Easter – Happy Bunny!

I meant, Happy Easter, Bunny! ūüôā

This Sunday easter was quiet and the temperature was just right. It was warm but a cool breeze helped cope with it. It felt peaceful.

This morning we woke up to get ready for a birthday party. It was my littlest¬†of my daughter’s friends. She is little but mighty. Daniela’s friend is very petite but she is the same age as Daniela, while Daniels is one of the tallest in her class. While they are mismatched in height, they have become great friends. Who said there¬†are rules to friendship?

This reminds me of my oldest best friend and not because she is my oldest friend but we have been friends since we were both in first grade. Our families never knew each other before and we never shared family events, but we chose to be each other friend forever.

Are friendships now as disposable as smartphones? Probably for some. I, however, believe that friends are the brothers and sisters our parents did not give us, but the brothers and sisters we choose.  As the saying says, some come for a reason, a season or a lifetime and I have had friends on each of the three categories.  But, I truly treasure those life timers.

On this Easter Day, I want to say thank you to all of those who I call true friends for always been there!

Do you have friends you truly value? If you do, take a moment and give them a call (or just text them if you find it easier) and tell them how much you appreciate them!

Hope you enjoyed your day . . .

Yahima

 

Cyber-Fraud / Email Fraud

Important! Please be very cautious when you are handling big money transactions with information transferred online!

This just happened:

Person was purchasing a property cash. As in prior transactions, he received wiring instructions from the title company to transfer almost $200,000.¬† He went to the bank and wired the money and then went and signed the closing documents. Done deal!¬† As soon as he left he got a call from the realtor to run to the bank to try to cancel the transaction because the title company’s email was hacked and the wiring instructions were wrong.

What happens now? I am trying to figure it out and I will get to you with more info. BUT, we want to make sure that you do not need to know what to do if it happens, we hope it can be avoided.

Make sure that before you transfer big amounts of money (or even small amounts) that you confirm instructions. If you are not confident, then get a cashier’s check.¬† Transactions with a cashier’s check take longer but better late than lost.

File Apr 05, 10 25 23 PM

Yahima Suarez, JD.
Yahima Suarez, PA
Life Planning & Beyond
305-456-7158

Paying back or paying forward?

I was in Court yesterday morning and I genuinely had the opportunity to introduce two professionals. I met my client’s daughter who is a psychologist involved with dependency cases. I also met my opposing counsel who is a Board Certified Juvenile attorney dealing with tons of dependency cases.¬† Perfect timing for an introduction that promises to be fruitful.

My intern noticed: “you are always connecting people.”

I replied: “Sometimes you do not have the opportunity to ‘payback’ so you “pay forward.” I have been helped so much, I always try to pass it on by ‘giving forward.'”

As I was driving to the office, I get a phone call. It was a colleague in another city who promised (voluntarily) to give me a heads up on his very unique and effective estate planning strategy.

I received an hour of a class that by its content is priceless! There is no book written on the subject (yet).

I certainly love giving forward. What goes around, comes around!

Have a wonderful day . . .

Yahima

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Attorney Yahima Suarez Life Planning & Beyond

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Is Valentine’s Day a day of Roses and Chocolate and expensive gifts? Is it a day of dining out (and making lines for that matter)? It is for many.

To me, Valentine’s day is a reminder of the power of Love in the whole extension of the word.¬† I celebrate Love Day Every Day! But, Valentine’s day is a reminder that love is much more than just a box of chocolates. It is appreciation and it is understanding.

I am so grateful for the love in my life — my family, my friends, my life¬† Thank you to all those who make my life full of love.

May you have a beautiful Love Day!

Yahima

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Attorney Yahima Suarez Life Planning & Beyond

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My dog is a piece of property!

I know it sounds horrible. My dog is like my child and she is treated as such. Besi, my seven-year-old chihuahua has never thought herself a dog. She feels human. She does not fetch or do doggy things. She sits and cuddles and loves sleeping in my bed. She loves the attention and the care.  Is she my property? Sure, she is (even though she thinks she owns me). Under the law, Besi is a piece of personal property.

So, for many years, a piece of personal property could not inherit property, only humans could. Eventually, Florida allowed for pet owners to leave in place protections for their pet through the creation of a pet’s trust. These trusts can provide for a dog or any other pet during the life of the trust creator or pet owner, which comes very handy in events of incapacity) or after the pet owner (or trust creator) dies.

