Don’t Forget the Florida Elective Share

Certain events in our lives often trigger an estate plan review. For example, if you get married or divorced, it is very likely you will want to change your Will and other estate planning documents. But what happens if you just find yourself estranged from your spouse? Can you change your estate plan to disinherit your husband or wife? You certainly can try, but don’t forget the Florida elective share. This law may Read More

Florida Land Trust: Another Form of Property Ownership

In previous articles, we have looked at different ways to own property in Florida. For example, you may own real property as the sole owners, as tenants in common and as joint tenants with right of survivorship. The Florida land trust is another form of property ownership you may want to consider. But why? Property Owned by a Florida Land Trust May Be Protected from Liens and Civil Judgments Someone who loses a Read More

Do Trusts Pay Income Taxes?

Trusts consist of a grantor, a trustee, and at least one beneficiary. The grantor creates the trust, then funds it by transferring assets to it. We may not think of trusts as profit centers, but some trusts do generate income. This, of course, leads to the question, “Do trusts pay income taxes?” Whether they do or do not depends on several factors, starting with the type of trust involved. Simple Trust vs. Complex Read More

The Perils and Pitfalls of Amending Your Will

Perhaps you signed your Will years ago and need to make a few adjustments. It seems simple, so you decide to go about amending your Will on your own. Unfortunately, Wills are not really do-it-yourself projects. Incorrectly amending your Will can lead to trouble after you have passed away. But you still need to make those changes. What should you do to avoid creating future headaches for your loved ones? Let’s Read More

What Happens When You Decant a Trust?

An irrevocable trust is structured to make it difficult, if not impossible, to alter. Naturally, this sometimes results in an inflexibility that may become frustrating. Trusts sometimes lose their effectiveness or no longer meet the needs of the beneficiaries. In the past, the trustee of an irrevocable trust typically would have been unable to adjust the terms of the trust. However, when you decant a trust, you may Read More

Getting Married? Make Your Estate Plan Reflect Your New Life

Whether it is your first time or your third, marriage has a profound effect on your life. Many things may change from your address to your estate planning goals. While planning your wedding and honeymoon, take some time to make your estate plan reflect your new life. It’s important for the future of your new spouse and your children and other loved ones. New Spouse – and Old First, the old. How your previous Read More

The 20% Small Business Deduction – Does Your Business Qualify?

In December of 2017, President Trump signed a tax reform bill into law. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act generated a lot of excitement for provisions that reduced taxes and greatly increased the estate tax exemption. This new law also provided a significant benefit to small business owners – the 20% small business deduction. However, there are restrictions on which businesses qualify for this tax benefit. How the 20% Small Read More

7 Pets That Inherited Fortunes

Pets are often a big part of our families. In fact, some people refer to themselves as pet parents or speak of their pets as if they were their children. It’s important to care for our animal friends, and this is true even after we have passed on. Some people set up pet trust while others name their devoted pets as beneficiaries in their Wills. Seven lucky pets that inherited fortunes continued to live a good life Read More

Timeline for a Probate Case

We all own things. But when we die, where does our property go? How will our final debts be paid? This is where probate comes in. After someone dies, their Will usually is submitted to a probate court.  Even if there was no Will, the probate court will likely appoint a Personal Representative. What follows is the administration or management of the deceased person’s probate estate assets. How long this process takes Read More

Is it Time to Update Your Trusts?

Years ago, Blake added a special needs trust, a revocable living trust, and a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust to his estate plan. He knew he should review his estate planning and his trusts every so often, but just never seemed to have the time. When Blake passed away recently, his family was left with a messy probate situation. Assets had been bought and sold, some heirs had predeceased Blake, Read More