May 262011
 
6 Years Later - The Terri Schiavo Case Still Serves to Highlight the Need for a Living Will

In Florida, the memory of Terri Schiavo remains a poignant lesson about the need for a living will. On February 25, 1990, Terri collapsed in a hallway of her St. Petersburg, Florida, apartment and never awoke again. What followed was 14 appeals, numerous motions, petitions, and hearings in the Florida courts; five suits in federal district court; Florida legislation struck down by the Supreme Court of Florida; a subpoena by a congressional committee to qualify Schiavo for witness protection; federal legislation; and four denials to hear the case from the Supreme Court of the United States. Given her lack of More…

May 192011
 
Understanding and Planning For Involuntary Bankruptcy

Many of the creditor protections that Florida residents appreciate are significantly reduced or eliminated in the event of bankruptcy. This is because the powers of the bankruptcy trustee are very broad and the superiority of federal bankruptcy law over state law is well-established in our country. For example, generally under Florida law a debtor enjoys an unlimited exemption from creditors for their IRA, whereas in bankruptcy this amount is limited to approximately $1.7 million. Similarly, subject to certain restrictions a Florida residents enjoy an unlimited homestead exemption from forced sale by creditors, whereas in bankruptcy, there can be a cap More…

May 132011
 

In a recent Florida appellate decision, Marger v. De Rosa, the Second District Court of Appeals found that a deceased man’s interest in his home, which he owned jointly with his mother, was not homestead property and thus would not pass for the benefit of the man’s two minor children under Florida law. The man and his mother purchased the home in Largo, Florida and received a deed which stated that the two individuals owned the home as, “joint tenants with full right of survivorship and not as tenants in common.” Years later, when the man died, he left behind More…