O'ConnellCrispin Ackal West Palm Beach

O’Connell & Crispin Ackal, PLLC, Continues Their Robust Estate Planning Practice During COVID-19

O’Connell & Crispin Ackal PLLC handles estate planning in Florida where the threshold for probate is $75,000. That means that if you pass away and leave behind more than $75,000 in assets, you need a will and other estate planning documents to ensure that your property goes to your heirs, not the state government. Ashley Crispin Ackal, estate trial lawyer of West Palm Beach, advises Florida residents to ensure they put together the necessary documents to avoid probate.

O'Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach (6)

O’Connell & Crispin Ackal PLLC on FL Probate Rules

Ashley Crispin Ackal, estate trial lawyer of West Palm Beach, emphasizes that while some estates won’t require probate, it’s good to plan ahead and help your heirs avoid probate proceedings.

If you pass away and you have property or assets in your name but nobody else’s, your estate might end up going through distribution via probate court. Your assets include bank accounts, property, annuities, insurance policies, 401K plans, and everything that you own individually or jointly with other people. If all of your assets have beneficiaries or joint owners, your heirs won’t have to go through probate court to claim their inheritance.

Ashley Crispin Ackal Estate Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach on Estate Planning Documents

According to Ashley Crispin Ackal, estate trial lawyer of West Palm Beach, the key documents for estate planning include:

  • Will: Assigns an executor and details distribution of your assets
  • Power of Attorney: This provides authorization for the person you name to act as your durable power of attorney. They can make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated and may also be the executor of your will.
  • Living Will: This document discussed your wishes for receiving or not receiving end of life medical care such as IV feeding and forced ventilation.  
  • Designation of Health Care Surrogate: You can name someone to honor your health care wishes and make decisions if you become incapacitated.

Estate Planning Tax Advice from O’Connell & Crispin Ackal, PLLC

Before making final decisions on how to structure your assets after you pass away, consider the tax consequences. For best results, executors, individuals, trustees and businesses should visit an attorney that specializes in estate planning, such as O’Connell & Crispin Ackal, PLLC.

Discuss the following with your attorney:

  • Alternate valuation elections
  • Generation-skipping taxes
  • Federal estate taxes
  • Federal gift taxes
  • Revocable, irrevocable
  • Charitable trusts

Crispin Ackal, estate trial lawyer of West Palm Beach, emphasizes the importance of understanding the tax consequences on your estate planning decisions. . O’Connell & Crispin Ackal, PLLC offers counsel to inheritors as well as those planning their estates.

Ashley Crispin Ackal Estate Trial Lawyer West Palm Beach

O’Connell Crispin Ackal’s Ashley Crispin Ackal of West Palm Beach Discusses Factors Involved in End of Life Decisions

Some legal issues can arise out of end-of-life decisions although the US government has provided for individuals to legally make their own decisions since 1990 with the limitation of assisted suicide, says Ashley Crispin Ackal of O’Connell Crispin Ackal.

The Supreme Court issued a number of legal decisions in the 1990s on various aspects of a person’s right to die. In a 1900 decision, the Court determined that a competent patient had the right to refuse a feeding tube or other assisted nutritional means. In 1997, the Court held that assisted suicide was illegal, but allowed that each state should determine its legality. The following year, Dr. Jack Kevorkian assisted in the first of 130 suicides of terminally ill patients and set off a firestorm of legal precedents and state legislative decisions, explains O’Connell Crispin Ackal’s Ashley Crispin Ackal of West Palm Beach.

Those determinations differed from those laid out in a living will, a document created while healthy and mentally competent that lays out in legal terms at what point of a potential illness or injury a person wishes to refuse or cease life support, refuse assisted feeding, etc. Any competent adult can legally pre-determine how they want their end-of-life decisions handled by creating a living will. The typical minimum competency requirements include 18 years of age or older, capable of understanding what the living will achieve, what it contains, and how it functions. The individual can sign the living will in the presence of a notary public or witness. 

The key difference between the patient actions that took place in the 1990s and those of 2020 and beyond lie in the premeditation of the decision while completely competent and healthy, said O’Connell Crispin Ackal’s Ashley Crispin Ackal of West Palm Beach. A living will written today allows the individual to decide their fate based upon a number of scenarios and to determine criteria of life and quality of life.

The Supreme Court decisions of the 1990s revolved around individuals with incurable diseases such as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a wasting disorder that eradicates the body’s muscle tone as well as affecting the brain, eventually trapping the individual in immobility without the ability to speak or breath on their own. These individuals determined to end their life before reaching the end stages of the disease, a decision which to this day differs in legality from deciding to refuse life support.

