Why do we even need probate when a landowner dies?
When an owner of real estate (houses or land) dies without having deeded the property over to someone while the owner was alive, probate orders of some kind are always needed. Why? Because there is no way for a buyer of the property, and the company which issues title insurance for the purchase, to know… read moreRead More
A Deed Is Not Title
Probate deals with real property a lot – houses, condos, vacant lots, commercial buildings. Our clients often confuse the word “title” with “deed.” They will refer to a deed when they really mean title, as in “When does probate give me my deed?” One reason for the confusion is that, for motor vehicles, there is… read moreRead More
Why is a Mortgage Not a Debt That the Estate Must Pay?
“How come I still have to pay the mortgage on my parent’s house, that I inherited in probate, when the Last Will states that all debts of the estate are to be paid?” That is a question we get sometimes – and it’s a great question. Why is the mortgage not a debt that the… read moreRead More
When It Comes to Stocks, Stop the Loss
An executor or personal representative of an estate with significant stocks or other marketable securities should always consider entering a stop-loss order. That is a standing order with your broker to sell a security if the price drops to a certain level. A trailing stop-loss order is one that raises that sale price as the… read moreRead More
Only One Father Per Child
Anyone who has adopted a child, or been adopted, probably knows this, but for everyone else, remember this: When it comes to inheritance, you only have one father or one mother. While sometimes we distinguish between a “biological mother” and an “adoptive mother,” when it comes to being an “heir,” there can be only one… read moreRead More
What Does “Per Stirpes” Mean?
In a Last Will, what does “per stirpes” mean? We get that question a lot, as “per stirpes” (pronounced “purr STIR pees”) is a very useful Latin expression for Last Wills. Someone somewhere a long, long time ago started using it as a shortcut expression, and it stuck. We’ll skip the Latin lesson. Over-simplified, it… read moreRead More
An Important Change to Florida Law
Who inherits, and how much, when there is no Last Will? Starting October 1, 2011, step-parents in Florida have even more incentive to have a Last Will. Without a will, the surviving spouse inherits much less of the estate if either of the parents has children by any other relationship. Thankfully, the results below can… read moreRead More