Ryan M. Mynard, Attorney at Law, P.A.

Crestview Probate and Estate Planning Law Blog

Prudent estate planning needed for collectibles

Creating wills is a wise move for protecting the money that one has amassed over the years in Florida. However, it is also helpful for safeguarding valuable items that have been collected, such as antiques, art, jewelry and watches. Other items that can be protected through estate planning include baseball cards, firearms, bullion coins and numismatic coins. Here are a couple of tips for estate planning with these types of assets.

First, it is a wise move to track collected items. These items may be stowed away in a basement or attic, or they may have been misplaced in several ways. A helpful way of tracking these items is to use an online solution that features identifiable and limited access so that a family member does not try to bother one's catalog of collectibles.

3 major causes of conflict and probate litigation

While blended families can create a lot of love, they can also create issues when a loved one passes away. Unfortunately, many cases of probate litigation involve tensions and accusations between stepparents and stepchildren after a biological parent passes away. If that parent also suffered from dementia, surviving family may feel an even greater urge to fight for what they believe are the rightful outcomes of probate.

Estate crimes, Alzheimer's disease and widowed stepmothers are considered three major factors in estate disputes. When a Florida resident becomes cognitively impaired through a disease like Alzheimer's, it is easier for him or her to be taken advantage of by others. As a result, it is not unusual for accusations of undue influence to result, and in some cases, biological children may make such accusations against stepparents or even vice versa.

Estate planning critical re children with special needs

Creating wills and other related documents is critical for adults of all ages who own assets in Florida. However, estate planning is especially critical for those who have children with special needs. A major challenge that the parents of these children face is not being able to know for sure the kind of care their children will need. They also do not know what government benefits the children will qualify for upon turning 18.

An estate planning option that may help children who have special needs is a discretionary trust. This is particularly helpful if parents have enough assets to care for their children and thus prefer that they not receive benefits from the government. The parents can simply set aside funds to cover their children's living expenses, placing these funds in the trust.

Estate planning critical for older singles

People in Florida who are older, single and have no children may not have thought much about creating wills over the years. Instead, they may have been focused on building their careers and dealing with their various financial responsibilities from day to day. However, as they draw near retirement, it is critical that they pay greater attention to estate planning. Here are a few estate planning tips for singles who are close to their golden years.

First, it may behoove these individuals to execute powers of attorney and health care proxies. These documents enable individuals to choose who will make essential medical and financial decisions for them in the event that they cannot make these decisions for themselves. It is critical that those who are single have people named that they can trust to help them with these decisions.

Consumers procrastinate on estate planning for various reasons

Duties that are viewed as not interesting or enjoyable are often placed on the back burner. In light of this, it may come as no surprise that many consumers in Florida and elsewhere procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. Here are a few reasons why people procrastinate on creating estate plans and why this generally is not a good idea.

One of the main reasons that people often postpone creating estate plans is that they simply prefer not to consider the possibility of passing away. People naturally choose to focus on living rather than acknowledging death. Another reason why estate planning is often postponed is that people know that this may cause rifts in their families.

Probate administration possible without a will

When people in Florida pass away without wills, their surviving loved ones become preoccupied with figuring out how to distribute or transfer their property. This typically requires going through the probate process. Here is a glimpse at what the probate administration process involves when someone passes away with no will.

The probate court is responsible for overseeing the process of resolving all financial affairs, debts and taxes of those who pass away. This court also makes sure that any remaining assets end up in the hands of the proper individuals. When a deceased person leaves behind property and no will, the probate court also chooses a person to serve as the administrator of his or her estate.

Revocable trust can be handy estate planning tool

No two people or families are the same when it comes to their wishes for protecting their assets long term. However, many people's common concerns in Florida can easily be addressed through estate planning. A revocable trust is a particularly helpful estate planning tool for a multitude of reasons.

When a revocable trust's grantor passes away, the trust will continue on, carrying out his or her wishes. One of the main benefits of these trusts is that any property in them will bypass the process of probate when their grantors die. This means both financial and time savings for surviving family members.

Estate planning essential for both the well and the sick

Planning for the future is critical for people in good health, but it is just as important for those in poor health -- such as those battling cancer. Unfortunately, many people in Florida, no matter their medical situations, still have not engaged in estate planning. Here is a look at what a well-thought-out estate plan entails in the Sunshine State.

Estate planning involves creating a detailed plan that spells out how people want their estates handled if they end up being incapacitated or dying. These estates include assets, real estate and pensions. A basic component of an estate plan is a will that specifies what should happen to a person's property down the road.

Estate planning involves creating a plan, updating existing will

The new year offers a number of opportunities for people to plan for their futures. Unfortunately, although people in Florida often focus on business planning and retirement planning, for example, they often neglect estate planning. Here are a few tips for planning an estate successfully this year.

First, now is an ideal time for people to develop their estate plans if they do not currently have plans in place. Meanwhile, for those who have wills in place, now is a good time to review them. The reality is that planning an estate is a process that should ideally be ongoing, as people's financial situations and wishes can easily change over time. Specifically, it is generally a wise move to take a look at an existing estate plan every five years at least.

Why do I need a durable power of attorney?

What happens to your responsibilities when you become incapacitated? Who pays your bills? Who writes your checks? Who decides where you should live and what happens to your property and belongings?

The best thing you can do is assign someone you trust with durable power of attorney. The time to plan for this problem is before it happens.

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With offices in Crestview, we advise and represent clients throughout Northwest Florida. To speak with a dedicated and compassionate estate planning and probate lawyer, please call 850-683-3940 or contact us via email. We would be honored to speak with you about your concerns.

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Ryan M. Mynard, Attorney at Law, P.A.

Ryan M. Mynard, Attorney at Law, P.A.
420 East Pine Avenue
Crestview, FL 32539

Phone: 850-683-3940
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