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New Year’s Resolution: Update Your Estate Plan

New Year's Resolution: Update Your Estate Plan | Florida Estate Planning Attorney Barry Siegel

Many people optimistically make a list of New Year's Resolutions on December 31 with promises to get healthy, learn a new language or stick to a budget. In the flurry of ending one year and starting a new year, most of those resolutions are quickly forgotten and broken during the 1st week of January. It's not too late to make an important New Year's Resolution: one that you can actually keep! In 2021, resolve to update your Estate Plan. And if you don't have a Will or an Estate Plan - resolve to make one! Make an appointment with an experienced Estate Planning...

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Do I Have to Pay a Florida Inheritance Tax?

Florida has a reputation for being a tax-friendly state. There is no state income tax and Floridian's Social Security, retirement accounts and pension plan income are all free from taxes. Florida does not have a State estate or inheritance tax. These are two different types of taxes often called death taxes because they are paid after someone dies. Heirs and beneficiaries in Florida do not pay income tax on the money they inherit from an estate, called an estate tax, because inherited property does not count as income for income tax purposes. Someone who does not live in Florida but...

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Alex Trebek Is Defining His Legacy: How An Estate Plan Defines Your Legacy

Alex Trebek Is Defining His Legacy: How An Estate Plan Defines Your Legacy | Florida Estate and Elder Law Attorney Barry D. Siegel at The Siegel Law Group, P.A

Alex Trebek, the famous host of TV game show Jeopardy!, recently announced that he will suspend further pancreatic cancer treatment if this round is unsuccessful. Trebek's new memoir, The Answer Is … Reflections on My Life was released on Tuesday. By writing the book, Trebek says he is able to define his own legacy. Part of his legacy is that all money he receives for the book will be donated to charity. How An Estate Plan Defines Your Legacy It isn't necessary to write a book to define your legacy. Creating an Estate Plan defines your legacy by making important end-of-life decisions...

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Free Estate Planning for Local 1st Responders & Healthcare Workers

Free to 1st Responders & Healthcare Workers Health Care Surrogate Designation and Living Will document preparation

As the global COVID issues continue to impact us here in South Florida, the Siegel Law Group in Boca Raton Florida is proud to provide essential Estate Planning documents free of charge to our community's healthcare workers and first responders. We are offering Health Care Surrogate Designation and Living Will preparation for free to local healthcare workers and 1st responders on the frontlines responding to the coronavirus crisis. Our community's essential workers safeguard us throughout this unprecedented crisis and our Estate Planning legal team wants to protect your family's future. The best time to secure your family’s future is now. We can...

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FAQs: Is It Better to Have A Trust Or A Will?

FAQs: Is It Better to Have A Trust Or A Will? | Florida Estate and Elder Law Attorney Barry D. Siegel at The Siegel Law Group, P.A

Estate Planning options and jargon can be confusing. So how do you know the best way to transfer your property to your loved ones after you pass away? Many people will argue that a Will is the best method; while others recommend a Trust. In many cases, someone will have both a Will and a Trust. There are benefits and drawbacks to each. Your decision on whether it's better to have a Trust or a Will should take into consideration your personal concerns and priorities, as well as the nature of your estate and beneficiaries. First, let’s look at how Wills and...

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This Father’s Day, Gift Your Children Peace of Mind

Father and 2 Children: This Father's Day, Gift Your Children Peace of Mind | Florida Estate and Elder Law Attorney Barry D. Siegel at The Siegel Law Group, P.A

Father's Day falls on Sunday, June 21. Traditionally, children give their dad a gift on Father's Day to show they love them. This year, for Father's Day give your children the gift of peace of mind and protection. Planning for your end-of-life can be uncomfortable and even frightening, which may explain why nearly 60% of Americans don’t have a Will or Trust. There are many reasons adults don't have a will, including: • They're too young to have a Will or Trust • They don't have enough money and assets to need a Will or Trust • It's too expensive to create a Will...

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When Should I Change My Power of Attorney

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Power of Attorney is one of the most important tools in your estate plan. When you designate someone to have Power of Attorney, you grant them legal control to make decisions on your behalf, when you are unable to make those decisions. The person who you name as your power of attorney has an overriding legal obligation (known as a fiduciary duty) to make decisions that are in your best interests. This is not the same as “medical power of attorney,” which would be more in line with your medical needs and decisions at that time. Reasons to Change My Power...

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The What, Who, and How of Undue Influence (And How To Protect Yourself)

Image of a senior person's hands symbolizing vulnerability to undue influence

Most will be familiar with the names of at least one of these famous people: Groucho Marx, (movie actor, comedian) Pauly Shore (movie actor, comedian) and Stan Lee (founder of Marvel Comics and creator of Spider-Man).  Why do I mention them and what do they have in common?  They’ve all been involved in legal proceedings involving a claim of undue influence. So what is undue influence and how can it impact us and our loved ones? Let’s have a look.  What Does Undue Influence Look Like? When it comes to our personal estates, we plan carefully to ensure our families are provided for after we’re...

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Are Celebrities Different When It Comes To Families Fighting Over Estates?

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Famous icon, Aretha Franklin, recently passed away, and now her sons are fighting over control of her estate. Their family tensions are spilling over into the news. Her sons are contesting the validity of her will. One son argues that an old will is valid;and another son says that there is a 2014 handwritten will that was found under cushions in Aretha’s Detroit home. This is likely the last thing that Aretha wanted to happen to her family. Estate planning isn’t different just because someone is a wealthy celebrity. The amount of wealth may be different; but the problems of children,...

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Can You Imagine Challenging Your Parent’s Will?

It's more common than you think.  Imagine that you are expecting to inherit a significant portion of your parent's estate, only to discover that he or she left a large amount to someone that you never expected. This type of shock can change a child's life, and leave them feeling confused, angry and wondering if they have any options. Fortunately, there are ways to challenge a will when the circumstances don't add up. A will is a document that specifies a person's final wishes for distribution of their estate, and care of minor children. In some situations, people with an interest in...

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