Entries by Kevin Albaum

Preparing your Estate Plan During a Pandemic

As a result of the surge of COVID-19 cases throughout Florida recently, many Floridians who had not considered getting a last will and testament prepared or not previously contemplated their mortality are now seeking to get their legal affairs organized quickly. While most people only have mild symptoms of COVID-19, it does not hurt to be prepared by having your estate plan in order. I’ve always felt strongly that everyone should have at least a basic estate plan, regardless of the COVID-19 outbreak, so a person’s wishes will be honored in the event of death, incapacity or a health crisis. Having an estate plan implemented is meant to ease concerns by knowing who will be in charge and what will happen if something unexpected happens to you or your loved ones.

How Assets Transfer When a Person Dies

When a person dies their assets generally transfer to a new owner in one of four ways as follows: Joint Owner with Survivorship Rights; Payable-On-Death/Transfer-On-Death/Beneficiary Designation (“Beneficiary Designation”); via Probate; or via a transfer to a Trust.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s debts are paid and assets are distributed to their heirs or designated beneficiaries via a court process.

Crafting an Estate Plan to Include Disabled Family Members

Without proper planning, leaving an inheritance (or making a gift) to a disabled family member can cause the disabled person to lose their means-based government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) and/or Medicaid. SSI is a federal government program that pays monthly cash ($771.00 maximum per month in 2019) to blind or disabled adults and children.

Overview of Undue Influence Will Contests

The term “Undue Influence” is a legal cause of action that can be brought in court when it is believed that a deceased person’s Last Will and Testament (trust, deed, beneficiary designation, etc.) was the product of another person’s over-persuasion, duress, force, coercion… to such a degree that the person who signed the document did not use their own free will power in executing the document.