Information to Provide to Your Estate Planning Attorney

Largo estate lawyer GavelYour Largo estate lawyer requires a lot of information in order to help you establish an effective estate plan. This information helps your Largo estate attorney to better understand your financial situation and goals. Your lawyer may ask you to complete a questionnaire or to bring a variety of documents with you when you first meet with your Largo estate attorney. The following information may be required by your attorney.

Information about You and Your Background

Your Largo estate lawyer may ask you about the following information that is pertinent to you and your background:
  • Your full legal name
  • Your mailing and physical address
  • Your home phone number and your cell phone number
  • Whether you have lived in another state or country
  • The country where you are considered a citizen
  • Your date of birth
  • Your job

Family Information

Your Largo estate lawyer may ask about your marital and family history. In particular, he or she may ask for the following information:

  • Your current marital status
  • Date of your current marriage
  • Whether you are divorced or widowed
  • The name of your former spouse
  • The date of death of your former spouse or the date of divorce
  • Whether your deceased spouse left a will
  • State where your former spouse died or where the divorce was granted
  • Financial requirements listed in the divorce decree
  • Whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is in place
  • Whether you have any children and their identification
  • Whether you wish to leave any children out of your will

Assets

Your lawyer also needs to know about the types of assets that you have. He or she will likely ask for the different types of financial accounts you have, their location and their relative value. You may be asked to provide information about real property you own, checking accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, business interests, pension plans, trust interests and other assets of significant value.

For help with your estate plan, contact Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474.

bitcoin

Did you purchase Bitcoins (virtual currency)? You need to read this.

Securities lawyer in Clearwater bitcoinsThe Securities and Exchange Commission charged Erik T. Voorhees, a co-owner of two Bitcoin-related websites, for publicly offering shares in two ventures (SatoshiDICE and FeedZeBirds) without registering them. Investors paid for their shares using Bitcoin, a virtual currency that can be used to purchase real world goods and services and exchanged for fiat currencies on certain online exchanges.

The SEC’s Order finds that Voorhees actively solicited investors to buy FeedZeBirds and SatoshiDICE shares on a website dedicated to Bitcoin known as the Bitcoin Forum. Mr. Voorhees also publicly promoted the unregistered offerings on other Bitcoin related websites as well as Facebook.   For additional information, please refer to the Securities and Exchange Commission Press Release No. 2014-111.

Durable Power of Attorney Designations

Safety Harbor estate lawyer meeting with clientsA durable power of attorney may be one document that your Safety Harbor estate lawyer recommends as part of a comprehensive estate plan. Your Safety Harbor estate attorney can explain the dynamics of this legal designation.

General Guidelines

Your Safety Harbor estate lawyer can explain that a durable power of attorney gives you, the principal, the power to designate another person, the agent, to take care of your personal financial affairs. The powers that you give the agent are at your discretion. There are general rights that a power of attorney usually receives, such as the ability to file your tax returns, execute contracts on your behalf, complete bank account transactions and register motor vehicles unless you have different instructions. You may also prefer to limit your power of attorney to a particular task, such as selling real estate.

Durability

A Safety Harbor attorney can explain the special term “durable.” Generally, a power of attorney expires upon the incapacitation of the principal. However, a durable power of attorney endures after the principal becomes incapacitated. This means that the individual will retain the right to take care of your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.

Types of Power of Attorney Designations

There are several ways that you can establish a power of attorney relationship, as your Safety Harbor estate lawyer can explain. For example, you can grant a special durable power of attorney. This provides for the completion of tasks related to a specific project, such as the sale of a house. A springing power of attorney allows you to designate an agent of your choice, but the individual does not get the power to conduct your financial affairs until you become incapacitated or until another event transpires that you establish ahead of time. You can also grant a general durable power of attorney if you would like the individual to be able to make financial decisions on your behalf and to have general powers.

If you would like more information on a durable power of attorney and how this can help your estate plan, contact the Coleman Law Firm by calling 727-461-7474 and setting up a confidential consultation.

An Overview of Estate Planning  

Dunedin estate planning lawyer Men Reviewing Estate Planning DocumentsSome people entertain the mistaken belief that estate planning is only for the elderly. However, it is especially necessary for anyone with minor children, assets to protect and anyone who wants to prepare for the future. Your estate plan helps you clearly communicate your wishes in writing through legal documents, including a will, a trust, a living will and powers of attorney. The focus is on helping your loved ones after your passing and protecting them from undue expense or pain. Our Dunedin estate planning lawyer can provide guidance through this process, no matter the size of your estate.

Meeting Your Estate Planning Needs

Our Dunedin estate planning attorney will discuss your goals and work to develop an estate plan tailor-made to meet your needs. We will answer your questions and address your concerns in order to ease your mind as you take care of these matters.

