Recently, I had a client approach me regarding a DIY (“do it yourself”) Will created by his mother. Unfortunately, she attempted to keep her family home (i.e. homestead) in her family (by preventing its sale) without creating a trust. The provision in her Will read as follows: “My home will continue to be passed down through […]Read more "Devise of Homestead, Fee Tails, and the Pitfalls of DIY Will Drafting"
Recently, I had a client (serving as personal representative of his mother’s estate) that objected to a creditor claim filed by a disgruntled family member (i.e nephew of the decedent). This family member leeched off our client’s mother for over twenty years. When the decedent died, she gave the nephew a specific devise of money, […]Read more "Independent Action and Jurisdiction of Probate Court"
For many individuals, it is difficult to talk about estate planning without facing their own mortality. Let’s be honest, it is hard to talk about death. The thought of death can be dark and depressing. It can bring images of loss, sadness, and melancholy. It may even cause nostalgia for past times. Facing mortality, however, does not […]Read more "Facing Mortality and The Need for an Estate Plan"
Recently, I was approached by a client, a daughter of the decedent, whose step-mother was attempting to destroy her father’s estate plan. This is very common in blended families (i.e. second marriages with children from prior relationships). Generally, in such marriages (often occurring later in life), the parties have not executed a prenuptial agreement. Instead, […]Read more "As With Life, Timing Is Everything: Timing Pitfalls with Florida’s Elective Share Law"
Almost daily, I am approached by married client who want to create estate plan which effect the disposition of their Florida homestead. Many times, I executed deeds which transfer the homestead to one spouse’s revocable trust. Since its homestead, both spouses sign the warranty deed. When the first spouse dies, questions are raised regarding the […]Read more "Who Receives the Home: The Devise of Homestead and The Waiver of Homestead Rights When Using a Warranty Deed"
Today, I read that the average age for marriage continues to rise for Americans. As people age, they tend to come to marriage with more education, a better career, and more assets. Many also come with debt, especially student loan debt. When approaching marriage, couples need to discuss these matter. They also need to discuss […]Read more "Prenuptial Agreement Update – Money Well Spent"
On occasion, I am approached by a business owner who wants sell assets to a related entity to achieve three main objectives: 1) a step up on basis for the assets sold to the related party (so they can be depreciated), 2) recognize taxable gain to offset prior capital losses, and 3) maintain control over the assets […]Read more "Related Party Sales and Attempting to Offset Gain with Capital Loss Carry Forwards – BAD IDEA"
The latest vogue in estate planning is for the domestic self-settled asset protection trust (hereinafter “self-settled trust”). In layman’s terms, this an irrevocable trust that benefits the person who created while excluding any potential creditors from reaching the assets held in the trust. There are even certain states (Alaska, Delaware, Nevada, etc..) which promote these […]Read more "The Fallacy of Self-Settled Trusts in Florida"
Historically, if I have a non-resident alien (NRA) who owns US real estate, I have always advised them to create a foreign corporation and then transfer the US real estate into the foreign corporation. When they die, this structure will prevent the US real estate from being caught in the net of the US federal estate […]Read more "Avoiding Federal Estate Tax Inclusion by Non-Resident Aliens"
Oh, the bane of most lawyers. What does this archaic legal doctrine mean, and how is it still applied under Florida law? Fortunately, Florida case law tells us. The doctrine was “founded in the common law of early eighteenth century England, the doctrine was first adopted by the Florida Supreme Court, which explained: This doctrine […]Read more "Dependent Relative Revocation (“DRR”)"