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021518 SWB DIGITAL EDITION

6 x February 15 — 28,

6 x February 15 — 28, 2018 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 Ingredients: 4 1/2 cups sugar Pinch of salt 2 tablespoons butter 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk 12 ounces semisweet chocolate 12 ounces German sweet chocolate 1 pint marshmallow cream 2 cups chopped nuts (optional) Method: Boil the sugar, salt, butter and evaporated milk together for six minutes. Put the chocolate, marshmallow cream and nuts in a bowl. Pour the boiling syrup over the ingredients, and beat until the chocolate is melted. Pour into a 15 1/2-inch by 10 1/2-inch by 1-inch jelly roll pan sprayed with cooking spray. Let it stand a few hours before cutting into 1-inch squares. OPEN HOUSE Join Us Between 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm March 4 Treat yourself with a dessert from the recipe book of Mamie Eisenhower, wife of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. ª ROYAL Landscape Nursery NOW ENROLLING RSVP TODAY! • Topiaries • Shrubs • Trees • Fruit Trees • Crape Myrtles • Sod • St. Augustine • Floratam • Zoysia • Palmetto • Rocks • Mulch • Ground Covers • Palm Trees • Foxtail • Robellini • Queen Palms • Adonidias • Sabals • MANY MANY MORE! 407.206.8602 www.thefirstacademy.org A Christ-Centered Preschool to Grade 12 College Preparatory School Definitively Christ-Centered, Distinctly College-Prep 407-296-3042

www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x February 15 — 28, 2018 x 7 Losing The Family Fortune by: Kristen M. Jackson / Attorney People too often are surprised to learn that someone must open a probate proceeding in order to recover the assets payable to the children or other beneficiaries of a loved one who dies. An even greater surprise is that someone must pay a lawyer and wait from 90 days to 2 years or longer before the court closes the probate action and issues an order to distribute assets to those entitled to them. Questions often asked by a potential probate client is “What caused the need for probate and how could it have been avoided?” followed by “How much does probate cost?” The attorney’s answers often baffle and dishearten beneficiaries whose first response is, “Why must I pay to receive what I am already entitled to?” Because beneficiaries did not anticipate paying attorney and court costs to recover their inheritance, momentary anger can surface towards the deceased for failing to look out for their children or other beneficiaries before their death. Simply put, the key element for opening a probate occurs when a person over the age of 18 years of age dies owning assets having failed to prepare a living trust or other legal documents that could have avoided probate. If the deceased had only a last will and testament, or no will at all, called intestate, the need for a probate proceeding is probable. Anger directed toward the deceased is triggered by beneficiaries learning that probate could have been avoided altogether had the deceased engaged qualified legal representation. Unfortunately, when considering estate planning, many people believe they cannot afford an attorney and pay as little as they can to minimize expenses. Others live in a mythical world believing they are wiser than the probate law itself and need no legal assistance or advice whatsoever, acquiring such beliefs through hearsay from friends and acquaintances. Also, what about the cost for probate? It varies from state to state. In Florida, according to the probate statutes, attorneys are entitled to fees presumed reasonable often totaling up to 3% of the total assets of the deceased plus additional fees for any extraordinary services such as contesting a will, audits, reviewing and advising on tax returns, and dealings with real property as pertains to mortgages, title, deed transfers and more. Once the anger subsides and the necessity of probate becomes inevitable, beneficiaries should hire an experienced probate attorney as quickly as possible to settle the estate of the deceased. Waiting could result in beneficiaries losing a portion or the entire amount of assets left by their deceased loved one. Imagine the following. Justin and Barbara had prepared a last will and believed that once they both died, their children would automatically get their house, car and a small bank account. Following their deaths, the children quickly learned they had no control over their parent’s assets without first hiring probate attorney. Their parent’s assets amounted to about $350,000 and when their children learned what probate cost, it was more than they could afford, so they did nothing. Because there was still a small mortgage on the home, the bank subsequently foreclosed and sold it at auction. One of the children continued to illegally drive the car even though it could not be registered, tagged or insured. The parent’s bank account was transferred to Florida’s unclaimed property. Although assets from the bank account remain in Florida’s unclaimed property, to obtain them requires probate. Contact an estate planning attorney and learn how to protect and pass your family fortune to your children, beneficiaries or charity without it being lost due to the cost of probate. Legal Areas of Practice By our Team of Attorneys Administrative Advance Directives Bankruptcy Business Buy / Sell Contracts Commercial Contracts Corporation Criminal Employment Estate Planning Family Law Guardianship Litigation Last Wills Medicaid Powers Of Attorney Pre-Nuptials Probate Real Estate Special Needs Title & Closings Trusts Trademark Estate Planning Wills, Trusts, Probate, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Pre-Need Guardians, Trust Administration, Pet (Animal) Trusts Probate With or without a Last Will, in order to obtain assets, pay debts and taxes and distribute remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries, the deceased’s estate requires the assistance of an attorney to manage the court supervised administration. Corporation & Business Law Contracts, Start-ups, Purchase or Sales, Corporations (Inc.), Limited Liability Companies (LLC’s), Trademarks, Copyrights, Franchise Agreements Real Estate Closings, Title Insurance, Sales & Purchases, Leases, Contract Review, Contract Preparation (407)363-9020 www.JacksonLawPA.com Offices: Orlando Credit Cards Accepted Kristen Jackson Attorney At Law