it seemed he would somehow live forever. That's partly why nearly everyone was shocked at his 2009 passing and still are today. 

Although the music legend, Michael Jackson, did so many things right in the music industry, one thing he failed to do right was his estate planning. One major lesson that can be learned from Michael Jackson's estate is: FAILING TO FINISH WHAT YOU START

Michael Jackson created a trust, but never fully funded it, which defeated a primary purpose of having a trust. This caused a lot of fighting within his family. His estate was made public when filed with the probate court and all secrets were let out for the world to see.

If you never place the items you wish to keep protected into the safe, and someone robs your house, your assets are not protected.

Why would someone want a revocable trust?

What is a revocable trust?

A legal document that allows you to state your final wishes. In Florida, you can state who will receive and who will not receive from your estate. You are able to retain control of your assets during your lifetime and place stipulations on those who are to receive from your estate after your passing.  

What are the benefits of a revocable trust in Florida?

(1)Keep assets out of the probate court. Eliminates court fee and attorney's fees

(2)No delays and hassles associated with the probate process

(3)Private document. No one will ever have access to your financial information or who benefited from your estate.

How do you 'fund' a trust in Florida?

A trust is only as valuable as the assets that 'fund' it. If the trust is not funded, the trust is nothing more then a sheet of paper. Funding a trust simply means transferring property into the trust as well as retitling bank accounts, real estate and investments. 

For example, you purchase a safe that is fireproof, waterproof, and is drilled into the ground so a burglar cannot remove it easily from the home. If you never place the items you wish to keep protected into the safe, and someone robs your house, your assets are not protected. They were never placed in the safe. Same is true if you don't fund the trust with your assets. They will have to go through probate if not properly placed in your trust.

If you go through the effort of drafting a trust, make sure you complete the process and fully fund it. Last thing you want to do is pass away with a trust, and not get the full benefits of a trust.

If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach County contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs. You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.

 

 

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