While a living will can help an individual determine what measures they would not want to undergo to prolong life, it cannot legally function as an instrument to end their life by assisted suicide, Ashley Crispin Ackal of O’Connell Crispin Ackal said. The living will can include criteria to allow or negate resuscitation, known in different areas as a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), Do Not Intubate (DNI), Do Not Attempt to Resuscitate (DNAR), or Allow Natural Death (AND).

These documents can also name one or more decision-makers for the individual. The duty of this person or person would be making decisions not covered in the living will. This may include experimental treatments, technologies developed after the living will was established, and/or decisions not covered in the living will, according to Ashley Crispin Ackal of O’Connell Crispin Ackal. This person or persons would decide, for example, whether to allow doctors to try a new treatment on a cancer patient toward the end of Stage IV.

Contact the attorneys at O’Connell & Crispin Ackal PLLC to address your living will needs and discuss potential end-of-life decisions. Let O’Connell Crispin Ackal’s Ashley Crispin Ackal of West Palm Beach help you make an informed decision about your future.

Are Your End Of Life Wishes In Order? Five Tips From Ashley Crispin Ackal

Ashley Crispin Ackal’s Tips For Setting Your Family Up To Manage Your End Of Life Wishes

It can be tough to imagine a day when your family will be without you, but it’s a fact of life. Planning your end of life wishes now can ease the stress of your family when they’re mourning the fact that you’re gone. Ashley Crispin Ackal is sharing her top five tips for ensuring that your family is well prepared to handle your affairs after you pass away.

First, you’ll want to meet with an estate planning attorney to complete your will. Your attorney may have questions that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of, according to Ashley Crispin Ackal; O’Connell Crispin Ackal of West Palm Beach. Even if you don’t have all the details figured out quite yet, starting the process of making a will or going through estate planning documents can help you understand the decisions that you’ll need to make in order to ensure that your assets are fairly distributed to your loved ones.

Second, Ashley Crispin Ackal of O’Connell & Crispin Ackal PLLC recommends recording your funeral and burial wishes in multiple places. Ashley Crispin Ackal says that while you can include these wishes in your will or estate planning documents, you’ll also want to provide a few loved ones with your final wishes as well.

Next, Ashley Crispin Ackal recommends informing your family who you want to be notified of your death. Think about the people you’ve been close to throughout your life, and if you want them to know when you’ve passed, be sure to have their contact information for your family.

Ashley Crispin Ackal also says that it’s a good idea to talk with your loved ones about whether you’re able to contribute toward funeral and burial expenses. If possible, Ashley Crispin Ackal says that setting aside some money to help with funeral costs can help to ease the stress of grieving family members.

Lastly, Ashley Crispin Ackal recommends talking about your final wishes with several family members. While these conversations can be difficult, they’re necessary. Ashley Crispin Ackal says that it’s important to consider that the unexpected can occur, and if you only share your wishes with one family member, it’s possible that something could happen causing your wishes to remain unknown. Sharing with as many family members as you feel comfortable increases the likelihood that your death will be managed according to your preferences.

Does Your Family Understand Your Wishes For Your Burial? Ashley Crispin Ackal Explains Why It Matters.

Ashley Crispin Ackal Knows That These Difficult Conversations Are Worth It – Here’s Why

Logically, we all know that everyone is going to die eventually, but that doesn’t make it any easier to talk about end of life plans with friends and family members. While talking to your loved ones about your wishes after you pass can be uncomfortable, doing so can save them from devastating stress and disagreements with one another down the line.

First things first: you need to decide what you want, according to Ashley Crispin Ackal. Get comfortable with the idea of talking about end of life plans by browsing different options, and thinking about funerals and end of life celebrations you’ve attended in the past.

O'Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach (1)Ashley Crispin Ackal of O’Connell Crispin Ackal of West Palm Beach recommends writing down exactly what you want for your burial and end of life plans before having a conversation with your family members. This way, if the conversation becomes difficult or something goes unsaid, your loved ones will have exactly what you want in writing after you pass. You’ll also be able to ballpark how much your burial plans are going to cost. If you choose, you can set some money aside so that your family will have it available for your end of life plans.

Next, Ashley Crispin Ackal of O’Connell & Crispin Ackal PLLC says that you should decide exactly who needs to know your end of life plans. If this is something you want to share with your entire family, that’s fantastic. If you’re more comfortable just sharing with one of your children or another close relative, that’s fine too, according to Ashley Crispin Ackal. It’s key that you share with more than one family member. If you choose to only share with one person and something happens to them, your wishes may go unknown to the rest of the family, according to Ashley Crispin Ackal.

Let your loved one(s) know that you understand that this conversation is difficult and uncomfortable, but it’s important for them to know what you want after you pass. Be prepared for your loved ones to brush off the conversation or try to change the subject, Ashley Crispin Ackal says. It may take several attempts of talking to your loved ones before they feel comfortable enough to have the discussion with you. Ashley Crispin Ackal encourages you to remember that they’re not brushing you off because they don’t care – they’re brushing off the conversation because the thought of losing you is painful.

