VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Crystal River Florida Legal Blog

What obstacles make probate take longer?

The probate process can feel overwhelming to some people, and is not always met with open arms because of the patience needed to complete the process. The personal representative and heirs may become frustrated if certain issues extend the time necessary to conclude the administration of a loved one’s estate.

Is your loved one vulnerable to undue influence?

Watching our loved ones age can be difficult. They can gradually go from being completely independent and caring for others to needing support themselves. Once they do need assistance, it can be challenging to comprehend how much help they actually require.

Unfortunately, not everyone willing to help has the right motives. There may be someone in your loved one’s life who sees that vulnerability as an opportunity to manipulate their intentions for the future and even their existing estate planning.

Supporting a loved one with a TBI

Traumatic brain injuries are challenging for both the injured person and their loved ones. Unlike other injuries, a TBI can change how someone thinks and interacts with the world.

While a number of people may regain some skills and abilities after a TBI, many are not able to fully recover.

The dangers of nominating estate co-personal representatives


Nominating a personal representative to handle your estate when you pass away is vital. He or she will be tasked with making sure your plans are carried out the way you intend and concluding any unfinished business, like taxes and debts.

Who is liable in a rideshare accident?

Uber, Lyft, Juno, Zimride—you name it—the ridesharing culture in Florida and across the nation is in full swing. A simple click on a smartphone app and you can hail a private ride in 10 minutes. The reliability of these rides without the need to exchange money is extremely popular among the young and old.

However, drivers operating ridesharing vehicles are not unlike other drivers on the road. Rear-end collisions happen. Accidents with large trucks occur.

Three issues to note when it comes to estate taxes in Florida

People create estate plans by planning for the future. Who do I bequeath an important family heirloom? How about my investment property? What about my pets? These and many more issues are important to many of us.

Another important aspect, however, involves estate taxes. Many individuals who substantial assets contemplate estate taxes.

Unfortunately, tax laws and rules are complex-and always changing.

The importance of appointing an alternate personal representative

Just as in seemingly every aspect of life, a "Plan B" is essential when it comes to estate planning.

Appointing a personal representative to oversee your estate in the event you pass away is crucial to ensuring that your wishes are carried out in accordance with your will or other estate planning documents.

However, if when you pass away the person you appointed can no longer serve or is unwilling to assume the responsibilities of a personal representative, that person can decline the appointment.

If you have not named an alternate personal representative to take on these responsibilities, the court will appoint someone else. It could be a person you would not necessarily have chosen.

Why you should update your estate plan after moving to Florida

Florida is an attractive state for retirees. Between the lack of state income tax and the tropical weather, it’s understandable why many Americans would choose to enjoy their golden years in the sunshine state.

However, while many may have their sights set on Florida, they may not know that they need to get their estate plans reevaluated after moving. Here are a few issues that out-of-state estate plans may have in Florida.

Talking to your future heirs

When it comes time to talk about what you will leave behind, everyone takes a different approach and for their own reasons. You may want to leave your estate plan a surprise, or you may want to have regular family meetings on the subject.

You may fear that if you have an open discussion about your estate plan, you will have to deal with family members arguing or trying to bargain with you about what they will get. With the right approach, however, you may be able to have a thoughtful discussion that will make it easier to plan and distribute your estate.

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