The Many Pitfalls of DIY Estate Planning

Online resources for do-it-yourself estate planning – particularly DIY wills – are infinite. Many sites like LegalZoom promise ease-of-use, low costs and expedience. That doesn’t mean they are a good idea.

Put it this way: Would you perform surgery on yourself? Would you defend yourself against criminal charges in court? Maybe you would risk attempting repairs on your own leaky faucet despite no plumbing experience, but you know there is a decent chance you’ll end up with a huge hassle and the need to pay a professional to fix it anyway. Estate planning is rife with potential pitfalls, and fixing a botched job is often much messier – and costlier – than you can imagine.

Your estate is the culmination of your life’s work. It includes your savings, your assets, your debts and your last wishes. A good Central Florida estate planning attorney can tell you that a fill-in-the-blanks record is not a “plan” because it fails to take into account the uniqueness of your situation. What’s more, the formalities of what constitutes a valid document can vary from state-to-state. How can you be sure that what you’re printing from a random website is going to meet the precise – and current – requirements of your state? Sites on the internet may provide you with documents, but they aren’t a replacement for sound legal advice from an experienced and qualified estate planning lawyer. In fact, it could make the situation worse.  Continue Reading

Stepmothers v. Stepchildren: How Orlando Estate Planning Helps Avoid the Cliche Probate Battle

It’s a scenario so common, it’s something of a cultural cliche: Dad dies. Stepmother and stepchildren war over dad’s estate. Bitterness and animosity ensue. Some disputes may be unavoidable. Often, however, an Orlando estate planning effort that is thorough and transparent can help avoid the surprises and misunderstandings that breed conflict snowballing into probate litigation.… Continue Reading

Orlando Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Couples

Estate planning is essential for “non-traditional” couples in Florida who have opted for long-term togetherness without entering a formal marriage. As reported by The Pew Research Center, marriage rates have been steadily slipping, while rates of cohabitation are on the rise, reaching about 18 million as of two years ago, representing a 30 percent spike… Continue Reading

Florida Small Businesses Have New Protection to Fight “Drive-By” ADA Lawsuits

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is a 1990 federal civil rights law intended to protect the rights and access of those with disabilities in almost every facet of society, from workplaces to recreational spaces, schools and shopping centers. Part of this involves specific standards for accessible design of everything from gas stations to hotel… Continue Reading

Theft of Trade Secrets Threatens Florida’s Small Businesses

The phrase “theft of trade secrets” conjures mental images of international espionage and a suave, globe-trotting spy. Of course, as the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned, economic espionage is a real threat to large corporations, costing the American economy billions annually and even placing our national security at risk. However, theft of trade… Continue Reading

Choosing the Best Business Structure for Your Small Family Business in Lake Mary

More than half of all U.S. businesses are family-owned, from behemoth corporations to tiny mom-and-pop spots. That’s according to data from the Harvard Business School, which defines “family-owned” as any business wherein multiple family members are involved as major owners or managers.  Family business attorneys know these start-ups can have great potential because they tend to… Continue Reading

Florida Trademark Litigation Pits Circus Against Singer

A Florida trademark lawsuit has been filed by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus against singer Kid Rock’s “Greatest Show on Earth” tour. This is what is known as a trademark dilution lawsuit, and it’s been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, according to Rolling Stone.  Trademark dilution… Continue Reading

Florida Small Business Owners Increasingly Hire Independent Contractors

Our Lake Mary business lawyers know that employment contracts are a top concern for Florida small business owners. There are many reasons small businesses hire independent contractors as opposed to employees. The company enjoys reduced overhead and workers have greater flexibility. Still, there are specific legal considerations must be made for both types of workers,… Continue Reading

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