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September 2013 Archives

Family fights for woman's $300 million estate

Twenty relatives of a late wealthy copper heiress have challenged the woman's will, arguing that she lacked the mental capacity to leave a valid will. The woman died in 2011 at the age of 104, leaving behind a fortune worth about $300 million. She left a will that appeared to meet the formal requirements. The problem, the relatives say, is that she left behind two wills, executed just six weeks apart in 2005. In the first will, she left most of her fortune to her relatives. In the second will, she cut them out, lambasted them for never visiting her, and instead gave her money to set up a foundation for the arts. She also gave large amounts of money to her doctor, her accountant, her lawyer and a hospital.

Preserving a Florida vacation home through a family trust

Many Florida residents who want to set up an estate plan are concerned about how to preserve a beloved vacation home. They have enjoyed this beach house or cabin as a great way for the family to spend time together, and they hope to preserve the property so that their loved ones can continue to have that experience for many years to come.

Florida inheritances and "death-bed marriages"

The financial exploitation of the elderly is on the rise in Florida and the rest of the country. This kind of activity can come in many forms, some blatantly illegal and some just morally questionable. Some of the most difficult cases involve unscrupulous individuals who ingratiate themselves into the lives of lonely and vulnerable older people in order to get their hands on the person's money after they pass away. Sometimes, these scam artists even marry the older person in an effort to get at their money. And in some cases, the older person's family members do not even know about the exploitation until after the person has died and left behind a will that leaves all assets to the scam artist at the expense of relatives, charities and long-time friends.

Fertility treatments create legal complications for inheritance

Fertility treatments are becoming increasingly common in Florida and the rest of the nation, as couples are deciding to have children later in life. According to some accounts, the number of children conceived by in vitro fertilization doubled over the past decade. This technology can be a wonderful thing for many families who otherwise might never have children. It even makes it possible for a person to conceive a child after death. And that presents some perplexing issues when it comes to inheritance.