Everyone‚Äôs reaction is usually ‚ÄúI am not going to die yet.‚ÄĚ You are probably not, but what if there is an accident and you need to be in the hospital or rehabilitation for several months? You are alive and you will be well, but what happens to your pets during that period of time? Who will provide their basic needs for them, buy food, do their shots, buy shampoo and bath them? As with a child, a pet is your responsibility and proper planning is essential for their well-being and protection.¬† Would you like to see your furred family member in a shelter?

Just as with any other¬†aspect of your life, proper planning can take care of all your needs and the needs of your family, including your pets.¬† So when you put your estate plan in place, do not forget to mention that “member of the family” that will not ask for anything but will be needy without you.

Want to know more? Send me an email to yslawyers@gmail.com or call my office at 305-456-7158 and we can schedule a Life Planning and Beyond Session with me so we can review all your needs and options.

My loving pets:

Left to Right: Besi (a/k/a Tuti), Dana, and Corazoncito Azul (a/k/a Pitita)

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Yahima Suarez, JD

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Hurricane Irma, the Aftermath!

Dear friends,

How was your experience with Hurricane Irma. I hope for you to share with us. As we all know Irma hit the Keys very hard, and although Miami-Dade and Broward only got a small part of Irma, almost a million were without electricity and many are still without electricity.  Thet West Coast may take another 10 days to get all power back.

I have to say, I am thankful because we did not get the category 5 hurricane that threatened us and we just did not have power, lost a few trees, and minor property damage to most.  (I cannot leave out long gas lines before and after the storm).

I just got power back at home last night (and none yet at the office) it was seriously¬†an experience. ¬†My four-year-old could not understand why the cell phone did not have “battery,” why didn’t I just plug in the “white cable”? Kids have the perfect solution. So, this was a week of learnings and teachings. I had not been in this heat since 2013 that I visited Cuba in July and I was concerned for my little one that is used to the very cold temperatures of the AC.

My concerns were not very well founded because my daughter did not complain about the heat, not once.  She was sweaty as can be but she was happy to have mom and dad home all day and all night. She was happy to sleep with mattresses on the floor by the back door with a fan . . . (thankfully we had a generator), and she drank cold water by the ton.

So, what’s there to learn? Lots. ¬†Neighbors got closer and helped each other, supported and cheered each other. We were reminded of how spoiled we are with technology and electricity and all the comfort we enjoy on a daily basis. ¬†These events remind us that we have to appreciate more and complain less ūüôā

Please share your experiences! We all want to know . . .

From every experience, we learn . . . hope you are all safe by now. Danger is still out there with power lines down and traffic lights off, so be careful!  See you soon!

File Apr 05, 10 25 23 PM

Yahima Suarez, Esq.

Life Planning & Beyond

305-456-7158

Hurricane Irma and Legal Documents

We are under imminent threat of being under the damaging forces of Hurrican Irma.  What do you do with important legal documents during these circumstances? Some tips to follow:

  1. If you are going to a shelter, make sure to take the most important legal documents with you.  You could use a small plastic box with a lid that locks or simply wrap them in plastic. It does not have to be fancy, a trash bag works perfectly.
  2. If you are staying home, use the same method to protect your important legal documents, especially, original documents like passports and Last Wills and Testaments. ¬†Find the place in the house least likely to get flooded or affected by high winds in the worst event that the roof is damaged. ¬†Think of a closet and store the documents in the middle shelf, drawers (not the bottom ones), or even the kitchen cabinets. Again, avoid the top cabinets or the lower ones —
  3. It is not possible to make sure that you have the safest spot, but if you wrap well the documents to avoid water, it is more likely they will survive.

Legal documents are important, but remember that they can always be replaced.  The priority for everyone shall be to be safe in their persons.

Please do NOT forget your pets.  Make arrangments to keep them inside and secured!

Be safe above all and do not wander outside during the storm. Everything can be replaced, life cannot!

See you all well next week!

Warmest Regards,

File Apr 05, 10 25 23 PM
Attorney Yahima Suarez Life Planning & Beyond

Question: What happens if I leave real estate property or money to an underage child?

