Can (and Should) a Beneficiary be Witness to a Will?
At Doane & Doane, we often get the question: “Can a beneficiary be witness to a will?” The short answer to that question in Florida is “yes.” Florida law provides that a beneficiary can be witness to a will. What we impress upon our clients, however, is that the inquiry should not stop there.
What is a Fixed Fee Probate?
There are a number of drawbacks to the probate process when administering the estate of someone who has passed away. The four main challenges are expense, time, privacy, and control [...]
What is the Purpose of Estate Planning?
Sometimes it is a good idea to go back to fundamentals. Many people believe that if you have a will you avoid the probate court process. That is actually not true. Having a will allows you designate which beneficiaries should receive which assets, but the will must still be handled through the probate court. The way to avoid probate court, [...]
What is the Difference Between a Charitable Lead Trust vs. a Charitable Remainder Trust?
If you are philanthropically minded, then you may want to consider making a charitable trust part of your overall estate plan. What is really a win-win with charitable trusts, is that you can also enjoy certain tax, and other, benefits while doing something good for the world. In fact, you can use a charitable trust so that your assets can [...]
The Late Jimi Hendrix, a Cautionary Tale . . . for Estate Planning?
Known for his pioneering guitar prowess and electrifying performances, Jimi Hendrix changed the way we experienced the electric guitar.  Jimi Hendrix, only 27 when he died, influenced millions of guitar players around the world – including Eddie Van Halen who sadly died recently himself.
What is the Homestead Exemption in Florida?
If you are looking for reasons to buy real estate in Florida, then you can add tax benefits as one of those reasons. Specifically, Florida’s homestead exemption is a very effective way to reduce your tax burden in the State of Florida [...]
The Good and Not So Good About Irrevocable Trusts
If you are actively planning your estate, then you are doing something very smart for you and your family. In the process of estate planning, you are likely weighing a number of different options. To name a few examples, you need to consider who will be the executor (under Florida law, called the personal representative) for your last will and [...]
What is a Self-Proving Affidavit in Florida?
Whether you have already set up an estate plan and you need to revisit it, or if you are planning to set up an estate plan for the first time, your ultimate goal is to make sure that your assets and affairs are distributed and handled in the manner according to your wishes after you pass away. That can sometimes [...]
What You Need to Know About Personal Representative Duties in Florida
Have you been appointed as a personal representative for someone’s estate in Florida, or are you considering who you should select to be the personal representative for your estate? Whether you have been asked to be a personal representative, or are selecting a representative, the first order of business is to get an understanding of what are the personal representative [...]
6 Estate Planning Tools That You Need to Consider
The coronavirus pandemic has taught us a lot of things that we might not have quite realized as a culture. In a lot of ways, the pandemic revealed how fragile our health care system is in the U.S. It has revealed how much we depend on schools to help give our children structure as they develop. It has revealed how [...]