Father and Daughter

Adding to the unusual cases profiled in our Adoption Series (see here, herehere, and here), a Florida court recently decided whether an adopted daughter’s attempt to invalidate her own adoption, so that she could inherit her biological father’s estate as his lineal heir, had any legal merit.

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Digital Assets

In our April 2 newsletter, we discussed how Facebook made some needed changes to its user agreement, which now gives a “Legacy Contact” limited access to your Facebook account after your death. We also discussed the need for a legislative fix in Florida, so that similar accessibility might extend to digital assets held by other companies. Great news! The Florida legislature has introduced Senate Bill 102 (the “Bill”), which proposes to adopt the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.

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National Healthcare Decisions Day

If you were in an accident today or became suddenly sick and couldn’t speak for yourself, would your family know your healthcare wishes? Would they know for certain what you would want the hospital and doctors to do? And would they be able to make decisions for you—or even talk to your healthcare providers on your behalf?

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Facebook Legacy Contact

Up until recently, your loved ones and even the executor (or “Personal Representative”) of your estate would be denied access to your Facebook account after your death. To address the issues this created, Facebook has changed its policy and now allows its users to designate a “Legacy Contact.”

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iPods for dementia

Alive Inside is another captivating movie about a subject that regularly touches our practice as estate planners: dementia. This documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music and Memory, as he chronicles the reactions of memory-loss patients being reintroduced to their favorite music through the use of iPods.

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Art Gallery

This fascinating documentary details the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes’ private collection of modern and post-impressionist art, valued at 40-50 billion dollars. Even if you haven’t heard of Dr. Barnes or his phenomenal art collection, this film is a must-see.

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ID-10052309

In December 2014, Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Act, which provides for a new type of tax-free savings account for persons who are born with a disability or become disabled at a young age (25 or younger).  This is an exciting new tool because it will allow special needs individuals to possess – and possibly control, depending on the individual’s capacity – more money than under the prior law.

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Homestead

This is the second installment in our series discussing the impact of marriage on the legal rights of spouses to share in each other’s assets. We now focus on what happens to a married person’s “homestead” property (primary residence) when he or she passes away.

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Keeping your Estate Plan Intact

This newsletter begins a series discussing the impact of marriage on the legal rights of spouses to share in each other’s assets.  We begin by talking about the “elective share” and the “pretermitted spouse.”

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Avoiding Court With Trust Protectors

One of the advantages of a comprehensive estate plan is that it can allow you to keep your affairs private and within your control, even after disability or death. Clients often come to us for living trusts due to their desire to keep their loved ones out of court during these already-stressful times. Fortunately, a Florida court recently confirmed that this goal may be achieved by using one of our favorite planning tools: trust protectors.

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