Probate Law Firm - May 2020

MAY 2020

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MEET MY BUDDY, OLIVER The Dog That Changed Everything

“SOMEHOW, THAT 9-POUND, 10-YEAR- OLD POODLE WIGGLED AND WHINED HIS WAY INTO MY HEART.”

Oliver is the neediest and moodiest little fluff ball there ever was, but there’s no doubt that he loves me. Every morning when we wake up and every night when we go to bed, it’s the Justin and Oliver show. Even if we’re just coming in from taking out the trash, it’s a big event. He’ll start screaming like he hasn’t seen us for months, and Alexandra will have to pick him up and cuddle him. Even then, he’ll lean his head back and look at me until the two of us stand close enough together that he can put a paw on each of us. It’s pretty amazing that Oliver and I formed such a strong bond considering how our introduction went. The first time Alexandra brought him over to the house where I was living, he marked his territory right away by pooping in my closet. In all of the years I’ve lived with Oliver, that’s the only time he’s ever gone to the bathroom in the house, so I know he did it on purpose! Honestly, looking back on it cracks me up because it really tells you a lot about his personality. I wouldn’t say loving Oliver has convinced me to love all dogs, but he’s definitely had a huge impact on my life. Even though Oliver is technically a senior, he still has all of the energy of a puppy, and he’s always running around, shrieking and making funny faces. With all of the care and attention Oliver requires, I can almost imagine what it will be like when Alexandra and I have kids. It’s already tough to go off to work and leave Oliver sitting by the door, looking at me like it’s the end of the world, so I’m sure it will be 1,000 times more difficult to drop my son or daughter off on the first

The first week of May is National Pet Week, and with all of the chaos in the world these last few months, I, for one, have been feeling particularly grateful for my dog, Oliver. Technically, Oliver is my wife Alexandra’s dog, but over the last few years of living together, we’ve fallen for each other hook, line, and sinker. Honestly, no one was more surprised by that turn of events than me! My family had a series of small dogs when I was growing up, but somehow, that didn’t change the fact that I had (and have) a healthy fear of canines. In theory, I really love animals — I’m even a vegetarian — but something always held me back from bonding with the dogs I had as a kid. That all changed when I met Oliver. Somehow, that 9-pound, 10-year-old poodle wiggled and whined his way into my heart.

day of kindergarten. Still, when Alexandra and I decide to take the leap into parenthood, I know I’ll have Oliver to thank for preparing me, just a little bit, for fatherhood. you have pets of your own, give them a hug for me this month in honor of National Pet Week. Hopefully, they’ve brought you as much comfort and happiness in this difficult time as Oliver has brought me.

Stay safe out there!

Justin Stivers, ESQ.

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GROWING YOUR BUSINESS? CHANGE THE LIGHTBULBS

How Small Savings Can Make a Huge Difference

Sometimes, a little change can go a long way. Walmart illustrated this perfectly when the megachain decided to switch to using more energy-efficient

major decisions, there are many minute changes that could save your company time and money. What standard operating procedure (SOP) needs to be made more efficient before you bring on a larger client load? Which social media site will give you the most bang for your marketing buck? How much more will you be spending on toilet paper with two locations? It’s tempting to overlook the minor details, but tackling these inefficiencies could save you more than you expect. If you aren’t one to pore over every expense report and crunch the numbers, you’re not alone. The good news is that most likely, there are members of your team with the perspective and knowledge to help you out. This is especially true when it comes to day-to-day operations. Employees are great at noticing redundancies in SOP, underutilized spaces in the office, and other areas where money may be wasted. Empowering your team to speak up when they notice these money- saving opportunities can do wonders for your bottom line. Saving a few hundred dollars per year on things like lighting and floor wax may not sound impressive, but that’s money you can put toward improving your employee retention, customer experiences, and marketing effectiveness. In today’s competitive market, even the smallest changes can give you a vital edge.

lightbulbs and cheaper floor wax. Those two

simple substitutions have cut the company’s annual costs by $220 million. Of course, with thousands of stores nationwide, even the smallest savings will have a multiplying effect for a

corporation like Walmart, but this lesson can still be applied by small-

business owners looking to grow.

As a business owner, it can be tempting to lose yourself in the big picture. Milestones like helping more clients, launching new marketing campaigns, and opening another location are the exciting investments that really get a CEO’s blood pumping. But beneath each of these

MEET YENIFER CABRERA! Our Top-Notch Paralegal

Yenifer Cabrera has been with our firm for a little over a year now, but she fit in perfectly from day one. That’s because — as cliché as it sounds — Yenifer and Justin share a passion for helping people and, more specifically, for helping people through the kind of dark times that often lead them to a probate lawyer’s office. It was that fervor for probate that first brought Yenifer to our door. When the law office she was previously working for switched from probate to a different specialty, she missed those challenging cases.

to are going through grief, but it’s also very rewarding when we get to lift the legal aspect off of their shoulders and help them get peace of mind.”

Yenifer is a one-woman powerhouse in our office, handling cases “from their inception until the end,” as she puts it. She collects case information, drafts documents, does research, helps out with accounting, distributes properties and assets, works with life insurance, reads through last wills and testaments, and keeps our clients updated on their cases. “It is very busy, and that’s something that I like about it!” Yenifer says of her work. “There’s always something to do, and there’s always also something new to learn.”

When she isn’t at the office, Yenifer spends her free time with her husband, Gean, and her sons: 12-year-old Isaac and 10-year-old Sean.

“We like to do things outdoors, like family barbecues and going to the park,” she says. “I’m a very family oriented person!”

