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Gierach and Gierach, P.A Gierach and Gierach
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Florida Estate Planning, Will & Probate Videos

Estates & Trusts Attorneys


If you’ve lost a loved one, it is understandably a very difficult time.

And you may not know this is the right time to retain an experienced estates and trusts attorney to provide needed guidance to help you through the court-supervised probate process.

Florida Estate Planning Attorney John Gierach weighs in. He says:

“If a decedent dies with a Will, the administration of the estate proceeds in accordance with the terms of the Will. If a decedent dies without a Will, his or her estate must still go through probate. The administration is carried on in accordance with state statutes that specify how the property passes.”

The probate process is designed to resolve creditor issues, clear title to real estate and make sure beneficiaries receive all that they are entitled.

Your estate attorney can also assist with distribution of joint assets, assets titled in the name of a trust, life insurance with a designated beneficiary and IRA’s, 401(k)s and pension plans.

Gierach and Gierach are there when you need them most. Whether you’re starting the estate planning process, reviewing existing arrangements or probating the estate of someone who has passed, they take a personal approach to each matter and offer you the advice and support you need to accomplish your objectives.

Challenging a Will


Here’s an update from Gierach & Gierach Law Firm

Most valid wills pass through the probate process without anyone disputing or challenging the will provisions. Sometimes, though, a loved one feels that he or she was improperly excluded from the will and hires an attorney to contest it.

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Challenging a will requires proof of appropriate grounds for the contest.

John Gierach from Gierach & Gierach P.A. says:
“The primary claims for challenging a will through probate litigation include lack of execution formalities, lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraud and duress. Plus there are time constraints on filing a Florida will contest.”

After a notice of administration is received, a person interested in contesting a will in Florida has only 90 days to gather his thoughts and evidence and file a suit in probate court. Where a formal notice of administration has been received before the will has been admitted into probate, the potential claimant has only 20 days to file a will contest in Florida.

If a loved one has passed, and you’d like advice on settling the estate with or without a will, you can rely on Gierach an Gierach’s decades of experience in probate law.

For more information, visit or call 407-598-8013

Updating your Estate Plan

Spring is a time for renewal, an opportunity for a fresh start, not just on clearing out your clutter but taking a good hard look at your estate plan as well.

As you know people come and go in your life, perhaps you got remarried, had a child or went through a divorce? These are life changing moments and as you evolve, so should your estate documents.

Attorney John Gierach says don’t put off for tomorrow what you could do today.

“Updating your estate plan is vital to you and your loved ones. First and foremost it allows your loved ones to avoid going through probate upon your death, saving them time, paperwork and legal fees”

Other reasons to update your estate plan include a change in income, a falling out with a loved one or you got a new pet.

So start your spring cleaning now by making sure your final goals and objectives are met not just for you but for your loved ones as well.

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A legacy of experience. A foundation of integrity, Gierach ((Gear-ack) and Gierach are there when you need them most.

The Importance of Estate Planning


When legendary singer Aretha Franklin passed away, the Queen of Soul had 18 Grammy Awards, more than 100 singles on the Billboard charts and she reportedly had $80 million in assets. What she didn’t have was a will or a trust.

And this could lead to lengthy legal battles in probate court for her family members, like her four sons, who recently filed papers with the Oakland County, Michigan, probate court, listing themselves as interested parties in her estate.

Florida Estate Planning Attorney John Gierach says:
“High-profile probate proceedings can drag on for years and lead to infighting among families, lawyers and others. Some people feel it’s easier to not address creating a will or a trust and then it costs a lot more money and time to handle the mess after the fact.”

If Ms. Franklin had created a revocable trust for her estate, she could have kept her finances private and avoided the probate process altogether.

If you’d like to preserve your assets, the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney will prove to be invaluable.

A legacy of experience. A foundation of integrity, Gierach and Gierach are there when you need them most.

Estate Planning


Whether you have millions of dollars in the bank or live paycheck to paycheck, you have an estate. Your estate is comprised of everything you own, from your car, home, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, personal possessions and even your furniture.

Since you’ve likely worked hard for everything you have, you will want to control how everything you have is given to the people or organizations you care most about.

Florida Estate Planning Attorney John Gierach says:

“To ensure your wishes are carried out, you need to provide instructions stating who, what and when you want them to receive something of yours. Proper planning will help this happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs.”

If you don’t have a plan, the state will take control over your estate, distributing your assets according to the probate laws. An estate plan will let these matters be handled privately by your family, and not the courts.

