Recent Blog Posts

Inherited IRAs: Insights from a Probate Attorney

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

By Carolyn S. Smith, Esq.

As a probate attorney, it is very common to deal with beneficiary inherited Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Most people have either never heard of a beneficiary IRA or do not understand how they work. In this blog, I would like to offer insights into the legal landscape surrounding inherited IRAs, shedding light on key considerations that beneficiaries should be aware of.

Preparing for Your Parents’ Future (and Yours!)

Wednesday, March 20th, 2024

By Callie W. Cowan, Esq.

As our parents age, we are confronted with the reality that their well-being may someday soon be in our hands. But what documents should we be making sure they have in place? This article will cover three indispensable documents that play a crucial role in proactive estate planning for your parents and future generations.

Securing Your Legacy: The Indispensable Role of an Estate Planning Attorney

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

By Steve W. Ledbetter, Esq.

Embarking on the journey of estate planning is a pivotal step in ensuring the seamless transfer of your assets and safeguarding the future for your loved ones. While online programs may offer a quick and seemingly convenient solution, there are compelling reasons to choose the personalized guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney. In this blog post, we'll explore why opting for professional legal assistance is essential for creating a robust and tailored estate plan.

Unlocking the Digital Vault: Navigating Digital Assets in Probate

Tuesday, January 30th, 2024

By Carolyn S. Smith, Esq.

In the modern era, our lives are increasingly intertwined with technology. From social media profiles to cryptocurrency wallets, much of our personal and financial information exists in the digital realm. However, what happens to these digital assets when we pass away? This question lies at the junction of technology and probate law, presenting both challenges and opportunities for estate planners and beneficiaries alike.

Why Charitable Giving Should Be Part of Your Estate Plan

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

By Callie W. Cowan, Esq.

Estate planning isn't just about distributing assets; it's also an opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the causes and organizations that matter most to you. Charitable giving is a noble way to make a difference, even after you're gone. Here are a few compelling reasons why you should consider including charitable donations in your estate plan:

Understanding Probate: Why Your Home May Go Through the Process

Monday, August 21st, 2023

By Carolyn S. Smith, Esq.

If you own a home and pass away, your home may go through the probate process if it is part of your probate estate. The probate process is a legal procedure that occurs after someone's death to administer and distribute their assets, including their real estate, according to their will or the laws of intestacy (when there is no valid will).

After Graduating High School - The Importance of Advanced Directives

Wednesday, July 12th, 2023

By Callie W. Cowan, Esq.

High school graduation marks an important milestone in life. As you embark on this new chapter filled with opportunities and independence, it's essential to consider important aspects of responsible adulthood, such as healthcare planning. One crucial component of healthcare planning is creating advanced directives.

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples

Friday, February 10th, 2023

By Steve W. Ledbetter, ESQ.

There are many reasons why a committed couple in a loving relationship might choose not to get married. We strongly recommend that unmarried couples consider the implications of Estate Planning to ensure that their wishes are fulfilled with regards to their testamentary documents. It is also important to consider fiduciary appointments for managing assets and health care in the event of incapacity.

New to Florida? It’s Time to Update Your Estate Plan

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

By Callie Cowan, Esq.

You’ve made it. You’re finally a Florida resident, enjoying the warmth & sunshine. It has undoubtedly taken a great deal of planning to get to this point, but there is one more piece of planning you may not have considered – your Estate Plan.

What is Probate?

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

By Carrie Smith, JD

At its most basic, probate is a court process that determines where the assets that were owned by the decedent, the legal term for the person who died, belong. A probate judge oversees the process making determinations based on direction given in a Will or in statute if no Will exists...

So, You Want to Start a Business?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

By Steve W. Ledbetter, Esq.

You have a great idea, and your entrepreneurial mind is flowing.  How Exciting! Now you want to form a business entity (e.g., Florida corporation or limited liability company) to properly manage your business and insulate from liability.  Here are some ideas to think about in the process:

Rights of Spouse – Not Always What You’d Expect

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

By Steve W. Ledbetter, ESQ.

In the context of Estate Planning, marriage can add many elements of complexity. In fact, in our law practice it is quite common to get to educate new clients on how their recent nuptials may add multiple levels of complexity to their estate plan.

Don't DIY Your Estate Plan

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022

By Callie Cowan, ESQ.

Whether it's Fixer Upper or This Old House, we've all seen projects go awry when homeowners try to "DIY" certain things that should have been left to the professionals.

Unfortunately, we often see people try to take a "do it yourself" approach when it comes to their estate plan and the results can be just as disastrous.