Astrue v. Capato, although a very unusual recent case, exemplifies the importance of creating a precisely worded, up to date estate plan that takes into account all possible life contingencies. This case is especially important if you do not want to unintentionally disinherit your children.
Florida resident Robert Capato and his wife Karen decided to freeze his sperm upon his diagnosis of esophageal cancer and upon learning that treatment could render him sterile. Following Robert’s death, Karen underwent in-vitro fertilization while living in Florida using his stored sperm. She then moved to New Jersey and gave birth to twins.
The problem was that Robert’s will, signed in Florida, failed to mention any children who might be born subsequent to his death. Karen, the child she conceived with Robert while he was alive, and his children from a prior marriage were the only named beneficiaries. According to Florida law, children conceived after a parent’s death cannot inherit from that parent, unless that are referred to in his or her Will.
When Karen claimed Social Security Survivor Benefits for the twins; her application was denied because Robert was already dead when the twins were conceived. The U.S. Supreme Court became involved ruling that Florida laws of intestacy applied because the children were conceived in Florida and therefore, the twins were not eligible for government benefits.
You can avoid such dire consequences by taking action now. All it takes is one simple phone call to your South Florida estate-planning attorney to avoid putting your loved ones through such grief and turmoil.
If you have family, friends or even a charitable intent, the absence of an estate plan is inexcusable. For more information on successful Florida estate planning and probate techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 or via email at email@example.com to schedule your free consultation.
It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?