Answer: ¬†As a minor, the child will need a guardian of the property if he or she receives any property to his or her name. In Florida, if the child is under 18, then the parent or guardian of the child will need court involvement to be able to be the guardian of the child’s money and property. ¬†A guardianship of the property will be costly and it will have to be renewed (or at least, inventories will have to be filed every year with the Court). ¬†It can be avoided by the use of proper estate planning, such as Trust Planning.

If you want more information, feel free to give us a call at 305-456-7158 or click here to request a Life Planning & Beyond Session so we can answer this question further and any other question you may have.

Please Submit your questions here.
We will try our best to answer them in our next weekly newsletters.

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Attorney Yahima Suarez Life Planning & Beyond

QUESTION: I see how I can pass down assets to my family, but I do not see how I could pass down family values. Can you explain?

ANSWER: 

Family values are not as easy to pass down to future generations as it may be transferring of assets, such as real estate and money in the bank.

However, that’s one of the things that differentiates my firm from others. We try hard to find ways to pass down values. The way we do this may depend¬†on the family and the values to transfer and this may not take the form of a legal document, but this planning goes beyond . . .

The first thing I tell my clients to do is start educating. We must give the example for others to follow but sometimes the example alone is not enough, we must openly and explicitly¬†communicate what we value, how we value things and how we want others to react to our¬†choices and goals. ¬†We gather with our client’s family or encourage our clients to have family meetings to discuss their estate plans and why they have planned the way they have and what is expected of each family member. ¬†We also encourage a legacy session. This is normally done after the plan is complete and the client has the opportunity to record, either in audio or video, their wishes, their concerns, their advice to children or beneficiaries and their expectations. Imagine, how valuable it can be to a family member to receive the advice of a parent, for example, even years after the parent is no longer alive.

Others will just write down instructions, and those are very valuable too.  At the least, we make sure that the legal documents include as much of the purpose and value of our clients as legally possible.

Please Submit your questions here. We will try our best to answer them in our next weekly newsletters.

Yahima

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Attorney Yahima Suarez Life Planning & Beyond

How to Incorporate Family Values in Your Estate Planning

Baby boomers know money isn’t the only important aspect of estate planning.

Baby boomers want to leave their family more than just financial assets. According to a 2012 study released by the Allianz Life Insurance, Co. baby boomers identified family values as some of the most important things to pass down to heirs.

In 2012’s economic climate, it was no wonder family values imparted through stories, life lessons, and family possessions were at the top of the list. In an economic downturn, financial inheritances are more tenuous, unlike the abiding worth of family values. Thus, family values, tax-free of course, made the top of the list in importance.

However, a similar study conducted in 2015 by the same company showed that family values were also among the most important legacies boomers wanted to leave behind, even though the economy was more robust.

These studies show the enduring importance of family values, morals, and meaningful possessions as part of a carefully crafted estate plan, regardless of the economic climate.

Do you have family values you wish to pass on? Of course, you do. And yet you likely haven’t taken action to ensure the legacy you are leaving is the one you really want to leave behind.

It is easy to include family values in your estate plan when it‚Äôs built into the process. ¬†It is not the norm with most estate planning lawyers or with the DIY legal document services. ¬†We know that your financials will be managed by estate law, but what about your memories, your values, and your teachings? Consider including written memoirs, video or audio recordings of family stories, or your advice to children, grandchildren and other family members in your estate plan. These are the valuables most likely to be lost after your death. ¬†Wouldn’t it be nice to preserve them?

Could you imagine how valuable it would be to hear your family history directly in the words of your grandparents, great-grandparents or even earlier generations right now?

If you want to pass down a truly holistic legacy, one that manages and preserves both your finances and your family values, start by coming in to meet with us for a Life Planning & Beyond¬†Session. As your Personal Family Lawyer¬ģ, we will guide you in creating a comprehensive estate plan that protects and preserves your family‚Äôs heritage.

This article is a service of Yahima Suarez, Personal Family Lawyer¬ģ. We don‚Äôt just draft documents, we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love.¬† That’s why we offer a Life Planning & Beyond Session,‚ĄĘ during which you will get more financially organized than you‚Äôve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office at 305-456-7158 today to schedule or click Life Planning & Beyond Session¬†and mention this article to find out how to get this $250 session at no charge.

