Pilka & Associates, P.A.
Full Service Law Firm for Tampa,
Brandon and Polk County
863-236-9321 |813-502-1097

South Central Florida Legal Blog

Are you familiar with these estate planning mistakes?

As you become familiar with the most common estate planning mistakes, you'll find it easier to avoid them. By doing so, you'll feel better about your current situation as well as what will happen upon your passing.

Here are five of the most common estate planning mistakes:

  • Thinking you don't need one. It's easy to talk yourself into thinking you don't need an estate plan, but this is a decision you'll regret in the future. Take action to put your mind at ease.
  • Forgetting to update your estate plan. Creating an estate plan is a good start, but you also need to update it as you age and/or your circumstances change.
  • Neglecting to plan for disability. Your estate plan should also protect you in the event that you become disabled. One way to do this is by creating a living trust.
  • Selecting the wrong executor. The person who manages your estate upon your death is known as the executor. Choose wisely, as they're staffed with many responsibilities.
  • Overlooking the importance of naming a guardian. Don't assume your children will be taken care of by someone close to you if you pass away. Name a guardian to ensure that the right person steps in to raise your children until they reach the age of 18.

4 simple ways to achieve co-parenting success

If you have children with your ex-spouse, you're sure to understand the importance of co-parenting. The steps that you take will impact your children now and in the future.

There will be times when you don't see eye to eye with your ex-spouse. While there is no way to avoid disagreements, there are steps you can take to achieve a higher level of success. Here are four things you absolutely need to do:

  • Remain flexible when possible. You should follow your parenting agreement, while realizing that flexibility can make life much easier on everyone. For example, if your ex-spouse requests to visit with your children on another weekend because they're busy with work, don't shut them down right away. See if you can make it work for everyone.
  • Choose your battles carefully. Don't let every minor disagreement turn into a major argument. There are times to stand your ground and times to step back and let things be.
  • Open up the lines of communication. If you don't communicate properly with your ex-spouse you can't expect to achieve co-parenting success. It doesn't matter how you communicate, as long as it works for the two of you.
  • Don't get in the way. When your ex is spending time with your children, respect it. Don't call them on the phone. Don't text your children to see what's going on. Instead, stay out of their way and enjoy your alone time.

Hiding assets with fake gifts: What to watch out for

When divorce is on the horizon, some people decide that they're going to hide assets. This is not legal, but they don't care about that. They just want to move assets out of the family's possession so that they do not have to split them with their ex.

One way that people do this is by giving fake gifts or loans to people close to them. They set up an arrangement with that person to get the money back after the divorce.

Medical planning with a health care power of attorney

When it comes to estate planning, you spend a lot of time pondering what will happen to your assets after you pass. This is important, but it's not the only thing to think about. You also need to consider the fact that you could face a serious illness at some point in the future.

Medical care planning is an important part of any estate plan, as the right plan will give you the peace of mind you need.

Planning for equal holiday custody time in Florida

Holidays can serve as an awkward, rewarding or disappointing time while raising a child during divorce. They are times when families get together and bond over the nation’s annual traditions. When it comes to a divorced family, only one parent tends to experience those familial bonds on their few days off from work.

As we approach two of the most family-based holidays of the year, it is an important time for current and upcoming divorcees to review their child custody plans before Thanksgiving and Christmas arrive. Florida is one of the few states that has a high chance of providing equal custody time for both parents, so it is crucial to see when you will get to enjoy time with your kids on your days off.

How do you plan to ask for a prenuptial agreement?

In your mind, asking for a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot is a simple process. However, you also know that your fiance may not agree with your line of thinking.

The way you ask for a prenuptial agreement has a lot to do with what happens next. When you take the right approach, things may go smoothly. However, if you make a mistake along the way, it can cause a lot of harm.

Estate plans protect heirs when property changes hands

Property ownership is not always direct. While many traditional homeowners take out a mortgage and eventually buy their homes, there are many alternative models as well. Homeowner associations and condominiums provide individual ownership but with group commitments. A vacation home or timeshare operates in a similar manner. A business owner may own real estate and share the business entity located on that land, or perhaps a partnership or LLC split the responsibility.

Because there are so many different models of ownership, it can be challenging to simply sell or change the name on the deed. Every agreement or statement of ownership has its own terms, and different states have different laws as well. When a property owner passes away, it is important to have an estate plan that shares or sells your property in a way that your next of kin aren’t stuck with unnecessary expenses.

How you ask for a divorce will alter what happens next

Even if you know your marriage is over, asking for a divorce is easier said than done. When it comes time to finally have this conversation, there's a good chance you won't know what to say or how to act.

It's natural to have concerns about asking for a divorce since this is one of the most important conversations you will ever have. Furthermore, if the other person doesn't see it coming, there may be even more challenges standing in your way.

Is parental alienation a part of your case?

Healthy and strong relationships are important to maintain. For children especially, a stable connection with their parent or guardian is paramount to their growth. During a divorce, children become vulnerable to the conflicts around them. Their well-being is extremely significant to you. If you notice your bond seems to be deteriorating, many things could be the culprit.

How can you tell if parental alienation has come into play?

Resolving a dispute with your condominium association

Florida has embraced the condominium lifestyle and all the perks that come with it. According to U.S. News, 20 percent of all Americans live in housing communities.

If you live in a housing community, you know that sometimes residents and the condominium board don't see eye to eye. Whatever the dispute, when dealing with any homeowners' association it's important to keep these tips in mind:  

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