Top 3 Tips to Protect Your Loved Ones in the Wake of the Rebecca Fierle Guardianship Scandal

By: Melody Lynch

Per AARP, an estimated 1.3 million American adults are under guardianship, with approximately 85% being over age 65.  In the wake of revelations that professional guardian, Rebecca Fierle, signed Do Not Resuscitate orders for a plethora of elderly wards in her care without knowledge or approval by family members, you may be wondering how to protect your family in the event that guardianship is necessary or appropriate. read more

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The Quiet Power of Julie Frey

By: G.K. Sharman

Super Lawyers

Julie Frey was a shy 9-year-old when her father, prominent Orlando attorney and former Navy aviator Lou Frey Jr., ran for Congress. read more

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Worried That a Sizeable Estate or Trust Gift Was Procured by Undue Influence?

By: Melody Lynch

Do you have a loved one who recently passed away and you are concerned that their will or trust was procured by undue influence? Although the law on undue influence has not evolved much since the seminal Florida Supreme Court case of In re Estate of Carpenter in 1971, the greying of the population in Florida has resulted in an increase in undue influence claims in the courts. In order to prove undue influence in Florida, you must demonstrate that a substantial beneficiary acquired an asset via undue influence. This person must have had a confidential relationship and must have actively procured the gift in one of the following ways: (1) presence of the beneficiary at execution of the document; (2) presence of the beneficiary when the person expressed the desire to make a will or form a trust; (3) the beneficiary recommends the attorney who prepared the will or trust; (4) the beneficiary knows the contents of the will or trust prior to execution; (5) the beneficiary gives direction to the attorney preparing the document; (6) the beneficiary secures witnesses for execution; or (7) the beneficiary maintains the will or trust for safekeeping. read more

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Two Legislative Changes to Pay Attention to

By: Matt O’Kane

Here’s how the recent legislative changes will affect you:

Spousal Homestead Transfer read more

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Life Changing Alzheimer’s Or Dementia Diagnosis? 3 Ways Guardianships Can Bring Stability to Your Family

By: Melody Lynch

An Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis is scary and can leave a patient and their family with more questions than answers. Legal guardianships can provide asset protection, stability, and comfort in uncertain times. While less restrictive alternatives to guardianship may exist in some circumstances, guardianships are a legal vehicle which provides oversight and structure to families in crisis. Guardianships bring order to families by appointing a guardian to manage the affairs of the person affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia – known as the ward.

Guardianships address three primary issues:

  • A guardianship of the person permits a guardian to advocate for a ward’s physical needs and to participate in medical decisions, social decisions, and other decisions concerning the person such as where the ward should reside long-term.
  • A guardianship of the property alleviates the stress and pressure of financial management by giving a guardian the control to manage and invest the ward’s assets to provide for their care, maintenance, and long-term support.
  • Guardianships of the person, property, or plenary (both) provide assurance to the family that the ward will be taken care of and their assets will be preserved for their current and future care. While guardianships cannot change the medical diagnosis, they can provide peace and comfort so that the family can focus on the ward when they need it most.
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