“I like working in probate because I like the fact that we help people coming out of difficult situations. I think it’s very rewarding at the end of a probate case when we get a client the results or the inheritance that they’re entitled to,” Yenifer says. “It’s tough because most of the clients we speak

Yenifer, we love having you as a part of our family here at The Probate Law Firm. Thank you for all you do!

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WHY HAVING A WILL WON’T AVOID PROBATE 3 Things You Should Know About the Process

In our years working in probate law, we’ve discovered a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about what probate is and how it works. One of the most common ones is the idea that if you have a last will and testament (what’s often known simply as a will), then the probate process won’t be necessary to distribute your property and other assets after you die. It’s tempting to believe this because we all want things to go as smoothly as possible for our heirs, but unfortunately, it isn’t true. Here are three things you should know about why that’s the case and how the probate process really works.

1. WILL OR NO WILL, PROBATE IS USUALLY NECESSARY FOR CHANGES IN LEGAL OWNERSHIP.

more streamlined than if they are spread between many different people. A lot of people try to avoid probate because they think it will be hard on their loved ones, but even a complex probate case can go smoothly with a good probate attorney at the helm! If you have any questions about the probate process or want to add an experienced lawyer to your team, call The Probate Law Firm today at 305-456-3255.

Simply put, probate is the legal process of distributing assets after a person dies. If you have a will stipulating who those assets should go to, that can steer the procedure, but as long as assets still need to be handed out to heirs and beneficiaries, chances are that the person you named personal representative or executor will still need to start the probate process with the court. There are only a few exceptions to this rule (see No. 3).

3.YOU CAN AVOID PROBATE, BUT ONLY BY MAKING SPECIFIC ARRANGEMENTS.

2. PROBATE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED.

Here in Florida, a few types of assets don’t need to go through the probate process, including property held in joint tenancy, assets that already have a designated beneficiary (think retirement accounts or life insurance payouts), and assets in a living trust, which makes you a “trustee” of your property rather than an owner.

The difficulty of the probate process depends on the number and type of assets you have and how they’re being distributed. If all of your assets are going to a single beneficiary, for example, the probate case will likely be a lot

DID YOU KNOW?

THANK YOU FOR YOUR REFERRALS IN MARCH!

The original version of Monopoly was actually created in protest of monopolies. Its inventor, Elizabeth Magie, believed in a system of shared land value and designed the game as a teaching tool to address the problems of land monopolies — but she only made about $500 off it. Some guy stole her idea, sold it to Parker Brothers, and kept all the royalties for himself. Isn’t that ironic?

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MELINDA GRIMALDI WITH GRIMALDI LAW FIRM IN HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA

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SYED ZAFAR WITH ZAFAR FRANCUZ & COMPANY IN MIAMI, FLORIDA

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JASON NEUFELD WITH ELDER NEEDS LAW, PLLC IN AVENTURA, FLORIDA

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REBECCA WALKER WITH INFINITY ABSTRACT & TITLE IN TAMPA, FLORIDA

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DANIEL UMBERT WITH LEINOFF & LEMOS, P.A. IN SOUTH MIAMI, FLORIDA

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DR. ELIZABETH CABRERA IN MIAMI, FLORIDA

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AL MAULINI WITH MORGAN STANLEY IN CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA

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FREDERICK NEUSTEIN WITH THE NEUSTEIN LAW GROUP, PA IN AVENTURA, FLORIDA

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NICOLA HARVEY WITH ZILLOW GROUP IN ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

1395 Brickell Avenue, Suite 800 Miami, FL 33131

INSIDE

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Meet Justin’s No. 1 Buddy

The Money-Saving Methods Most Entrepreneurs Overlook Why Having a Will Won’t Avoid Probate Meet the Woman Who Biked 4,200 Miles in 18 Days

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MEET CYCLING LEGEND LAEL WILCOX The Woman Who Raced 4,200 Miles in 18 Days and Won

Picture the distance between Oregon and Virginia on a U.S. map. Now, picture crossing that distance on a bicycle. Odds are you either can’t imagine it or you conjured up a monthslong slog, but in 2016, ultra-endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox crossed that distance in just 18 days and 10 minutes — the second-fastest time in the history of the Trans Am Bike Race. As hard as it is to believe, the 4,200 mile stretch from Astoria, Oregon, to Yorktown, Virginia, is actually a racecourse. Every June, roughly 50–100 cyclists undertake the journey, pedaling through a total of 10 states. It’s an insane obstacle course of cars, mountains, and weather events that riders go through alone, without required checkpoints or designated rest periods. When Wilcox won the Trans Am in 2016, she became the first woman and the first American ever to do so. According to NPR, the victory came down to a combination of endurance and luck. In the final days of the race, she was in second place behind Steffan Streich when exhaustion sent him pedaling out of Bumpass, Virginia, in the wrong direction. When the two met on the road at 3 a.m., a panicked Streich turned around and sprinted neck and neck with Wilcox toward the finish. After a few miles, she pulled ahead and won. In response to those who said a woman could never win the Trans Am, Wilcox told NPR, “If you beat ‘em, you beat ‘em. That’s what happens. And then everybody has to change the way they think.”

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Wilcox, even more than her 2016 win, is that she didn’t start cycling until she was 20 years old, when her boyfriend at the time gave her a bike. Since then, she’s competed all over the world, logging a total of 100,000 miles in 35 countries. When she’s isn’t racing, Wilcox encourages teenage girls to try cycling with scholarships and group events. In November 2019, she even starred in “I Just Want to Ride,” a 38-minute film following her quest to win the 2019 Tour Divide Race. To learn more about the film and what makes Wilcox tick, visit LaelWilcox.com.

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