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July 2013 Archives

Florida woman shut out of husband's care

A Florida woman has suffered a crushing legal blow after being ousted from a guardianship agreement for her elderly husband. Not only is the woman prohibited from visiting her husband without permission. The older man's guardian and attorneys are also siphoning legal fees from his estate.

Debate: Was Gandolfini's will good enough?

James Gandolfini, one of the most iconic American actors, died while on vacation in June. Although this tragic incident has had its twists and turns, one of the most surprising developments in the story is the focus on Gandolfini's estate administration plan. That is, his will is currently under scrutiny. Experts in the field say the man failed to properly structure his estate plan, a situation that could lead to lawsuits and other legal maneuvers from unruly family members. In addition, news reports allege that poor planning led to the estate handing over about $30 million of the man's $70 million fortune, largely because the plan ignored tax restrictions.

Gay widower's claim to estate affirmed

As the Defense of Marriage Act has been struck down by the Supreme Court, an increasing number of Florida estate plans are likely to feature provisions for same-sex spouses. This situation is positive for those who create the estate plans, but their families may not be nearly as supportive. In one shocking example, the brothers of a gay New York man who left his partner as the executor of his will have again been denied their claim by a state probate court.

Adult adoption: A viable estate planning tool

When you hear the term "adult adoption," you might chuckle a little because the concept seems so absurd. Most legal adoptions occur between minor children and their new guardians, so why would someone want to adopt a grown-up? The answer lies in the value of the practice as an estate planning tool. Even though it sounds silly on the surface, adult adoption can be a strategic practice that helps build a solid estate plan for many Florida residents.