Effects of Marriage and Divorce on Wills

People do crazy things when they are in love, but if they fall out of love, these same people generally want out of any arrangements that they made while under the influence (of love).  On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes spouses get wrapped up in the newness of marriage, and they forget to change their estate planning documents to account for their new spouse.  Florida law has solutions for both of these scenarios, though a recent case illustrated a wrinkle in the solutions. Although the subsequent marriage of an individual doesn’t revoke a prior will, a pretermitted spouse …

Abandonment of Homestead Protection in Florida

Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1789 about the permanency of the newly-minted Constitution, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  Florida’s constitution is not so very permanent, insofar as Article XI, § 3 of the Florida Constitution provides that the people may revise the constitution by initiative (except for limiting the government’s ability to raise revenue).  There is, however, one element of the Florida Constitution that is nearly as inviolate as death and taxes: the Florida homestead. Homestead in Florida In general, a homestead is a primary personal residence situated on up to one-half …

Demystifying Probate in Florida

As estate planning attorneys, we use the word “probate” so often that we lose sight of the fact that the concept is not so familiar to the uninitiated. Indeed, in our last article, we discussed avoiding “digital probate.” In the following article, not only will we define the term, but we will explain the nuances of the process in Florida. What is Probate? “Probate” comes from the same Latin verb as “prove” and “probative.” Indeed, probate literally means “something proved,” and for our purposes that “something” is a will. So, in a sense, probate is the process of “proving” a …