Oct 182011
 
Estate Planning Lessons From The McCourt Saga

Many sports fans are familiar with the recent developments in the case between Frank and Jamie McCourt.  For those who have not followed the story, Frank McCourt is the current owner and chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which he purchased for $430 million in 2004.  Jamie McCourt is his (soon to be former) spouse.  The McCourts have gone through a lengthy and, at times, messy divorce proceeding that has threatened Frank’s ownership interest in the Dodgers.  It has recently been announced that the McCourts have reached a settlement in their divorce case which involves Jamie relinquishing her claim to More…

Oct 172011
 
What Happens To An Estate Plan When Both Spouses Die In The Same Incident?

One of the most common disaster scenarios estate planning attorneys are presented with is the possibility of both spouses passing in the same incident.  Clients, understandably, want to know how their estate plan will be affected in the event of a common disaster.  Usually, the attorney will plan for this possibility by inserting survivorship clauses into the documents, which require that any beneficiary, including the spouse, survive the decedent by a definite period of time.  For example, if both of the spouses are involved in a car accident, one passing at the moment of the incident and the other passing More…

Oct 122011
 
Formalities Required When Forming Or Amending A Florida Revocable Living Trust

Often, the question arises as to what is necessary to form or amend a revocable living trust.  In Florida, there are generally two sets of rules that must be followed to establish a revocable living trust: (1) general rules related to the establishment of all trusts, and (2) special rules for revocable trusts with “testamentary aspects.” In Florida, the following requirements are generally necessary for all trusts: (1) a “settlor” (also known as a“grantor”) who possesses the legal capacity to create a trust; (2) intent on the part of the settlor to create the trust; (3) a definite beneficiary (unless More…

Oct 072011
 
Steve Jobs Used Trusts To Maintain Privacy After Death

Besides the avoidance of probate fees, one of the primary benefits of using a trust for estate planning is to maintain privacy.  It appears that Steve Jobs was well-aware of this fact.  Reports have begun to surface that Jobs transferred at least three pieces of real estate to two different trusts in March of 2009, two months after taking a medial leave of absence from Apple in order to undergo a liver transplant.  These circumstances make it appear likely that this was a measure taken to protect Jobs’ privacy in the event of his death. It is likely that Jobs’ More…

Oct 062011
 
Steve Jobs Dies, Reminds Us All Of The Value Of Estate Planning

Steve Jobs, a great American innovator and the visionary who built Apple into a global technology leader from a California garage, died yesterday at the age of 56.  Jobs had a history of well-documented health problems starting with an incident of pancreatic cancer in 2004.  His health had been a controversial topic for years and a deep concern to Apple fans and investors. Jobs is believed to have left an estate valued at approximately 7 billion dollars.  While details of how the estate will be handled have yet to surface, it is a good bet that extensive estate planning was More…

Oct 042011
 
Falling Into the “Gap” - How A Qualified Income Trust Works

The Florida Institutional Care Program (ICP) is a Medicaid program that helps people in nursing facilities pay for the cost of their care while also providing general medical coverage.  In Florida, the ICP is managed by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).  Services for ICP are provided by participating skilled nursing facilities that are reimbursed according to state formulas.  To qualify for Medicaid benefits for nursing home care under the ICP, an applicant must meet three eligibility requirements: categorical, resource, and income. The categorical requirements for ICP are as follows: individuals must (1) be a U.S. citizen or More…

Oct 032011
 
Important Provisions Of New Florida Power Of Attorney Statute Are Now In Effect

As written in a previous blog post, several important provisions of the new Florida power of attorney statute became effective as of October 1, 2011.  These provisions include: No more “springing” powers.  As of now, all durable powers of attorney must be effective immediately.  However, those which were executed before October 1 shall remain in effect.  We posted a previous blog outlining some of the reasons for this change. Specific identification and consent for “superpowers.”  Certain broad powers granted to an agent, so-called “superpowers,” now require special procedures.  To grant an agent the ability to exercise a superpower, that power More…