Latest Blog Posts

Recovering Emotionally from Past Financial Errors

Posted on: March 14th, 2014
Most of us will admit to having made some financial mistakes we regret--running up credit card debt, impulse buying, or making a bad investment or business decision. While there can be significant devastation, the key is to move beyond regret into productive action. What, then, are some strategies that can restore a person's self-confidence and avoid financial failures in the future? ...

Learning from Your Mistakes Can Become Your Teaching Moment

Posted on: March 7th, 2014
Everyone makes financial mistakes. The key is to learn from them, try not to repeat them and then pass on this hard-earned wisdom to your loved ones as an element of your financial legacy. ...

Are You Wasting Money? Part Three: Taxes, Insurance, Not Bidding and/or Negotiating

Posted on: February 28th, 2014
So far in this series on wasting money, we have looked at how people may overpay for housing, interest, transportation, food, clothing and entertainment. In this last part, we will look at a few more areas in which we may pay more than necessary--taxes, insurance, not obtaining bids for services, and not negotiating for large purchases. ...

Passion Investing as a Spark to Your Life

Posted on: February 21st, 2014
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and over 50% of the Fortune 400's The Richest People in America list have decided to give away their wealth for charitable pursuits. Of course, not many of us have that kind of money or are inclined to give away all we own. However, giving to charitable organizations is something that anyone can do, and we can all derive a similar satisfaction by investing in causes that light our passion....

Taking Care of a Valuable Asset (You)

Posted on: February 14th, 2014
The combination of your talents, experience and skills represents an asset. Like any asset, it should be managed and protected. This includes keeping yourself healthy, having sufficient insurance protection, planning for both the near term and the future, investing in yourself, and having contingency plans if a sudden turn occurs. ...

The Three-Year Review and Three-Year Plan

Posted on: February 7th, 2014
Review your life's circumstances from three years ago. Think about what you knew and what you didn't know about managing your wealth. What were the top five lessons you learned? How have your views about money and wealth changed? Given all that, where do you want to be financially in three years? Think about how you will get there and how to do so efficiently. ...

How to Minimize the (Voluntary) Federal Estate Tax with Portability

Posted on: February 1st, 2014
Surprising to most people, the federal estate tax is a voluntary tax. Estate planning attorneys used to say, 'You only pay if you don't plan.' Now, portability provides both an alternative and a back up plan to lifetime tax planning. This means you might be able to minimize or even eliminate federal estate taxes even if you didn't plan. Here's how....

5 Important Questions to Ask Your Estate Planning Attorney

Posted on: January 6th, 2014
When you are trying to decide which attorney to hire to create your estate plan, it is important to ask specific question in order to determine if they are truly qualified to help you!...

Special Needs Trusts in Florida

Posted on: January 3rd, 2014
If you have a disabled child, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of qualified, legal counsel like Maura Curran for your estate planning. Typically, you cannot leave funds outright to your special needs child without pushing your child over the threshold for assets or income and disqualifying your child from receipt of governmental benefits. Thus, obtaining a Special Needs Trust is essential. ...

Social Media…..A Way to Scam the Elderly?

Posted on: December 30th, 2013
Unfortunately, the elderly have always been vulnerable to scams. As technology becomes an essential part of everyday life for people, senior citizens are getting more active online. Adult children use a variety of social media websites as a way to share pictures and updates with grandparents who live across the country....

In the Middle…..Caring for your parents & your children

Posted on: December 20th, 2013
The term "Sandwich Generation" refers to those individuals who are caring for their children while also caring for their parents or in-laws. If you are in this position, you are likely feeling stressed, tired, and financially burdened. ...

Prenuptial Agreements & What They Mean to YOU

Posted on: December 16th, 2013
A prenuptial agreement (also referred to as an antenuptial agreement or premarital agreement), is a contract between future spouses or partners outlining how matters will be handled when the relationship ends in either death or divorce. ...

DNR vs. Health Care Proxy

Posted on: December 9th, 2013
Many people are confused by the legal names assigned to their medical documents. However, it is important to have a clear understanding of what you are signing. If you should become unable to make your own medical decisions, the documents you sign regarding your care will control. ...

Thankfulness & Forgiveness in Estate Planning

Posted on: November 28th, 2013
When you think about estate planning, you typically think about distributing your assets and leaving monetary gifts to those you love. It is also possible for you to leave the gift of forgiveness in your estate plan. If you have a loved one who owes you money, you can erase the debt upon your death that would otherwise be due and owing to your estate....