Gierach also says, “No matter how much you have, or don’t have, everyone has an estate and something in common– you can’t take it with you when you pass on, so the time to create your estate plan is now.”

A legacy of experience. A foundation of integrity, Gierach and Gierach are there when you need them most.

Benefits of an Estate Planning Attorney


DIY… It’s a popular term for do-it-yourself projects, like renovating your bathroom, or fixing up your garden. And if you’re looking on the internet for estate planning advice, you may have read this is also something you can DIY.

While online services claim that you can create your estate plan on the web for much less than you would pay for an attorney, there are significant drawbacks to drafting your papers through a bot.

Most importantly, you lose out on legal advice and knowledge that attorneys would be able to provide.

Florida Estate Planning Attorney John Gierach says:

“When you create an estate plan online yourself, you’re taking full responsibility for understanding the questions and your answers. Plus, the language used in the documents has to be correct. Failure to use proper vocabulary and the correct terms can make your dispositions not enforceable and can void your estate plan.”

Estate planning is complicated, especially if you aren’t familiar with all of the aspects that go into it. Why leave something so important to a DIY online form when the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney can prove to be invaluable?

A legacy of experience. A foundation of integrity, Gierach and Gierach are there when you need them most.

Storing Your Will


A common problem encountered by estate executors is actually finding the estate planning documents they need to carry out a deceased person’s last wishes.

Fortunately, with a little bit of planning on your end, this is an easy problem to avoid for your loved ones.

Florida Estate Planning Attorney John Gierach offers some tips for storing your will to avoid giving your executor problems in the future. He says:

“Choose a sensible place. In your home, wills can be stored in your personal safe, in a locked filing cabinet or desk drawer, or any other safe location you choose. If any of these areas require a key or combination, make sure someone you trust, such as your executor, your spouse, your children, or your lawyer, has access.”

He further advises to give a copy to your attorney and to avoid using safe deposit boxes. Banks require court orders for box access unless your security box is jointly managed and the time to get court permission could be lengthy. Also, make sure you’ve told trusted people where your will be stored.

For further tips and guidance, contact a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.

A legacy of experience. A foundation of integrity, Gierach and Gierach are there when you need them most.

Estate Plan Requirements


When you’re creating your estate plan, your will must be expertly drafted to ensure it meets all the strict requirements of Florida Law. If these requirements are not met, your will won’t be admitted to probate.

Florida Estate Planning Attorney John Gierach says:
“If your documents are carelessly prepared, they may be subject to challenge or attack in court by heirs or beneficiaries who disagree over the terms of your will. There are specific will requirements. Your will must be in writing, bear your signature and be signed by at least two witnesses.”

Notarization of your will is not required, but it makes your document “self-proving,” and it can be entered into probate without having to call the witnesses to testify yours is the will they signed.

Don’t take chances that your wishes won’t be followed, and don’t live without the peace of mind a properly drafted estate plan can bring. Contact the highly experienced and detailed Orlando estate planning lawyers at Gierach and Gierach, P.A. for help drafting or revising your Florida estate plan.

Estate Planning in Florida


Many retirees relocate to Florida for the wonderful weather. But there may be another reason seniors choose the Sunshine State: It’s a great place for estate planning.

Florida is one of the few states that doesn’t impose a state estate tax on inheritances.

However, there is a federal estate tax people must still consider.

Florida Estate Planning Attorney John Gierach says:
“Depending on the value of your estate, you may have to pay federal estate taxes before your assets can be distributed to your loved ones, heirs, and beneficiaries. Because you want to preserve as much of your estate as possible for those who will inherit it, it’s best to do all you can to ensure you avoid as much taxation as possible.”

Ways to reduce the amount of federal estate taxes:

Use both federal tax exemptions if you are married

Remove assets from your taxable estate before you die

Buy life insurance to replace assets given to charity

Pay any remaining federal estate taxes

Take advantage of any valuation discounts afforded through the use of legal entities

The assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney can prove to be invaluable if you’re looking to minimize your estate taxes in Florida.

A legacy of experience. A foundation of integrity, Gierach and Gierach are there when you need them most.

Get legal help with Probate

Contesting a will- time deadline

What is Probate

When someone dies you need a Probate lawyer

Siblings fighting over estate plan of parents

Trust or not- the Trust is NOT for everyone

Online wills – not a great way to go.

Life changes and so should your estate plans

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