5 Essential Considerations for Business Succession Planning

Business owners, by the nature of their roles and responsibilities, have significant issues to consider when planning their estates.  Specifically, business succession planning is required for those who wish to sell or pass on their business upon retirement, or upon an untimely death, in a purposeful manner.  As with estate planning overall, business succession planning should be started as early as possible to Read More

High Net-Worth Estate Planning: 5 Potential Methods to Help Minimize Estate Tax Liability

When someone passes away, his or her estate may be obligated to pay federal estate tax before beneficiaries are able to receive their inheritances. There are exceptions to this type of tax; most middle class individuals are able to avoid it all together. For those with a high net-worth, however, it could result in a huge tax burden falling on loved ones. As of 2017, the estate tax exemption is at $5.49 million (up Read More

An Introduction to Florida Land Trusts

Florida Land Trusts are an excellent way to hold the title of many types of real estate, including business, rental, and even, in certain situations, personal real property. The trust becomes the legal owner of the property, and the trust is then ‘owned’ by the beneficiary or beneficiaries. This legal setup offers a variety of important advantages over simply owning property in the traditional fashion. A Trust Read More

Rule 41F and the Continuing Importance of Gun Trusts

ATF Rule 41F was signed in January of 2016 and went into effect on July 13, 2016. This new rule, which, in part, defined trustees of gun trusts as “responsible persons” (subjecting them to the same fingerprinting/photograph requirements that apply to the individual owner of an NFA firearm) and eliminated the need for the CLEO sign-off requirement, has caused some to question the need for gun trusts. While these Read More

5 Reasons to Have Your Revocable Living Trust Regularly Reviewed

After setting up a revocable living trust, too many people think that their estate planning is done, once and for all, and can be checked off the list.  The fact is, however, that regular reviews of a revocable living trust, and other estate planning documents, are essential. Here are five of the most important reasons you should schedule a review below. Updates to Tax Codes Impact Revocable Living Read More

Executing an Estate: 8 Key Duties of the Executor

If you have been named as the executor of an estate (the Florida-specific term for this role is “Personal Representative”) by a loved one who has recently passed away, you will quickly realize that there are a lot of things you are responsible for. An executor is chosen to make sure the final wishes of the decedent are followed in regards to their estate. This is a legal obligation, and depending on the size of the Read More

Understanding Domestic Asset Protection Trusts

No one wants to find themselves in the situation where their assets are at the mercy of creditors and they are powerless to staunch the assault. However, some of the options for asset protection in this kind of situation can appear to be limited and unattractive. Moving assets offshore may be impractical and expensive. Placing them in a trust of which the owner of the assets is not the beneficiary may seem Read More

Hollow Testaments: Understanding Florida Holographic Wills

While Hollywood movies may give the impression that a scrawled bequest on a scrap of paper found in a long-lost safe deposit box will automatically result in the heroine rightfully inheriting her fortune, if the story takes place in Florida, the heroine is likely out of luck. This is because Florida follows a simple, but profound rule, which is that holographic wills without witnesses are unenforceable.   A Read More

DIY Estate Planning: Is It Worth the Risks?

Do-it-yourself estate planning is risky and, if you make even the slightest error, it can have serious consequences for your family. Estate planning involves the preparation of documents relating to the distribution of assets in the event of death. In addition to allocating personal belongings, real property, motor vehicles, and financial wealth, estate planning also involves guardianship of children or other Read More

The Deathbed Will

As an estate planning law firm, we constantly espouse the importance of taking the time to draft a comprehensive estate plan long before there will ever be an impending need to make your wishes known and administer the distribution of your assets. After all, when it comes to your testamentary requests, it is always better to plan far ahead. The fact is, however, that many of us are either habitual procrastinators, or Read More