Feb 062014
 
Brain - Dead Pregnant Woman on Life Support Stirs Controversy

Marlise Munoz was 33 years old and 14 weeks pregnant when her husband found her lying unconscious in their Texas home, and doctors pronounced her brain dead. Her husband and family members claimed that they knew she would not want to be kept on life support. Her husband claimed that although his wife did not leave behind any sort of health care directive, that he knew her wishes and had discussed the issue with her many times before. However, hospital officials refused to honor her wishes because they argued that Texas law required them to provide life-sustaining support to pregnant More…

Apr 052012
 
LGBT Estate Planning Is Very Important In Florida

If you are a member of the LGBT community in Florida, having a properly prepared estate plan is essential. This is because Florida law does not recognize gay marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships.  This means that many of the informal niceties occasionally granted to heterosexual couples, such as the ability of husbands and wives to make medical decisions for one another without formal paperwork, does not exist for LGBT couples. Thankfully, Florida law does recognize the validity of legally binding documents, no matter the sexual orientation of the maker.  A Florida revocable living trust and durable power of attorney More…

Dec 212011
 
End Of The Year Estate Planning - Review And Update Your Estate Plan

Many people find that the end of the year is a good time to review their estate plan and make changes where necessary.  This is because a plan that was sufficient a few years ago (or even yesterday) may no longer be appropriate today.  Thus, it is important to review your estate planning documents at least every 3-5 years to make sure that they are accurate, reflect your current wishes and are still effective.  An estate plan should be reviewed more frequently when changes in the law or life circumstances dictate such a review. Take a moment to look back More…

Aug 122011
 
Another Use For The Revocable Living Trust - Avoid “Living Probate”

Many of us are familiar with the high price of going through the probate process after the loss of a loved one.  Court costs, attorney’s fees, and other expenses can serve as a constant strain on the financial well-being of a decedent’s estate and the probate process is both time consuming and complicated.  Oftentimes, a qualified estate planning attorney will recommend the use of a revocable living trust as an easier and less-costly alternative to probate for accomplishing the transfer assets after death. But what about probate that takes place while an individual is still alive?  Often termed “living probate,” More…

Jul 232011
 
I Just Need To Take A Closer Look...

What do you think of when you look at this picture?  Here we have a 40 year old man taking a close look at the blades underneath his tractor.  It looks like he is a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey fan.  If you look closer, the black discharge shute has a warning not to put your hands anywhere near the shute.  This gentleman has his head stuffed underneath the shute.  So much for warning labels. When this guy decided to cut the grass this morning, he figured it would be the routine lawn care project that he does each weekend.  What More…

May 262011
 
6 Years Later - The Terri Schiavo Case Still Serves to Highlight the Need for a Living Will

In Florida, the memory of Terri Schiavo remains a poignant lesson about the need for a living will. On February 25, 1990, Terri collapsed in a hallway of her St. Petersburg, Florida, apartment and never awoke again. What followed was 14 appeals, numerous motions, petitions, and hearings in the Florida courts; five suits in federal district court; Florida legislation struck down by the Supreme Court of Florida; a subpoena by a congressional committee to qualify Schiavo for witness protection; federal legislation; and four denials to hear the case from the Supreme Court of the United States. Given her lack of More…