Does Florida Law Trump Your Estate Plan?

Are there Florida laws that pre-empt even the most well-thought-out estate plans? In some cases, yes. For example, someone in a strained marriage, or who is estranged from a spouse, may write an estate plan that prevents that spouse from receiving a full share of their estate. The surviving spouse may find relief in Florida law. Let’s take a look at some of those laws. Florida Homestead Exemption Florida residents Read More

Will Contests and How to Avoid Them

When country singer Glen Campbell died in 2017, he probably did not foresee the manner in which his family subsequently chose to handle his estate. He did leave a Will. However, three of his eight children were specifically excluded from the Will, which led them to contest the Will’s validity. Now, Mr. Campbell’s estate is being held up in probate court until the matter is decided. Whether a family is famous or not, Read More

Dynasty Trusts: Sharing Your Wealth with Future Generations

Over the years, George and Marla had built a real estate empire. Now, their deepest desire was to make sure their children and future descendants benefitted from their work. While discussing their estate planning goals with their lawyer, they learned about dynasty trusts. If sharing your wealth with future generations is a consideration, you, too, might benefit from a dynasty trust. Building an Enduring Legacy with Read More

Can You Serve as Trustee of Your Own Trust?

You may be thinking of adding a trust to your estate plan. Maybe you have already added a trust to your estate plan. Either way, choosing the trustee of your own trust can be a difficult decision to make. Articles about qualities to look for may help ease your decision making, but what if you want to serve as the trustee of your own trust? Trusts, 101 In general, a trust will consist of the following: A Read More

Understanding the Annual Gift Tax Exclusion

With an eye toward reducing their potential federal estate tax, Malcolm and Helen began reviewing their estate plan. As they discussed options with their estate planning attorney, they learned about the annual gift tax exclusion. The Annual Gift Tax Exclusion According to current IRS guidelines, individuals may make gifts of up to $15,000 per person (as of 2018) every year without incurring any gift tax. This is Read More

Trust Strategies for Effective Wealth Preservation

Wealth preservation is a hot topic right now. People are concerned about protecting their assets to provide for retirement and to protect their children’s inheritance. Some may find trust strategies for effective wealth preservation by consulting with their estate planning attorney. What is wealth preservation? Though the concept sounds simple – preserving wealth – the execution of wealth preservation strategies Read More

4 Signs You Need an Estate Planning Lawyer

Have you ever made a Will? According to a Gallup poll, only about 44% of Americans have done so. That’s unfortunate, because every adult needs an estate plan, now more than ever. And in our everchanging world, you need an estate planning lawyer to help you prepare the best estate plan possible. Though there are many reasons to prepare your estate plan, we will look at four signs you need an estate planning Read More

Digital Currencies as Probate Assets

The personal representative of an estate has an important job. One of the most important parts of that job is locating and gathering probate assets. Finding a decedent’s car and house may not be hard, but what about items that are stored somewhere, such as personal property, cash or bitcoins? The job may be harder when treating digital currencies as probate assets. Planning ahead can make the job easier. What are Read More

What Does Portability Mean?

Portability technically means something that can be easily moved or carried. The term can be used in several contexts. For example, software portability means the software is easy to transfer to another computer. Portability of retirement and pension funds indicates that a worker may transfer retirement funds when taking a new job. In Florida, homeowners may move some or all of their homestead exemption benefit to a Read More

What Should I Do with a Notice of Probate?

Receiving a court notice in the mail can be a little unnerving. Many people have had little to no experience with legal proceedings. For example, Danielle received a notice of probate by certified mail, return receipt requested. She was not sure what action she was supposed to take, if any. What she does now may be determined by several factors. Probate Procedures After a personal representative is appointed by the Read More