Parts of Estate Planning

The amount of estate planning you need depends on your specific concerns. For example, a will is used to transfer your property to those you designate, such as individuals, charities or businesses. The will also addresses the care of any minor children and usually sets up a trustee to represent you after your death. A living will is used to provide instructions regarding medical treatment if you cannot make your own decisions and generally includes addressing your preferences regarding any life-sustaining methods. A trust is an entity that manages monies and distributes them to one or more beneficiaries. While a will takes time to administer, a trust is immediately effective and avoids the red tape of probate. Our Dunedin estate planning lawyer can address your concerns regarding each of these areas.

Probate

Probate settles the decedent’s estate and transfers assets to the correct recipients. It is also the process of legally validating the will. The time frame can take from a few months to many years. Our Dunedin estate planning attorney can provide suggestions on how to minimize this time frame.

If you have questions or need help with organizing your affairs, call our Dunedin estate planning lawyer. Contact the Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474 for further information.

Probate and Non-probate Assets

Dunedin estate attorneys meetingOne of the important aspects of developing an estate plan is using non-probate assets. Your Dunedin estate attorney can explain the key differences between probate and non-probate assets.

Probate Assets

Your Dunedin estate attorney may tell you that probate assets are those that are typically subject to probate. They may include assets that are listed in the decedent’s will or that are those mentioned in the laws of intestacy if the decedent had no will or his or her will was declared invalid. Your Dunedin lawyer may further simplify this definition by saying that probate assets are usually those that are titled in the decedent’s name.

For example, real property, bank accounts, CDs, stocks, bonds, brokerage accounts, vehicles, personal property, royalties from intellectual property, personal loans, an interest in a pending lawsuit and money are commonly probate assets. However, if there is a right of survivorship that is attached to the asset or if the asset is subject to a payable-on-death designation, the asset is usually not a probate asset. Additionally, many jurisdictions have a protected homestead law to prevent the decedent’s primary residence from being passed through the probate process. Furthermore, if any of these assets allowed the decedent to establish a beneficiary upon death, the asset is usually not subject to probate.

Non-Probate Assets

In contrast, your Dunedin lawyer can explain that non-probate assets are those that do not pass under the terms of a will or the laws of intestacy. Additionally, your Dunedin estate attorney may provide you with a list of typical non-probate assets. For example, life insurance is commonly a large portion of non-probate assets as long as the estate or the personal representative is not named as the beneficiary. Employer-provided retirement plans are common non-probate assets, assuming that the testator is not married. Likewise, funds that are part of a person’s Individual Retirement Account are usually non-probate assets. So are assets that are part of trusts and assets that pass with a right of survivorship, such as real property or a bank account.

Contact the Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474 for help with your estate plan.

Legal Requirements for Trusts

If you are interested in creating a trust as part of your estate plan, a Belleair estate planning attorney can discuss the legal formalities that must be executed with trusts. Additionally, your Belleair estate planning lawyer can explain that these formalities are the same as those required by individuals who make a valid will.

Writing

One basic requirement of a valid trust that your Belleair estate planning attorney can mention to you is the need for the trust to be in writing.

Signatures

Additionally, your Belleair estate planning attorney can explain that you must sign the trust or ask another person to sign on your behalf in your presence. Two witnesses must see this signing personally. These witnesses must also sign the trust in front of the person creating it and in the presence of one another.

Presumption of Revocability

The person who establishes the trust is usually able to revoke or amend the trust at his or her bidding unless the trust is expressly made irrevocable.

Revoking or Amending a Trust

If only one person created the trust, the settlor can generally amend or revoke the trust by substantially complying with a revocation or amendment provision in the trust. If the trust does not say how to amend or revoke the trust, the settlor can revoke or amend it by making a later will or codicil that specifically devises the trust property or any other method that provides clear and convincing evidence of the settlor’s intention to revoke or amend the trust. Again, the formalities of creating a will are required.

Special Rules Regarding Joint Settlors

If more than one settlor established a trust, such as when a married couple does, there are different rules regarding revoking or amending the trust. For example, if the trust has community property in it, the trust can be revoked by either spouse. However, it can only be amended by both of the spouses together. For property amendments that are separate property, each settlor can revoke or amend the trust regarding that part of the trust individually.

Contact a Belleair estate planning lawyer from the Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474 for help with your estate plan.

Probate Advantages and Disadvantages

While you may have heard many individuals talk about the hideous probate process and the desperate need to avoid them, your Largo estate planning attorney can explain the advantages as well as disadvantages of the probate process. Being more informed on this topic can help you construct a more effective estate plan with your Largo estate planning attorney.

