Main Menu
VanNess & VanNess, P.A.
Toll Free: 866-697-6221 Local: 352-436-4333 Over 100 years of combined experience

Challenging a will

It is very difficult to challenge a Florida testator's will, and the vast majority of wills go through probate court without being contested. Courts will try to stick to the terms of a will exactly unless there is proof that the will is invalid. If a will is invalidated, the court may use a previous will or intestacy laws to decide how property should be distributed.

Beneficiary designations and bequests

To ensure that ownership of certain assets are transferred according to their final wishes, Florida residents should know that there is a distinction between beneficiary designations for a financial account and a bequest detailed in a will. Regardless of the language of a will, beneficiary designations supersede it.

Teen safety on the road is a year-round concern

Florida communities may observe safety campaigns such as National Teen Driver Safety Week, but it is important to keep the issues addressed during such events in mind throughout the year. Concern for teen drivers is rising because of 2015 statistics, which show that accident-related fatalities grew at a high rate in that year for this age group. The year's overall statistics are particularly disconcerting because that was the first year with an increase in driving fatalities over the previous year since a downward trend in these numbers began in 2007.

Protecting angel investments in an estate plan

Wealthy individuals in Florida may decide to help entrepreneurs to form small startups with investments of capital called 'angel investments." An angel investor usually helps a startup that is in its first stages by providing a one-time investment or ongoing investments. In exchange for the funding, an angel investor may receive a return on the investment if the startup does well.

U.S. seeks to reduce traffic deaths to zero

The federal government intends to reduce traffic fatalities and accident-related injuries in Florida and around the country to zero within 30 years. On Oct. 5, 2016, officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a plan to promote the use of current safety tools, safe driving education, and advances in driving technology to reach this target. Agency officials have admitted that to reach this goal, commitment will be required from everyone from drivers to the government.

Placing homes in trusts

One estate planning tool that some Florida residents may find to be helpful is a revocable living trust. These instruments hold the assets placed in them by their grantors. The grantors may then use the assets while they are alive, transferring them directly to the trust beneficiaries when they die.

Creating education trusts to benefit grandchildren

People in Florida who are creating an estate plan might be concerned about how their grandchildren will pay for their education and may wonder if an education trust is the answer. It is possible to use a 529 savings plan for college funds, and compared to that, an education trust has advantages and disadvantages. For example, a couple cannot contribute more than $28,000 annually to a 529 plan without incurring gift taxes. A 529 might also affect a student's eligibility for financial aid. A trust also gives a person more control over how and when the money is distributed. In effect, it can be used to pass on values as well as assets.

The many uses of an estate plan

Some Florida residents might think that they do not need an estate plan because they do not have many assets. However, an estate plan can be an important tool for many adults. Furthermore, it is more than just a way for a person to pass on assets to loved ones. It can also be used to make arrangements for end-of-life care. This may include a document that appoints someone to make health care decisions if a person is incapacitated as well as a power of attorney to take care of a person's finances in the same circumstances.

VanNess & VanNess, P.A.