Author Archive

Estate Planning for Expecting Parents

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If the stork is on his way, add estate planning to your list of things to do as expectant parents. It may not be as fun as picking out nursery colors or planning the baby shower, but it’s much more important!

Estate and financial plans updated for a little one on the way will include:

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Steps for the Personal Representative

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It can be overwhelming when a loved one passes away. The following steps are written as a guide for the next of kin or personal representative of the decedent. Although they are ordered, many of these tasks can be undertaken at the same time. For example, the first steps in administrative tasks can be taken the same day as the first steps in funeral arrangements.

Immediate tasks

  1. Lock the decedent’s real estate premises to keep contents secure.
  2. Prepare a team to help you ...
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Clear-sighted Planning

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I want to share a story of a couple that is approaching the next season of their lives with a refreshingly prudent look at their coming years. When they left our office, I felt inspired and couldn’t help but think that if more adults would look at their aging rationally while they were young enough to really see the road ahead, how much better off so many families would be.

The marketplace is flooded with advertisements for products which claim to ...

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The Neighbor is Herding Your Cats

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What happens without a will or trust for your pets, or plans for them?

I was on vacation a little while ago when I received a call from Orange County Animal Services, notifying me that I had come into possession of four cats. I like cats. But I’m allergic to them. And after that thought, my next thought was, is this a new thing that shelters are trying out, their own version of Publisher’s Clearing House awards? How am I so ...

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A Will or Trust? It’s Not About the Size of Your Estate

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When I use the word “trust” in a consultation, people often quickly tell me that they don’t have enough money or assets to require a trust. This is a common misconception, that a trust requires a vast estate. Perhaps we owe that to the word “trust” conjuring up visions of large philanthropic organizations that operate exclusively out of a trust, or “trust fund babies.”

In fact, a trust can often cost much less in administrative fees, on the back end, to ...

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Effect of Divorce on Your Will, Trust, and Beneficiary Forms

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Posted on: June 19, 2018
By Hallie L. Zobel, Esq.
Effect of Divorce on Estate Planning Documents (Adopted from a 2018 presentation to the National Association of Divorce Professionals)

Are you going through a divorce, or have gone through one recently?

If you’ve ever had the passing thought that your ex-spouse is still named in your will or trust, and cringed, thinking that you have to get that changed before you accidentally hand over your accounts to someone whom you don’t even ...

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If You Own Out of State Property, Establish a Trust

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If You Own Out of State Property, Establish a Trust
Posted on: March 30, 2018
By Hallie L. Zobel, Esq.

If you own out of state property, it’s almost a certainty that you and your family will be better served by a trust instead of a will.

Why is that?

First, consider that probate is unavoidable with a will. Many of my clients arrive at my office assuming that probate is only for those that are intestate, or without a will. The decedent’s ...

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Stranger Things from Beyond the Courthouse

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Stranger Things from Beyond the Courthouse
Posted on: March 6, 2018
By Hallie L. Zobel, Esq.

The following Is based on a presentation I gave in January to a group of local professionals. I decided to call it Stranger Things, because some things I’ve seen in my career really are stranger than fiction!

Recent surveys from Caring.com show ...

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What’s in Your Mailbox?

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What’s in Your Mailbox?
Posted on: February 15, 2018
By Hallie L. Zobel, Esq.

Every month, you probably receive dozens of solicitations. Some of them can look very official and urgent.

For example, one of our clients received this piece of mail and was left wondering if obtaining a Certificate of Status from the State of Florida was a step he’d overlooked in registering his LLC.

Not at all!

This notice from Florida Certificate Services reads, “Congratulations on registering your business with the State ...

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Your Client Has Been Named Trustee; Does He Really Need An Estate Attorney?

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Your Client Has Been Named Trustee; Does He Really Need An Estate Attorney?
Posted on: February 6, 2018
By Hallie L. Zobel, Esq.

A client recently terminated me as his attorney of his mother’s trust. I found it interesting that his decision came the day after he met with his financial advisor. Perhaps it was a total coincidence! After all, it is difficult for me to believe that a client would have been given advice from another professional that is likely to ...

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