Disadvantages of Probate

Your Largo estate planning attorney can explain that the most significant disadvantage of probate is that it takes too much time. While life insurance proceeds may go to the beneficiary shortly after the necessary forms and proof of death are completed or a property may immediately transfer if there is a right of survivorship attached to it, probate can take many months or even years. This means that the beneficiaries may not receive needed assets until well after the decedent dies. Another disadvantage that your Largo estate planning lawyer may discuss with you is the cumbersome characteristic of probate. Probating a will can involve the need to file numerous documents with the court.

How to Avoid Probate

Due to these disadvantages, your Largo estate planning lawyer may recommend attempting to avoid probate. This can be accomplished through several avenues, such as by providing inter vivos gifts, adding a transfer on death characteristic for bank accounts, joint tenancies with the right of survivorship for certain bank accounts and real property, trusts and life insurance policies.

Advantages of Probate

Probate offers some advantages. For example, it usually provides greater protection to your beneficiaries. Additionally, it has an established set of rules to help handle creditor claims of the estate.

Unexpected Circumstances

While many individuals have the goal of avoiding probate, they may be unaware of the consequences that can occur when this route is taken. For example, if a person is added to an account so that the account can pass automatically at death, that individual may make charges that the original owner did not authorize. Likewise, a person may use up their gift tax and have their beneficiaries liable for estate tax.

If you would like more information on the probate process, contact the Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474.

Do you qualify for simplified arbitration?

Clearwater securities lawyer Cash and Red CalculatorHave you lost $50,000 or less and been turned away by other securities litigation attorneys?   Did you know that FINRA has a rule change that would allow those customers with losses up to $50,000 or less to file a Simplified Arbitration.

Did your broker make a trade without your permission, and you lost money? Did your broker fail to execute a trade you ordered and it ended up with you losing the profit you would have made if the broker had done his or her job.

Yes, brokers are people too, and they make mistakes. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer losses just because your broker mishandled your account unintentionally. There are rules and protections in place to protect you from such unintentional mistakes.

The simplified process is streamlined, and in some cases there is no actual hearing. You tell your story of whatever alleged wrongdoing has occurred in written form and it is provided to a single arbitrator and to the legal department of the firm you believe has wronged you. The brokerage firm will respond to your claim. There will be a request to provide certain documents by each party. This is the option to have a single arbitrator, and a decision can be rendered based solely on the pleadings and materials provided. There is always an option to have a hearing, if desired, but our experienced has demonstrated to us that most people would rather NOT go to a hearing, which is why they do nothing.

We at the Coleman Law Firm believe that every investor should have the assistance and experience of a proven law firm behind them. We have assisted individuals in the preparation of their simplified claims.

For more information on this proposed Simplified Arbitrations, you can check with FINRA.org, or contact our offices at (727) 461-7474.

Information to Provide to Your Estate Planning Attorney

Your Largo estate lawyer requires a lot of information in order to help you establish an effective estate plan. This information helps your Largo estate attorney to better understand your financial situation and goals. Your lawyer may ask you to complete a questionnaire or to bring a variety of documents with you when you first meet with your Largo estate attorney. The following information may be required by your attorney.

Information about You and Your Background

Your Largo estate lawyer may ask you about the following information that is pertinent to you and your background:

<ul>
<li>Your full legal name</li>
<li>Your mailing and physical address</li>
<li>Your home phone number and your cell phone number</li>
<li>Whether you have lived in another state or country</li>
<li>The country where you are considered a citizen</li>
<li>Your date of birth</li>
<li>Your job </li>
</ul>

Family Information

Your Largo estate lawyer may ask about your marital and family history. In particular, he or she may ask for the following information:

<ul>
<li>Your current marital status</li>
<li>Date of your current marriage</li>
<li>Whether you are divorced or widowed</li>
<li>The name of your former spouse</li>
<li>The date of death of your former spouse or the date of divorce</li>
<li>Whether your deceased spouse left a will</li>
<li>State where your former spouse died or where the divorce was granted</li>
<li>Financial requirements listed in the divorce decree</li>
<li>Whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is in place</li>
<li>Whether you have any children and their identification</li>
<li>Whether you wish to leave any children out of your will</li>
</ul>
Assets

Your lawyer also needs to know about the types of assets that you have. He or she will likely ask for the different types of financial accounts you have, their location and their relative value. You may be asked to provide information about real property you own, checking accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, business interests, pension plans, trust interests and other assets of significant value.

For help with your estate plan, contact Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474.

An Overview of Estate Planning

Some of our clients come to Coleman Law Firm with the mistaken belief that estate planning is only for the elderly. However, it is especially necessary for anyone with minor children, assets to protect and anyone who wants to prepare for the future. Your estate plan helps you clearly communicate your wishes in writing through legal documents, including a will, a trust, a living will and powers of attorney. The focus is on helping your loved ones after your passing and protecting them from undue expense or pain. Our Dunedin estate planning lawyer can provide guidance through this process, no matter the size of your estate.