O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach Continues Their Robust Estate Planning Practice During COVID-19

It comes as a surprise that legal cases are moving forward in these uncertain times. However, that’s just what Ashley Crispin Ackal Trust Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach and the rest of the team at O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach are doing. These attorneys have a combined over 100 years of experience in the field of law. Ashley Crispin Ackal Trust Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach is committed to bringing the same standard of practice to every case with safeguard measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach Rises to the Challenge

Of course, there have been challenges and the legal team at O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach has had to adapt the way that they work. These attorneys remain dedicated to helping people in matters of estate and gift tax planning, trust litigation, probate litigation, business litigation, and guardianship. They specialize in trial advocacy, so if a client has a case that is especially complex in terms of courtroom litigation, they can rest assured that an O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach attorney would do well with this matter.

O'Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm BeachAshley Crispin Ackal Trust Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach Offers Guardianship

Another area that’s handled by Ashley Crispin Ackal Trust Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach is that of guardianship. She has been instrumental in establishing conservatorships and guardianships for numerous clients. This is sometimes necessary to do if an individual is incapacitated because of alcohol, drugs, or if they have a developmental disability. It also is put in place if there is a concern that there could be financial abuse of an elder.

Estate Planning with the Help of O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach

Estate planning can be a complicated undertaking, but Ashley Crispin Ackal Trust Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach has great skill in such matters. The process is particularly frustrating and exhausting when you are doing this for a loved one who is ill, or if any of the details are uncertain. It’s important to keep a level head and promote calm in clients dealing with trust litigation and estate planning. Ashley Crispin Ackal Trust Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach puts her client’s mind at ease and does well to explain every step of the process.

Tax Law from O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach Attorneys

The area of tax law is complicated and always changing. This is especially true if a client has many unique financial circumstances. It’s important to stay current on the laws regarding taxes and tax planning so that you don’t run into any serious problems which could get you into trouble. Ashley Crispin Ackal Trust Trial of West Palm Beach understands the difficulties involved and is willing and able to advise when it comes to your tax law questions.

COVID-19 has made business and the legal field face new obstacles. Here at O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach firm, we always do our best to provide quality services. Reach out to Ashley Crispin Trust Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach today to find out how she and the team can help.

Ashley Crispin Ackal Discusses the Major Factors of a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim

Ashley Crispin Ackal Estate Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach discusses the major factors of a breach of fiduciary duty claim.

The term “breach of fiduciary duty” is enough to confuse anyone who isn’t equipped with a law degree. Fiduciary duty is a legal term used to describe the relationship between two parties. The responsibility of the fiduciary party is to act on behalf of the other party in a way that solely benefits their interest. Ashley Crispin Ackal Estate Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach explained that an example of a fiduciary is a corporate trust company that is holding another person’s funds for investment or safekeeping.

Ashley Crispin Ackal Estate Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach added a breach of fiduciary duty claim occurs when the plaintiff believes the fiduciary did not make choices that were in their best interest. She explained that four major factors must be present to file a breach of fiduciary duty claim.

“The defendant must have been acting as a fiduciary for the plaintiff,” O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach said. “And the defendant must have made a decision that breached that duty.”

O'Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm BeachAshley Crispin Ackal Estate Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach added that, to make a breach of fiduciary duty claim, the plaintiff must have incurred some damages due to the breach. It must be proven that the breach of fiduciary duty is what caused the damages.

“It’s easier to remember these concepts as four simple terms: fiduciary duty, breach, damages, and causation,” O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach said.

Ashley Crispin Ackal Estate Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach explained that breach of fiduciary claims can be especially complicated and stressful for the plaintiff, as they have trusted the fiduciary party in good faith and confidence. The fiduciary party is always expected to operate with the highest degree of loyalty and honesty for the other party, and a breach of that can feel personal.

Ashley Crispin Ackal Estate Trial Lawyer of West Palm Beach explained it’s important to note that fraudulent fiduciary claims can be filed as well. As a trust trial lawyer, O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach has worked on both sides of the issue, representing those who need to file a breach of fiduciary duty claims and those who have faced a breach of fiduciary claims filed by other family members and beneficiaries.

“There is a lot of gray area in the department of fiduciary duty claims,” O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach said. “That’s why we work so hard to represent our clients on either side of the issue, whether they’re business owners, successor trustees, or family members.”

O’Connell Crispin Ackal West Palm Beach finished by stating that breach of fiduciary duty claims can be extremely personal and combative, and the only way to properly file or defend one is with a qualified estate trial lawyer.