Unintended Beneficiaries in Florida

Posted on: November 11th, 2013
What happens if you leave your estate to a person who dies shortly after you? The short answer is that your estate will pass to whoever that person designated as his/her beneficiaries. ...

Florida Revocable Trusts….They Can Benefit YOU

Posted on: November 4th, 2013
Many people wrongly believe that they do not need a revocable trust because they don’t own a lot of assets, are in debt, or they are upside down on their mortgage and vehicle. Trusts can be a beneficial estate planning tool for both the wealthy and the average person....

Your Estate Plan & Technology

Posted on: October 21st, 2013
Our world today seems to revolve around computers, iPads, iPods, and smart phones. In fact, many people keep a portion, if not all, of their personal and financial information stored online. Thus, it is critical that your estate plan include your user-names, passwords, and other log-on information. ...

Finances & Tying the Knot

Posted on: October 21st, 2013
If you are planning to get married soon, there are many different matters you should be considering. Couples often invest a lot of time and money into planning their wedding, but they often are not as prepared for combining their financial lives. ...

Elder Care….Legal Documents are Essential

Posted on: October 7th, 2013
If you are caring for an elderly loved one or believe this is in your near future, it is important to understand that you will need the ability to discuss treatment with health care providers. In order to insure you will have this ability, you need certain legal documents to be in place....

Reasons for Conflicts with Your Estate

Posted on: September 24th, 2013
When you are creating your estate plan, it is imperative that you have an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorney help you....

Organize Information for Your Family

Posted on: July 17th, 2013
Think for a few moments about what would happen if you suddenly became incapacitated or died. Would your spouse or family know what to do? Would they know where to find important records, assets and insurance documents? Would they be able to access (or even know about) online accounts or files on your computer? Would they know whom to ask if they need help? Putting the effort in now to establish a formal document inventory can alleviate unnecessary anxiety and turmoil in the future....

Providing for Your Parents in Your Estate Plan

Posted on: July 16th, 2013
If you are part of the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964), you may also find that you are a member of the sandwich generation, with responsibilities to both your parents (now or in the future) and your children. This should change the way you think about estate planning--instead of the traditional approach of how to leave assets to your children and future generations, you may also need to include providing for the previous generation (your parents)....

How to Choose a Trustee

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013
When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee. A trustee basically does what you do right now with your financial affairs--collect income, pay bills and taxes, save and invest for the future, buy and sell assets, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate records and generally keep things organized and in good order....

Tips for Selecting a Nursing Home

Posted on: May 30th, 2013
If you have a loved one that will soon be moving to a nursing home, below are several tips to consider for selecting the best facility:...

Heirs of a shareholders – Get Help

Posted on: May 29th, 2013
If you are a shareholder and you do not have a thoughtful plan in place for passing your shares after you die, it could leave your heirs with some difficult choices. ...

Post-Nuptial Agreements

Posted on: May 28th, 2013
If you are married and you constantly fight over money, it may be time to consider a post-nuptial agreement....

Important Estate Planning Tips

Posted on: May 27th, 2013
If you are considering creating an estate plan or updating your current plan, below are several tips for your considerations:...

What are Fiduciary Duties?

Posted on: May 24th, 2013
Trustees and personal representatives are considered fiduciaries and a number of duties are imposed upon them by Florida law. Fiduciaries must comply with the highest standards of conduct....

Same Sex Couples with Children: Estate Planning is Essential

Posted on: April 12th, 2013
Raising children is complicated enough without the additional obstacles that face gay and lesbian parents. Heterosexual couples have inherent rights afforded to them that are non-existent for same-sex couples. Thus, it is up to you to take action to protect your property rights, healthcare decisions and the distribution of your estate when you die....

How to Motivate Your Heirs to Attend College

Posted on: April 11th, 2013
If you are adamant that your children or grandchildren get a college education, you can use your estate plan as a way to motivate them to get their degree. Maura Curran can help you create a plan that accomplishes this. ...

Do you want to leave your children a monthly paycheck?

Posted on: April 10th, 2013
One of the biggest advantages of estate planning is it is flexible. An experienced estate planning attorney can create a plan that is unique to your circumstances and needs. One common concern people have is that their children are not financially savvy enough to handle a lump sum inheritance....

Is Your Estate "Worth" Protecting?

Posted on: April 9th, 2013
It is a common misconception that estate planning is for only the wealthy. However, everyone has an "estate" and if you don't do some type of estate planning, you may lose it! Without an estate plan, a large majority if your property, assets and money could go to pay the following:...