Meeting Your Estate Planning Needs

Our Dunedin estate planning attorney will discuss your goals and work to develop an estate plan tailor-made to meet your needs. We will answer your questions and address your concerns in order to ease your mind as you take care of these matters.

Parts of Estate Planning

The amount of estate planning you need depends on your specific concerns. For example, a will is used to transfer your property to those you designate, such as individuals, charities or businesses. The will also addresses the care of any minor children and usually sets up a trustee to represent you after your death. A living will is used to provide instructions regarding medical treatment if you cannot make your own decisions and generally includes addressing your preferences regarding any life-sustaining methods. A trust is an entity that manages monies and distributes them to one or more beneficiaries. While a will takes time to administer, a trust is immediately effective and avoids the red tape of probate. Our Dunedin estate planning lawyer can address your concerns regarding each of these areas.

Probate

Probate settles the decedent’s estate and transfers assets to the correct recipients. It is also the process of legally validating the will. The time frame can take from a few months to many years. Our Dunedin estate planning attorney can provide suggestions on how to minimize this time frame.

If you have questions or need help with organizing your affairs, call our Dunedin estate planning lawyer. Contact Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474 for further information.

Probate and Non-Probate Assets

One of the important aspects of developing an estate plan is using non-probate assets. Your Dunedin estate attorney can explain the key differences between probate and non-probate assets.

Probate Assets

Your Dunedin estate attorney may tell you that probate assets are those that are typically subject to probate. They may include assets that are listed in the decedent’s will or that are those mentioned in the laws of intestacy if the decedent had no will or his or her will was declared invalid. Your Clearwater Dunedin lawyer may further simplify this definition by saying that probate assets are usually those that are titled in the decedent’s name. For example, real property, bank accounts, CDs, stocks, bonds, brokerage accounts, vehicles, personal property, royalties from intellectual property, personal loans, an interest in a pending lawsuit and money are commonly probate assets. However, if there is a right of survivorship that is attached to the asset or if the asset is subject to a payable-on-death designation, the asset is usually not a probate asset. Additionally, many jurisdictions have a protected homestead law to prevent the decedent’s primary residence from being passed through the probate process. Furthermore, if any of these assets allowed the decedent to establish a beneficiary upon death, the asset is usually not subject to probate.

Non-Probate Assets

In contrast, your Clearwater Dunedin lawyer can explain that non-probate assets are those that do not pass under the terms of a will or the laws of intestacy. Additionally, your
Dunedin estate attorney may provide you with a list of typical non-probate assets. For example, life insurance is commonly a large portion of non-probate assets as long as the estate or the personal representative is not named as the beneficiary. Employer-provided retirement plans are common non-probate assets, assuming that the testator is not married. Likewise, funds that are part of a person’s Individual Retirement Account are usually non-probate assets. So are assets that are part of trusts and assets that pass with a right of survivorship, such as real property or a bank account.

Contact the Coleman Law Firm at 727-461-7474 for help with your estate plan.

Durable Power of Attorney Designations

A durable power of attorney may be one document that your Safety Harbor lawyer recommends as part of a comprehensive estate plan. Your Safety Harbor attorney can explain the dynamics of this legal designation.

General Guidelines

Your Safety Harbor lawyer can explain that a durable power of attorney gives you, the principal, the power to designate another person, the agent, to take care of your personal financial affairs. The powers that you give the agent are at your discretion. There are general rights that a power of attorney usually receives, such as the ability to file your tax returns, execute contracts on your behalf, complete bank account transactions and register motor vehicles unless you have different instructions. You may also prefer to limit your power of attorney to a particular task, such as selling real estate.

Durability

A Safety Harbor attorney can explain the special term “durable.” Generally, a power of attorney expires upon the incapacitation of the principal. However, a durable power of attorney endures after the principal becomes incapacitated. This means that the individual will retain the right to take care of your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.

Types of Power of Attorney Designations

There are several ways that you can establish a power of attorney relationship, as your Safety Harbor lawyer can explain. For example, you can grant a special durable power of attorney. This provides for the completion of tasks related to a specific project, such as the sale of a house. A springing power of attorney allows you to designate an agent of your choice, but the individual does not get the power to conduct your financial affairs until you become incapacitated or until another event transpires that you establish ahead of time. You can also grant a general durable power of attorney if you would like the individual to be able to make financial decisions on your behalf and to have general powers.

If you would like more information on a durable power of attorney and how this can help your estate plan, contact the Coleman Law Firm by calling 727-461-7474 and setting up a confidential consultation.