Probate

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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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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Greed or Passive Opportunism? Financial Exploitation of the Elderly an Unfortunate Reality

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Greed or Passive Opportunism? Financial Exploitation of the Elderly an Unfortunate Reality
Posted on: October 30th, 2016
By Hallie Zobel, Esq.

Financial exploitation of the elderly is on the rise throughout our countryFrom where I sit, it’s not uncommon to find myself with a front row seat peering into the darker side of humanity. It’s hard to imagine anything more heartbreaking than litigating a probate case involving the apparent financial exploitation of an elderly citizen ...

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Yes, Virginia, Your Uncle’s Will Must Be Probated

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Yes, Virginia, Your Uncle’s Will Must Be Probated
Posted on: February 23rd, 2016
By Hallie Zobel, Esq.

During the month of January we began seeing a flurry of clients walk through the door with probate issues.  Based on what we’re seeing, most Americans – irrespective of educational background or socioeconomic circumstances – seem to be under the misimpression that having a will means the beneficiaries will receive their inheritance posthaste and without having to pay legal expenses associated with ...

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Son Discovers Mother’s Estate Plan in Storage Unit after Spending Nearly $24,000 in Guardianship Fees

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Son Discovers Mother’s Estate Plan in Storage Unit after Spending Nearly $24,000 in Guardianship Fees
Posted on: February 25th, 2015
PROTRACTED GUARDIANSHIP PROCESS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED
By: Hallie L. Zobel, Esq

A properly executed durable power of attorney is a critical component of an estate plan.Estate planning is a thoughtful process that sets forth your intentions for the future while managing the present.

Developing an estate plan is perhaps one of the noblest actions you will take ...

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Inheriting Land Located in Multiple States Thrusts Florida Heirs into Costly Probate Proceedings

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Inheriting Land Located in Multiple States Thrusts Florida Heirs into Costly Probate Proceedings
Posted on: January 26th, 2015
PROPER ESTATE PLANNING AND TITLING LAND INTO A FLORIDA TRUST CAN SAVE HEIRS EXPENSIVE PROBATE FEES

For many families, owning land is a rewarding way to build wealth while creating a tangible legacy for future generations.  But along with claiming a slice of the American dream, land ownership carries a number of responsibilities, including the annual payment of property taxes, having ...

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Avoiding Probate Problems

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Avoiding Probate Problems
Posted on: August 1st, 2013
By: Hallie Zobel, Esq.

“Will my estate need to go through probate?” This is a question that we often hear in our office. Many people have had a bad experience with probate and worry about how their own heirs will be treated when their own estate is eventually probated. While probate administration typically takes a little longer and can be a bit more expensive than trust administration, it is not a terrible thing. ...

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Protecting Your Florida Homestead

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Protecting Your Florida Homestead
Posted on: July 17th, 2013
By: Hallie Zobel, Esq.

Florida homestead is a wonderful thing. When you invest in your home, you’re investing in what is most likely the largest purchase of your life. You’ll want to protect this asset from creditors. Guess what? Florida homestead offers great creditor protection.

As with anything, there are of course problems that can arise. If your estate plan does not properly address certain issues, you may run into quite an array ...

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Seek an Attorney for Probate Planning

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Seek an Attorney for Probate Planning
Posted on: June 24th, 2013
By: Hallie Zobel, Esq.

Every attorney knows that he/she isn’t the most popular of professionals. Do you know of anyone who goes to see their attorney to say hello? No, attorneys are usually consulted in a moment of need and often only after all options have been exhausted.

By the same token, most people don’t relish the idea of going to court. Court processes are exhausting and slow (including probate court). ...

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