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Life Estate: When You Can Stay in Your Deceased Spouse’s House for the Rest of Your Life, but You Do Not Inherit the House

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

The law treats your homestead, that is, the house which is your primary and permanent residence, differently from how it treats other possessions, and even from how it treats other real estate properties.  For example, in bankruptcy cases, it is often possible to claim a homestead exemption where you get to keep your house… Read More »

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Home Mortgages and Florida Estate Law

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

They say that estate planning is about planning for life, not planning for death.  Therefore, when you are in the daydreaming phase of the estate planning process, discussion of home mortgages usually goes something like this: Let’s use the annual gift tax exclusion to give [your child’s name] $15,000 so he can use it… Read More »

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Probate Disputes Over Personal Property

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

Personal property, such as furniture, jewelry, and other items commonly referred to as a person’s “stuff,” is usually the last thing you think about when you write your will or craft your estate plan.  Most people are more concerned about the truly big-ticket items, such as real estate properties and bank accounts.  In fact,… Read More »

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The Statute of Limitations for Filing Claims Against the Estate of a Deceased Person

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

If you know that a relative has left you X percent of their estate in their will, you might start seeing dollar signs, but don’t get too excited yet.  X percent of the wealth the person owns while they are alive does not equal X percent of what will be left by the time… Read More »

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Frequent Flier Miles and Estate Law

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

Many people dream of spending their retirement years traveling the world.  Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has put the travel plans of millions of retirees on hold indefinitely.  Thanks to an increasing number of COVID-19 vaccine doses being administered, the number of new cases nationwide has been decreasing in the past few weeks, but the… Read More »

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Make Your Wishes About Guardianship Known Now, While You Are Healthy Enough Not to Need a Guardian

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

You have probably heard heartbreaking stories of elder abuse in which a caregiver, in some cases a professional caregiver but in other cases a family member, swindled an elderly person out of large sums of money while the person was in failing health.  Perhaps the unscrupulous caregiver talked the victim into changing his will… Read More »

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Why Not Writing a Will Makes Probate More Difficult

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

If you have been working with a financial planner, or even if you have just been researching their websites as an early stage of your New Year’s resolution to start working with one, you have probably found a lot of information about how to keep certain assets from becoming part of your estate.  Financial… Read More »

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Should You Divide Your Estate Equally Among Your Children?

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

When your children are little, you can only guess what they will be like as adults?  Will the daughter who loves drawing grow up to use her excellent fine motor skills to cook elaborate family meals for holidays, and will she use her eye for details in a career as a forensic scientist, a… Read More »

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A Crash Course in Probate Law Terminology

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

In theory, there are a lot of legal processes that are so common that you should be able to complete them without hiring a lawyer.  You probably know someone who has legally changed their name, gotten a divorce, or adopted a child, and they may or may not have had professional legal representation.  In… Read More »

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Advantages of Holding Property in Trust

By Gierach and Gierach, P.A. |

Setting up a trust for children or grandchildren is a common practice. After all, there are times when parents want to set up parameters for the inheritance of their adult children. This could be because they worry their child will use their inheritance on unhealthy habits or that the spouse of their child will… Read More »

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