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Estate Planning for Your Pets

elderly couple with their pet

Most people who own pets consider them part of the family. While they may not factor into your estate planning, they should, in order to ensure they’re being taken care of properly. Of course, you can’t leave property to your pets, as they’re not capable of owning it. However, there are other things you can do to make sure they’re happy and living the good life after you’re gone. Your estate plan can ensure that your pets go to a caring person, and that the person has the resources to take care of them.


What Happens to a Living Trust After Death?

Establishing a living trust is a normal part of estate planning for many people. The idea of being able to benefit from and control the assets in the trust until your death is an attractive one. In a living trust, a person appoints a trustee, who oversees the trust after the person dies, administering it as the grantor wished. As mentioned, the grantor can make changes to this type of trust up until the time of either their incapacitation due to illness or death. However, what happens with the trust after the grantor’s death?


What is a Trust?

Blocks with letters spelling out trust

If you have been planning for your future, the protection of your assets, and who you’d like them to go to, you’ve probably run across the legal concept and tool of trusts. There are several types of trusts, as well as several reasons why you would use one to protect your assets, and ensure they go to the right entity. Choosing the right type of trust is vital, as there are significant differences in how each trust operates.


Conservatorships vs. Powers of Attorney: Which is Right for You?

Younger woman and older woman reviewing a legal document, such as Power of Attorney

As we age, planning for our estates and end of life care becomes increasingly important. Part of this planning may include the possibility of being incapaciatated, and requiring someone else to make important decisions regarding your health or assets. There are, of course, options for this kind of thing, including conservatorships and powers of attorney. Which is right for you? That depends on your situation. 


What is a Will Contest and Who Can Contest a Will?

Couple meeting lawyer to contest a legal document such as a will

When a family member dies, there can sometimes be disputes over the validity of the will. This is called a will contest. This can be a difficult time for families, and contesting a will can make a tough situation even more difficult. In a will contest, certain parties to the will may raise an objection to the will, with the idea that it is not conveying the deceased person’s true intentions with their assets. Those contesting the will may make the case that the deceased was incapacitated at the time the will was drawn up, and unable to make clear decisions. Of course, not just anyone can contest a will. According to Florida probate law, only “interested parties” can make the case against a will. And they can only challenge the will for legal reasons. Interested parties are defined to include children, heirs, devisees, spouses, creditors, or any others having a property right, or claim against, the estate being administered. Those who may challenge a will generally fall into one of three main categories, which are the beneficiaries of a prior will, beneficiaries of a subsequent will, and intestate heirs.


When is a Will Filed in Probate Court?

After the death of a loved one, there are certain steps that need to be taken in regard to the person’s will to make sure it is probated and that the instructions are carried out. The quicker this is done, the quicker the assets in the will can be distributed. 


How to Avoid the Probate Process

Senior couple meeting with an estate planning lawyer

Avoiding the probate process may be desirable both for the person who has passed away and for the person’s heirs. It does not have to be a difficult process, as it is easy to ensure your assets are going straight to your heirs while avoiding probate. Here are several ways you can avoid the probate process.


Estate Planning with No Children

Estate planning with no children

For some people without children, estate planning may not seem necessary. In some cases, people might also think that estate planning is only for the wealthy, and may not apply to them. It may also seem like a stressful endeavor not worth undertaking with no obvious heirs, such as children.


Estate Planning for Single People

Estate Planning for Single People

For a single person, estate planning may be the last thing on their mind. For that reason, estate planning for a single person can sometimes be challenging. There are many decisions that need to be made, and it is often easier not to think about it, especially if you are single. However, having an estate plan in place can reduce stress for survivors of the single person, and give the single person peace of mind, knowing that things will be taken care of. 



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