May 302012
 
U.S. Trust To Expand Eldercare Planning Services As Need Increases

Much has been made in the past few months over the increasing importance of eldercare planning as an aspect of the comprehensive estate plan.  Previously, we wrote on the report released by the BMO Retirement Institute, Estate planning in the 21st century, which listed the growing need for eldercare as one of the “new realities” facing modern day estate planning. Now, U.S. Trust, the oldest trust company in the U.S., has announced that it is expanding its eldercare planning services.  “Aging baby boomers are reporting moderate to high levels of stress as they assume the responsibilities of caring for elderly More…

May 252012
 
Increased Awareness Of The Need For Minority Estate Planning Must Accompany Surge In Minority Births

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Hispanic, Asian, mixed-race, and black births constituted a majority of all United States births for the first time in our history.  Minorities made up about 2 million, or 50.4 percent, of the births in the 12-month period ending in July 2011.   This latest figure was up from 49.5 percent in the 2010 census.  According to census estimates, 57 percent of Florida’s children younger than 5 were minorities in 2011. Florida, which is 42 percent minority, has seven counties with majority-minority populations, including Osceola County at 59 percent and Orange County at 55 More…

May 232012
 
Lack Of Insurance May Be Justification For Piercing The Corporate Veil

Last week we discussed the legal phenomenon known as “piercing the corporate veil”.  If judgment creditor succeeds in a piercing action, courts can ignore the corporate liability shield and hold the individual owners of the company personally responsible if there is not enough assets in the company to satisfy their judgment.  This often happens when the evidence shows that the business did not follow proper corporate formalities, when owners commingle business funds with personal funds, or where the owners failed to adequately capitalize the business. When the company does not have insurance, or has not purchased enough insurance to keep More…

May 162012
 
Forming A Company May Not Be Enough To Protect An Owner’s Assets

Many people are familiar with the basic liability protections afforded to the owners of a business entity such as a Florida LLC, corporation, or limited partnership.  These legal structures allow for the protection of their owners from personal liability in the event of a successful lawsuit against the company.  However, what may not be as well-understood is the fact that this protection is not absolute.  Courts can and will ignore the corporate liability shield if the circumstances call for such treatment.  This legal doctrine is known as “piercing the corporate veil.” If challenged in a lawsuit, IRS audit or other More…

May 102012
 
Pet Estate Planning Is Not Just For The Rich And Famous

When a 94-year-old woman named Maria Assunta passed away last year, she left her sizable fortune, worth over $13 million, to a beloved member of her family, her cat Tommaso.  Tommaso’s story is a variable “rags to riches” tale of one stray feline who now has it all; as the proud beneficiary of an estate that consists of cash, shares of stock, and property holdings that include apartments and houses in Rome and Milan as well as land in Calabria, Italy.   Amazingly, all of this wealth makes Tommaso only the third richest pet alive, behind Kalu the chimp, whose owner More…

May 082012
 
Elder Care Is An Important Part Of Modern Estate Planning

The next issue mentioned in the recent report released by the BMO Retirement Institute, Estate planning in the 21st century, is the growing need for estate planning to address elder care and ensure that loved ones will be comfortable even in the event that their support system hits an unforeseen snag, such as the death or disability of a family member who acts as a caregiver.  The reports states that, “in a dramatic and unprecedented demographic shift, the number of young people is dwindling while the older segment of the population is rapidly expanding.  The underlying cause is that we More…

May 042012
 
Estate Planning For Digital Assets

One of the issues highlighted in the recent report released by the BMO Retirement Institute, Estate planning in the 21st century, was the accumulation of digital assets and the need to look beyond tangible, physical assets and make provision in estate plans for intangible assets.  According to the report, “as innovative technologies continue to transform the way individuals live, work, communicate and create value, the traditional estate planning process needs some rethinking to keep pace with new realities facing [individuals] today.” As ever-increasing portions of society continue to embrace modern technologies, such as smart phones, social media websites, and online More…

May 012012
 
BMO Retirement Institute Report Highlights Issues Facing 21st Century Estate Plans

A new report released by the BMO Retirement Institute, Estate planning in the 21st century: New considerations in a changing society, indicates that the estate plans of many Americans may need to be reviewed and retooled to factor in new modern considerations.   According to the report, “while the basics of estate planning have been the same for centuries, the traditional approach needs to be broadened to reflect changing realities.  Boomers are embracing new technologies at unprecedented rates and now have access to a world of digital information and online tools. . . . To keep up with these new realities, More…