Can An Agent Make a Gift Under Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is one of the most fundamentally important estate planning tools. A power of attorney created when you are of sound mind allows you to name someone who will act as your agent. If the power of attorney is "durable", the person you name as your agent can make important decisions about managing your affairs if you become … [Read more...]

Estate Planning Advice: Should My Parents Give Me Their Home?

Long-term care can be very costly and it can quickly deplete a person's life savings. Medicaid can help cover the costs of a nursing home, but only if the person going into care has limited resources. When someone owns a home, it is thus natural to be concerned about whether the house will be lost if nursing home care becomes necessary. However, in … [Read more...]

What is a Power of Attorney and When Does it Become Effective?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal instrument that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf.  The person granting that power (the “principal”) grants the right to act on his/her behalf to the agent, who is also referred to as the attorney-in-fact. The language of the POA determines what powers are granted to the agent; it may be … [Read more...]

I just moved to Florida; is my Will still valid?

A Will executed in another state, sometimes referred to as a “foreign will”, could be valid if it was validly executed under the laws of the other state (Fl. Stat. 732.502(2)). Therefore, the answer to this question could be partially dependent on the state in which you previously lived. One exception is a holographic Will, which is a … [Read more...]

How Long Does Probate Take?

It is reasonable to expect that a simple probate estate will take approximately five or six months to properly handle. Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries. Probate is necessary … [Read more...]

On Behalf of My Parent, Should I Act as Guardian or Attorney-In-Fact?

If your aging parent becomes incapacitated and needs someone to make decisions on his/her behalf, including decisions regarding medical treatments, financial issues, or living arrangements, you have a choice between serving as an attorney-in-fact (agent) if your parent has executed a valid Durable Power of Attorney (POA) appointing you as such, or … [Read more...]

What is the Difference Between a General and a Limited Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a grant of authority to someone else to act on your behalf. For example, if you are selling a house and you need to be away at the time of the closing, you can grant someone power of attorney to sign the papers on your behalf during the sale. Power of attorneys have many uses, but one of the most common is to name someone to … [Read more...]

Should I Have a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare in Florida?

A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare can grant someone else the authority to manage your health and medical affairs and make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.  A Declaration of Health Care Surrogate although named differently has the same effect. A Durable Power of Attorney can give someone the right to act on your behalf … [Read more...]

Estate Plan for Second Marriages

The elder population is experiencing more and more second and third marriages. Second and third marriages almost mandate a revisit to an estate planning attorney or an elder law attorney for advice. Is a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement needed? Almost certainly yes. If the second or third marriage is late in life or if the potential … [Read more...]

Why the Need for Effective Estate Planning

An estate plan is not just for the wealthy. Everyone should have an effective plan. Effective estate planning must consider many things and the plan must "dovetail" together. What happens at death; burial or cremation, disposition of assets, who will be the personal representative? Is a trust needed? Tax issues should also be considered. What … [Read more...]