Estate Planning and Probate

Wills and Trusts, Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Probate, Will Disputes


Each of these estate planning facts are true; but, may be avoided with a strong, individualized, comprehensive, and up-to-date estate plan.

  • If you don’t name a guardian in your will, your minor children could end up with persons you either don’t like or don’t know.
  • If you don’t provide for your pet in your estate plan, your pet may be euthanized when you die.
  • If you put assets in joint tenancy with a second spouse, your children could be disinherited.
  • If you put the family vacation house in joint tenancy with right of surviorship with a sibling, your children will not inherit your share of the house if you die before your sibling.
  • A troubled child’s inheritance could make a drug, alcohol, or gambling addiction worse or even kill them because the child will recieve the inheritance without restrictions.
  • After you die, your spouse may loan or give the assets you left for the family to a new friend/spouse.
  • Your gift to a family member may disqualify him or her from receiving medicaid or Veterans benefits to pay for long term care expenses.
  • Powers of attorneys may get “stale” and should be updated every few years.  Florida recently re-wrote its statue regulating Durable Powers of Attorney. A Durable Power of Attoney is an extremely valuable document.
  • If your spouse gets into a serious car accident after your death, all of the assets that you left for him or her and the children can be seized in a lawsuit.  Asset protection is an important component of estate planning.
  • Your child’s spouse could get his or her hands on all of the money you give to your child outright if you do not plan for this potential outcome.  Specifically naming a trustee in your will or trust is an important part of your estate plan.
  • If you put your child’s name on your house or bank account, his or her creditors may be able to seize those assets.  I have represented clients that have experienced this problem.  A life estate deed may sound like a good idea but may not be your best option.
  • If you transfer your house to your children during your lifetime, they get your original tax basis and could pay much higher capital gains taxes when they sell it than if you transferred the house to them at your death.
  • Assets given outright to a special needs beneficiary are likely to disqualify him or her from receiving vital governmental assistance such as social secuirity disability or medicaid. 
  • Tranferring your interest in your home prior to your death may disqualify you for medicaid benefits.


Indeed these 14 estate planning facts are completely avoidable with good estate planning.  Please feel free to contact my office to personally meet with Mr. Eckert to discuss these issues or other any other concerns you may have about your estate plan.

Law Office


Whispering Pines

2445 South Volusia Ave, C-1

Orange City, FL 32763










Stacy A. Eckert P.A


Business Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9 AM-5 PM

Closed for lunch: 12 PM-1 PM

Serving the areas of:

Volusia, Flagler and Seminole Counties

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