Estate and Business Planning Legal Blog

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Tips for Avoiding Probate in Florida

Probate is the process by which the court facilitates the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. Unfortunately, probate is a lengthy and expensive process in the state of Florida. In fact, it often takes six months or more to complete the probate process. Luckily, as we explain below, there are multiple ways to avoid probate in Florida.

Joint Ownership with Rights of Survivorship

In Florida, people may own real estate or personal property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

What Happens When You Die Without a Will


When one dies without a will, commonly referred to dying intestate, the laws of the state where the decedent resided at the time of his or her death determines what happens to that person's assets.  In many states, where one dies leaving a spouse and no children, all assets go to the spouse.  If there is a spouse and children, a portion of the assets (oftentimes 1/2) goes to the children.  If there are no spouse and children, then other heirs are next in line, usually parents and siblings.

What is the problem with dying intestate?  First of all, the distribution of the assets is not necessarily what the person would have wanted in the first place.
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Monday, December 13, 2021

Marriage and Probate in Florida

One advantage of marriage in Florida is that it provides spouses with several legal benefits. One such benefit is related to probate, which is the process by which a deceased individual’s assets are legally transferred to his or her rightful heirs. When a married person dies, his or her surviving spouse is entitled to certain protections during the probate process.

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Friday, November 26, 2021

Different Types of Trusts

A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that gives a third party, called a trustee, the ability to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Trusts are flexible instruments that can be arranged in many ways and can specify exactly how and when your assets transfer to beneficiaries. In this article, we examine four popular types of trusts.

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust is a written document that determines how your assets will be handled after your death. A revocable living trust is unique in that you can amend or cancel it at any time.

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

New York & Florida Probate: A Comparison

Clients often ask why they need to go through a probate process when someone dies leaving a last will and testament.  The simple answer is that there needs to be a legal procedure whereby the ownership of assets is transferred from the deceased to his/her beneficiaries.  Is probate something to be avoided?  The answer depends.

In New York, the probate process is quite streamlined.  The original will and death certificate are filed with the Court, along with a Petition and a few other required documents.
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Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Different Types of Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a powerful estate planning tool. However, there are several different types of powers of attorney, and each is used for different purposes. Therefore, before executing a power of attorney, it’s important to understand which option is best for you. In this article, we examine the different types of power of attorney.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney gives another person (called an attorney-in-fact) all the powers and rights that you have yourself.
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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Critical Provisions in a Commercial Contract

               It is always a good idea for the business owner or executive to review one's company's contracts, to make sure they are current and contain important provisions. Of course, whether one is providing products or services, the description of what is being provided is a must, as is the price/fee being charged.  One of the most overlooked provisions in company contracts involves disputes. 

               One of the more important provisions in a commercial contract, whether the contract is with a customer, supplier, distributor, or other, is the jurisdiction/choice of law provision.  What this consists of, simply, is a designation of what state should govern the interpretation of the contract and any disputes.
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Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Beneficiary Designations

Clients are often encouraged by advisors at financial institutions to name beneficiaries on their savings and investment accounts; however, doing so is not always beneficial for everyone.

The primary advantage of naming beneficiaries on one’s accounts is that probate is avoided.  At one’s death, the asset passes to the beneficiary simply by presentation of a death certificate.  While that sounds great, probate is usually not very difficult or expensive, especially if one resides in the State of New York.  What most people don’t realize is that beneficiary designations supersede the terms of one’s last will and testament.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Tips for Preventing Family Squabbles After a Death

A death in the family is always difficult. In addition to the obvious pain associated with losing a loved one, practical matters, such as who will inherit what property, sometimes create additional tension among family members. Although this is unfortunate, it is an extremely common occurrence following a loved one’s death. Luckily, with a little planning, most fights among family members can be prevented. In this article, we share some tips for preventing family squabbles after a death.

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Sunday, September 5, 2021

Is Estate Planning the Same as a Will?

If you are considering starting the estate planning process, you probably have a lot of questions. After all, estate planning is complicated, and there is a lot of information out there on the topic. In this article, we examine the following common estate planning question: “Is estate planning the same as a will?” For help with other common estate planning questions, please contact our experienced estate planning attorney.

What is a Will?

A will is an important legal document that conveys the final wishes of a person who has passed away. Despite its importance, however, approximately 60 percent of U.

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Sunday, August 22, 2021

How to Pay for Long-Term Care

It used to be that purchasing long-term care insurance was the best way to finance long-term health care costs, whether it be provided at home, with an aide, or in an assisted living or nursing facility.  If one currently has long-term care insurance, then you should consider yourself very lucky and you should hold onto the policy (ies).  The reason is that long-term care companies offered policies at what many believed to be somewhat reasonable rates, but the claims they paid out were huge.  Many companies will not sell the policies any longer, and the ones which do charge exorbitant prices.

One option of financing long-term care is to purchase an insurance policy with a long-term care rider.

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At the Law Office of Angela Siegel, we are pleased to offer legal assistance to clients located in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Kings and New York Counties specifically but not limited to Garden City, Jericho, East Meadow, Mineola, Syosset, Roslyn, Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Hicksville, Plainview, Merrick, Wantagh, Bellmore, Rockville Center, West Hempstead, Little Neck, Douglaston, Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Astoria, etc., as well as clients located within the state of Florida.

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