Digital Assets - Do You Need a Trust for Them?

Posted on: April 8th, 2013
Most people spend a large amount of their time on the internet. As a result, many individuals have "digital assets." ...

The Curran Law Firm: Now Providing Title Work Services

Posted on: April 5th, 2013
My blogs focus primarily on estate planning and elder law, but today I am proud to announce that I am now providing title work services. I have experience in providing real estate services, including:...

Why Trusts are Beneficial to YOU (& not just your family)

Posted on: March 29th, 2013
Most people are aware that trusts are beneficial to your family and the administration of your estate once you are gone....

Florida Will Changes

Posted on: March 28th, 2013
A will challenge occurs when an interested party calls the validity of the will into question. A challenge can be based on a variety of different factors....

Gun Trusts

Posted on: March 27th, 2013
If you own firearms, it is important that you create a gun trust. This type of trust can be very flexible....

Tips for Avoiding Unnecessary Delays in Probate

Posted on: March 26th, 2013
Probate matters can last months, even years. A skilled estate planning attorney can partner with you to ensure the probate process goes smoothly....

When your parents can’t manage their finances….

Posted on: March 22nd, 2013
It is a difficult day when you realize that one or both of your elderly parents have lost the ability to manage their own finances. You and other family members will likely have to assist how you can. ...

Is time for elder care?

Posted on: February 28th, 2013
If you have noticed that your older parents are not keeping up with their house or they have started hoarding, it may be time to consider elder care. Noticing that your parent’s mental or physical health is declining can be hard on you. It can also be hard on your finances....

What is Probate Property

Posted on: February 27th, 2013
Probate is the process of administering the estate of a deceased person. When a probate case is filed with the court, the claims of creditors should be resolved and the deceased’s assets are distributed as directed under the will.What are probate assets?...

Managing Your Important Documents

Posted on: February 26th, 2013
Even if you have an estate plan in place, it is still important that you organize your other important documents. This will make it easier for your loved ones to handle your affairs when you are gone. ...

Estate Planning Through a 529 Plan

Posted on: February 25th, 2013
The rising cost of higher education has many people concerned that their children will not be able to afford college. If you are looking for ways to help your children, grandchildren, or other relatives with paying for college, you may want to consider a 529 Plan.A 529 Plan is an education savings plan that is operated by a state or educational institution. ...

Preserving your collections

Posted on: February 22nd, 2013
Many people have items that they collect. They may range from simple things such as family photographs to more expensive items such as antiques or artwork. When it comes to your collections, it is important to take steps to preserve them so they may be passed down through the generations....

Social Media Accounts as Part of Your Estate Plan

Posted on: February 21st, 2013
Most people have a social media account of some kind. But, what does Facebook or Instagram have to do with probate? The answer may depend on where you live....

The Reading of a Will…..What really happens?

Posted on: January 31st, 2013
Most of us have seen a movie where a Last Will and Testament is being read by an attorney to many of the main characters in the movie. While this type of scene may work great for creating drama or tension in a movie, it doesn’t really occur in real life. ...

Setting Your Financial Priorities

Posted on: January 30th, 2013
Setting your financial priorities as you begin this New Year is an important task. It can be overwhelming to consider college, a home, a vehicle, investments, and retirement. Deciding what is most important right now and in the future can make you feel crazy! That is why it is important to seek the assistance of a trusted professional like Maura Curran....

3 Tips for Protecting Your Assets from Nursing Home Expenses

Posted on: January 29th, 2013
Many people are worried that their life savings will be lost if they ever require the care of a nursing home. However, with planning in advance, you can preserve your assets and still be eligible for government assistance. ...

Does Being Single Make Estate Planning Easier?

Posted on: January 28th, 2013
It may seem counter-intuitive, but people who are single may have it easier when it comes to making major financial decisions and estate planning. Not having to consult a spouse can streamline the decision-making process. ...

Common Sense Tips For Estate Planning

Posted on: January 25th, 2013
Most of us take time to make plans every day. We plan our grocery list or which parent will pick-up the children from school. The measures we take to make everyday life easier can be applied to estate planning as well....

3 Important Documents YOUR Young Adult Needs

Posted on: January 24th, 2013
While you may consider your 18 year old to still be your "baby," the law considers him/her to be an adult. This means that you will need written permission to make medical or financial decisions on his/her behalf. ...
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