Jun 292012
 

A person who is asked to serve as trustee of a Florida trust should know and understand what their potential liability may be for actions they take while serving.  The Florida Trust Code outlines the issue of breach of trust and provides some relief to limit trustee liability. Under the Florida Statues, a violation by a trustee of a duty the trustee owes to a beneficiary is a breach of trust.  In order to remedy a breach of trust that has occurred or may occur, a court may: Compel the trustee to perform or enjoin the trustee from acting; Compel More…

Jun 272012
 
Removal Of A Trustee May Be The Best Way To Settle A Trust Issue

Generally, the settlor of a Florida Revocable Trust selects the successor trustee who will be responsible for making sure that the settlor’s beneficiaries are cared for in accordance with their wishes when they have passed.  If the beneficiaries of a trust become dissatisfied with the performance of the trustee, the best solution may be the resignation or removal of that trustee.  If an agreement may be reached between the parties, the trustee may consent to resign in return for releases by the beneficiaries.  If not, removal may be possible under the terms of the trust instrument or in accordance with More…

Jun 202012
 
Revocable Living Trusts Can Reduce Personal Representative Fees As Well

So much is made over the attorney’s fees that may be saved through the use of a Florida revocable living trust that it is easy to forget the other fees that may be saved as well.  This can include personal representative’s fees since, in Florida, a personal representative is entitled to a commission payable from the estate assets without court order as compensation for ordinary services.  This commission is based on the compensable value of the estate, which is the inventory value of the probate estate assets and the income earned by the estate during administration. Personal representative fees are More…

Jun 142012
 
The Pitfalls Of Placing A Florida Residence Into A Revocable Trust

One of the essential tools in the Florida estate planning attorney’s toolbox is the revocable living trust.  These trusts are an effective method for avoiding the arduous Florida probate process while also protecting family privacy and helping to plan for the possibility of incompetency.  So what is the problem with using these marvelous instruments to hold the family residence? Many people are under the impression that holding a personal residence in a revocable trust is an innately bad thing, especially when it comes to protection from creditors.  Back in 2001, Florida estate planners became alarmed at a bankruptcy case which More…

Jun 112012
 
Effective Estate Planning Can Help To Preserve Dwindling Inheritances

An article that appeared today in the Wall Street Journal deals with the concept that the inheritance prospects for baby boomers are dwindling, even as more of them are relying on a big bequest to help offset the retirement losses they suffered in the stock market over the past few years.  According to the article, “for a growing number of boomers, things aren’t going according to plan.  The postwar generation is living longer—and many are spending their savings along the way.  And, of course, many of them also took a hit in 2008.  The result is that, as a group, More…

Jun 072012
 
Why Using A Trust To Take Care Pets Is Better Than A Will

Americans love their pets, so it is perfectly natural that they want to ensure that they are taken care of in the event that something happens to the owner.  Although it may seem like a good idea to simply leave the family pet to another in a will through the use of a bequest, this is usually not the best way to handle the situation. This is primarily because the purpose of a will is to distribute property, and wishes or instructions in the will are often unenforceable (this is commonly known as “precatory language”).  In other words, a will More…

Jun 052012
 
Court Rules That $500,000 Found in House Walls Belongs to Estate, Not Homeowners

An Arizona appeals court has ruled that $500,000 found in the walls of a house belongs to the heirs of the man who put it there and not the current owners. Apparently, before he died the decedent had a habit of hiding cash and other valuables in unusual places in the homes he lived in.  After he passed away, his two daughters found stocks and bonds, as well as hundreds of military-style green ammunition cans containing gold or cash, hidden throughout his home.  After seven years of searching, the daughters sold the home to a couple who planned to do More…

Jun 012012
 
Insurance May Not Be Enough To Protect A Business Owner’s Personal Assets

Previously, we discussed piercing the corporate veil and the role that maintaining adequate insurance can play in determining whether a piercing action will succeed.  But what happens when insurance is not enough?  This is the time when a personal asset protection plan comes into play. It is no secret that insurance companies are in the business of making money and that a large part of their business is generated through the denial of claims.  After all, is it not preferable from their standpoint to bring in all those premiums and pay out nothing at all?  Take, for example, the story More…