Florida Ancillary Probate

Elizabeth, a 49-year old Washington resident, died leaving real property including a vacation home in Florida. Jack, an entrepreneur who lived in Massachusetts at the time of his death, left behind an estate that included credits due from Florida residents. And Dana passed away in Minnesota, but had liens on property located in Florida. What do these three people have in common? Their estates will all be subject to a Read More

Your Health Care Surrogate: Where Authority Starts and Ends

People tend to like their privacy when it comes to medical care. So, it may be difficult to think of appointing someone to make medical decisions for you, but it’s an essential part of your estate plan. If you are asked to serve as someone’s health care surrogate, though, you need to know where your authority starts and where it ends. Let’s consider Arthur and his best friend, Sid. Both are widowers and have Read More

Do You Need a Trust Protector?

Trusts have been a powerful, yet evolving, estate planning tool for a long time. As trusts have changed, the need for extra protection and a way to modify trusts became apparent. Trust protectors, sometimes also known as Trust Advisors, may meet both needs. Just as it’s important to understand the type of trust that is appropriate for you, it’s also critical to make sure you have the right people working on Read More

Pour-Over Wills: A Safety Net for Your Assets

Tightrope walkers need a safety net. Fire fighters also may use them when rescuing people from a burning building. It may surprise you to learn that even your estate planning may benefit from a safety net of sorts. A pour-over Will may prevent your assets from falling into the probate abyss or being devoured by estate taxes. Omitted Trust Assets. People often transfer their assets to a trust, intending that the Read More

Your Digital Assets Inventory

Florida’s Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act empowered fiduciaries, including personal representatives, to access digital information if necessary. That power may not be particularly helpful if your personal representative cannot find your digital assets and login information. Preparing a digital assets inventory is an important part of your estate planning. What Information Should a Digital Assets Inventory Read More

Selling the Family Business

After a long stint serving as the leader of the family business, you may decide it’s time to sell. It may be an emotional time, or just business as usual. Still, selling a business brings forth many considerations and questions. Making the Decision. Consider how the business is owned. Is there one owner (mom or dad, for example) or is the business held by a family trust? Does anyone else need to be a part of the Read More

Purchasing Real Estate in Florida: Will it Affect Your Estate Plan?

Buying real estate of any kind, in any location, requires due diligence and attention to details. Is the location right for you? Is the property being bought for personal use or to generate an income? Adding real property to your portfolio may increase the value of your portfolio. Increasing or decreasing the value of your assets can affect your estate plan in big ways. Effect on Value of Estate. Increasing your Read More

3 Reasons to Set Up a Gun Trust

Some estate assets require a little more care than others. It’s not difficult to leave someone the family china, but firearms are a different story. Some guns are strictly regulated, and passing them incorrectly can cause real problems. Gun trusts are created primarily to provide a way to handle guns that are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). If you currently own guns or will be inheriting some, Read More

Family Limited Partnership: A Few Pros and Cons

Families often share homes, vacations, holiday traditions, and fond memories. Sharing a business, though, is more complicated than shutting down the summer cottage together or planning next year’s family reunion. One type of family business is called a family limited partnership. It’s not just a business entity, though. It can be a powerful estate planning tool. Keeping it in the Family. A family limited Read More