A Few Tips


November 1, 2018 | View PDF

The other night my beloved wife Jane said, “How about some good tips targeted toward just women.” This is the Women’s Journal after all. She made some suggestions, so here it goes:

1. If you are a woman marrying a

wealthy man and he asks you to sign a Prenuptial Agreement (a poor man won’t ask!) You are giving up some rights you may not know about. “As long as you don’t sign a Prenuptial Agreement” if he dies you get to stay in the marital home for the rest of your life even if it is just titled in his name. I don’t care if he dies on your honeymoon, it’s yours for life. His kids can’t throw you out. “As long as you don’t sign a Prenuptial Agreement” if he dies and your name is not on a single asset, even in his Will, you can apply for a “spouses elective share” which, (according to my lawyer friend that does divorces), is 30% of the whole estate.

2. If you are a divorced woman raising

children, you do not want to die without some significant legal protections. First, a Revocable Living Trust with a trustee for the kids is a necessity (Not a Will but a Trust). If not, the “no good father” could end up the guardian of not only the kids but in control of their money and property as well. Make your lawyer, your accountant, or your best friend the trustee after your death so THEY control the kid’s money until they reach the age you want them to be. (not their father, your ex!) Second, be sure to execute a Preneed Guardianship Election picking YOUR choice for the children’s guardian. It is a factor in the court’s determination and when their lazy “good for nothing” father finds out he’s not in control of the money he might disappear, blessedly, from their lives, altogether. Then the court can appoint your choice to raise the kids.

3. Ladies, if your husband or

live-in life partner falls off the roof, (has a stroke, heart attack…etc) and you call 911 be prepared. When you arrive at the Emergency Room they will wheel him back and begin treating him. You may be given papers to sign on his behalf. Don’t sign! There may be financial responsibility language in that paper work. Even spouses aren’t libel for the debts of each other unless you “sign up” to be responsible.

My wife, Jane, knows she can sign “Jane Boles” as long as she follows it with D.P.O.A. (Durable Power of Attorney). If you don’t have a Durable Power of Attorney, run, don’t walk, to your nearest friendly local attorney and get it done. If not, just refuse to sign. They don’t need your permission, or signature, to treat the patient. (They will treat a homeless person brought in by themselves, your signature is not needed, and you don’t want to be stuck with the bill!)

A wonderful gift for your family is to have your legal documents done (Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, Trust…etc) We all want the benefit of asset protection, probate avoidance and the peace of mind that comes with knowing our kids will be cared for if the worst happens.

Man or Woman, it does not matter, we all like a little “blessed assurance” that comes with “getting right” with your estate planning!

Joseph L. Boles, Jr. Attorney at Law

(904-824-4278 Call for your free consultation)

Joseph L. Boles, Jr. moved to St. Augustine with his parents in 1967. A native of North Carolina, he attended the University of Florida after graduating from St. Augustine High School in 1970. He initially obtained a Bachelor of Design and Advertising Design from the University of Florida, and also obtained his law degree from the University of Florida College of Law. He was admitted to practice in the fall of 1984 and his areas of interest are Elder law, asset protection, estates and trusts. He is married to Jane Reynolds and they have 7 children between them: Hayley, Molly, and Kirby Catherine Boles and Kara, Willie, Emily and Bridey Masson. His office is located on the corner of Riberia and Saragossa Streets in St. Augustine. The office phone number is 904-824-4278.


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