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Estate Administration & Probate Archives

Gloria Vanderbilt estate worth far less than initial estimates

Some people in Florida might have assumed that when heiress and fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt died, she left an enormous estate behind. There was speculation that it might be worth as much as $200 million. However, based on probate documents, her estate was valued at $1.5 million, and the majority of that was from her midtown co-op worth $1.3 million. She left the co-op to her oldest son and the rest to her youngest son, journalist Anderson Cooper.

How can you lower your risk of dementia?

A diagnosis of dementia limits your ability to make an estate plan in Florida. Your estate planning documents are likely to face a challenge if there is a question of whether or not you were of sound mind at the time that you drafted them. For this reason, it is a good idea to start your estate planning early. 

Why should I plan my own funeral?

If you have a favorite outfit you want to be buried in, a specific phrase in mind for your headstone or you do not want to be buried at all, it is a good idea to state these wishes in your will. Like many Florida residents, you may balk at the thought of planning your own funeral. However, there are many good reasons to do so.

Avoiding family conflict over an estate plan

Residents in Florida might want to believe that their family members would not become embroiled in an all-out battle over their inheritances but that is not a safe assumption. The more effectively a person can outline their wishes in a solid estate plan, the better. On top of that, proactive communication with all potential heirs is a must.

Should my loved ones know my passwords in case I die?

Like most people, you may have heard the joke about erasing one’s online search history if one were to die. However, the information stored in your computer and cellphone is no laughing matter if you have important financial data that could potentially affect your loved ones’ inheritance if they cannot access it. You and other Florida residents may be interested in learning about how to manage your passwords for the purposes of estate planning.

What happens to my debt after I die?

Perhaps you have a great deal of credit card debt or you are still making regular mortgage payments. In your later years, you may also have accrued significant medical debt. You know that you will not be able to repay all of your debt before you die. Like other Florida residents in the same position, you may be worried about whether your children will be required to pay off the debt you accrued during your lifetime.

Tom Petty's heirs file lawsuits over estate

Some Florida fans of the late musician Tom Petty may have heard that his family is in a dispute over his estate. In Petty's will, he created an LLC, Petty Unlimited. He also set up a trust and made his widow the directing trustee. She was supposed to fund the LLC with assets from the trust. She and Petty's two daughters were then supposed to each get one-third of the assets.

Right and wrong ways to avoid probate

We at the Law Offices of Frye & Vazquez understand why it is desirable to avoid probate if possible. The probate process in Florida can be complicated, expensive and much more public than most families would prefer. There are a number of available options to help you and your heirs avoid probate, but some are more efficient than others. 

What Our Clients Are Saying

  • I have known and worked with Austin Frye and his team since 2008. In that time he has helped serve both my business and personal legal planning needs. From guidance on reviewing and keeping shareholder and state documentation up to date... - Robert
  • It is difficult enough to cope with the emotional challenges of closing a parent's estate, and when you are also faced with the issue of your parents having insufficient documentation, and being remote from your siblings… - Zara L.
  • Austin Frye provided legal services to my father while alive and to his estate after his death; when showing the EP docs his firm prepared to other professionals (lawyers, financial advisors, accountants)… - Mark S
  • I've been a client of Austin Frye's for over 10 years. In that time, he's handled my estate/trust planning and asset protection as well as complicated business deals. - Leslie
  • Mr. Frye recently set up a complicated special needs trust for my son and, as usual, did a great job explaining it and in putting our minds at ease about our son's future well-being. - Dr. Howard
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