Yahima

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305-456-7158
ysuarez@YSLawyers.com

Yahima Suarez
Yahima Suarez, J.D. Life Planning & Beyond

 

A reflection on Death . . .

The view of a peaceful beach with white sands and and bushes in the background.

The saying usually goes, the only thing certain in life is death and taxes. I have to defer somehow from the saying and say that the only thing certain in life is death.  The only thing you need in order to die is to be alive. Everything else is relative and unimportant when it comes to dying.

People avoid talking about death while others celebrate it.  Whoever you are, know that this is an important subject.

At the beginning of last year, a good friend and one of the attorneys I respect the most suffered from a heart attack. He was close to dying when he had a second heart attack. He survived.  He is not even 50 and he worked endless hours a week and his legal practice was above his own personal life.

Just last Thursday a very well known attorney in our community passed away. He was only 57.  I did not know Ervin Gonzalez personally, but I knew of his many achievements and his power in the court room.  While I do not know about his personal life, I can assume by my own experience as an attorney, that the stress levels he underwent were above and beyond normal.

Celebrities die of drug use and abuse out of the pressure of the industry and to keep up with the trends and demands of their profession.

As attorneys we take it for absolute truth that to be an attorney you have to be able to handle the stress levels, not complain about it, and get ready to handle more.

If death is certain, why don’t we make it a goal to live a better life?

Feel free to share your thoughts about it. I would love to see what others have to say about the subject.

In the meantime, be happy and take a moment and breath deeply and reflect upon life and relieve at least a drop of that stress!

Saludos,

Yahima
Yahima Suarez, PA
Life Planning & Beyond
305-456-7158

File Apr 05, 10 25 23 PM
Attorney Yahima Suarez Life Planning & Beyond

Is your Child a Graduate? Then you must read this!

It was just a year ago that I was graduating! Well, that’s not really a true statement even though I feel very young. It was 18 years ago that I graduated from High School. Wow! Yes! I said it! 1999 was the year when I finished High School and we had beepers instead of smart phones.

This coming Monday my step-daughter is graduating from High School and I can relate and re-live the moment.   She is now a young adult, not the 7 year old I met so many years ago. She has grown to be an smart young woman.

If you relate with the truth about time moving speedily, then you might relate to the fact that we must plan ahead for when the time comes. We worried about our children when they were little and we put every plan and protection in place for them when they are very young. Now we worry about our children because they are bigger. Being prepared for what time can bring is not just for over-cautious people, it is for smart people like you.

So let me share something you may not know about your high school graduate: If your child is graduating from high school your “child” is already or soon to be eighteen years of age. This is the age of majority in Florida. At this time, your child may feel grown up and ready to take on the world, while you feel he or she continues to be your baby. The truth is that you, as a parent, can no longer make legal or medical decisions for your child. It is and will always be your child, but unfortunately, the law says that your child is now an adult and can make his or her own legal and medical decisions. ¬†What if he or she cannot make such decisions on his/her own?

If you are in this situation, do not despair.  We have you covered. We want to offer to you today a free Health Care Power of Attorney for your child (between 18-24 and enrolled in school).  This will ensure you continue to have authority to make medical decisions for him/her.  To take advantage of this Free Gift, you must attend a Life Planning & Beyond Session with me.  The Life Planning & Beyond Session in itself is worth $750, but you can have it for free as my Graduation Gift to your family.

But this is not going to be available forever.  These special Gifts are only available for the first five persons who schedule a Life Planning & Beyond Session with me during the month of June, 2017 so do not wait, click here to request your appointment or give us a call at 305-456-7158.

In the Life Planning & Beyond Session you will be able to:

  • Choose the right guardians for your kids without making any of the common mistakes most parents (and even lawyers) make.
  • Discover how to legally avoid all estate taxes and keep your family out of court!
  • Ensure your kids inherit your values, not a sense of entitlement.
  • Get your Ô¨Ānancial house in order and keep it that way.

Again, just click here and fill out your information and we will contact you within 24 hours to schedule a Life Planning & Beyond Session with me or just give us a call at 305-456-7158 and we will schedule a session for you.

Good job in getting your child in the right path and working towards bigger dreams.

Congratulations Grads!

See you soon!

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Phone #: 305-456-7158
Email: ysuarez@yslawyers.com

File Apr 05, 10 25 23 PM
Attorney Yahima Suarez Life Planning & Beyond