Florida Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog


The story of two wills, one eaten by the dog
July 8, 2020

The dog ate my homework! That time-worn excuse usually gets an unprepared student an “F”. But suppose Rover isn’t interested in your homework, but in your last will and testament? That could result in an “L” – as in lawsuit. …

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Electronic Wills Come With Perils
March 27, 2020

Electronic Wills Come With Perils Electronic wills became legal in Florida on January 1, 2020.  As we reported in June, the passage of HB 409 allows wills to be created online, then signed, notarized and witnessed without requiring the will maker,…

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With A Do It Yourself Will, They Almost Got Away With Disinheriting a Rightful Beneficiary
With A Do It Yourself Will, They Almost Got Away With Disinheriting a Rightful Beneficiary
December 24, 2019

Online web sites that allow the creation of do-it-yourself estate planning documents have some serious downsides. Among them: making it easier for people with nefarious motives to create fraudulent documents. From Arkansas comes an interesting case that illustrates the danger….

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Abandonment leads rocker to disinherit wife. That won't fly in Florida.
Abandonment Leads Rocker to Disinherit Wife. That Won’t Fly in Florida.
December 9, 2019

Rock’n’roll lost another icon on September 15 with the death of Ric Ocasek. The 75-year-old lead singer of The Cars died at his New York City townhouse from pulmonary and cardiac complications following surgery. Now, there are complications in his…

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Poorly Drafted Last Will and Testament May Disinherit Longtime Companion
September 13, 2019

Here is another, and surely not the last example of the perils of an ambiguously worded last will and testament. This story was reported in the September 7, 2019 New York Daily News. New York City psychologist Jill Morris died in 2016 of…

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Jeffrey Epstein- Heinous Life, Estate Planning Lessons From His Death
Jeffrey Epstein: Heinous Life, Estate Planning Lessons From His Death
August 21, 2019

This is not the forum to discuss the lurid details of the Jeffrey Epstein case. Others are doing a thorough job of that. However, there is one aspect of the saga with direct relevance to our readers: how trusts can…

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Breaking Up With Your High-Tax State Can Be Hard To Do
Breaking Up With Your High-Tax State Can Be Hard To Do
August 10, 2019

Increasing numbers of people are fleeing high tax states for lower-tax environments such as Florida. People have always moved to Florida to escape estate taxes and income taxes, of course. However, the migration has kicked into higher gear of late…

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No Vanderbilt-Size Inheritance for Gloria's Sons
No Vanderbilt-Size Inheritance for Gloria’s Sons
July 19, 2019

Socialite and clothing designer Gloria Vanderbilt died on June 17 at age 95, just weeks after being diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. The great-great granddaughter of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, at a young age she inherited what would be $35…

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Social Media Becomes Evidence in Battle Over French Rocker's Estate
Social Media Becomes Evidence in Battle Over French Rocker’s Estate – Be Careful What You Post
June 6, 2019

The family feud over the estate of rocker Johnny Hallyday – at least, the first battle in what figures to be a continuing war – has come to a close. And in a sign of the times, Hallyday’s social media…

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Aretha Franklin
Turmoil in Aretha Franklin Estate: She Did Have A Will, After All – Three of Them
May 26, 2019

Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, Dies Intestate. Now it turns out that the “intestate” part may not be true. Three handwritten wills were found in Franklin’s suburban Detroit home recently. This development may well complicate matters, not clarify them. Multiple…

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