Jul 272012
 
Planning For The Transition Of Your Digital Estate

It is no secret that more and more of our daily lives are being carried on digitally.  Online bank and brokerage accounts, bill payments services, credit cards, and social networking accounts are just a few components of the modern digital estate.  While many people would agree that their digital assets have real value, not nearly as many are taking steps to ensure that the transition of their digital estate upon their passing is a smooth one. So what are some things that can be done to remedy this problem?  A few examples include: Record digital assets and access requirements.  Make More…

Jul 242012
 
Senate Democrats Drop Estate Tax Provision From Proposal, Future Of Estate Tax Uncertain

In what has been speculated as an attempt to garner party unity on a vote for a tax plan supported by U.S. President Barack Obama, Democrats in the U.S. Senate have abandoned proposed provisions for the estate tax which originally called for a partially extended estate tax cut of 45 percent on inheritances of more than $3.5 million (the same parameters as those in effect in 2009).  By axing the proposed estate tax cut, the Democratic plan would ultimately restore the estate tax to the pre-Bush-tax-cuts-era of a 55 percent tax on inheritances of more than $1,000,000.  The tax bill More…

Jul 172012
 

The representatives for Michael Jackson’s estate have filed legal documents which show that the estate has generated gross earnings exceeding $475 million as of the end of May and is well on its way to settling the $500 million of debt the King of Pop left behind when he died.  The lawyers estimate that the remaining debt will be paid off by the end of the year.  Jackson was found dead in his Los Angeles, California home three years ago after he overdosed on prescription drugs. While it is certainly easier to settle the debts of the decedent from estate More…

Jul 122012
 
When May A Surviving Spouse Elect To Take 1/2 Of The Homestead?

Article X, Section 4(c) of the Florida Constitution imposes restrictions on the transfer or devise of homestead property.  While living, a husband and wife who own homestead property may transfer an interest in this property only if both of them sign the deed, mortgage, or other conveyance.  Upon death, there are limits upon how an individual can devise homestead property that are largely dependent on who survives the decedent. If someone attempts to devise the homestead in a manner that is not authorized by Florida law or the Florida Constitution, the Florida Statutes determine the proper manner of descent.  The More…

Jul 102012
 
Protecting Your Assets From Your Teenage Drivers

Many people are unaware that, under Florida law, a motor vehicle is considered a dangerous instrumentality and an owner of a vehicle who allows someone else to use it has a legal obligation to insure that the vehicle is safely operated.  If the person borrowing the vehicle damages property or causes personal injury, the owner is as considered as liable as the operator. This legal doctrine can cause serious issues for parents who have teenage drivers that are using their cars.  If the child operate the car negligently and causes an accident, the parent can be held liable as the More…

Jul 032012
 
Prenuptial Agreement Will Likely Play Key Role In Cruise-Holmes Divorce

Katie Holmes, the actress and wife of Tom Cruise, shocked celebrity-watchers last week by filing for divorce while Cruise was away from the country working on a movie project.  Holmes’ petition was filed in New York and seeks full custody of the couple’s young daughter.  As this legal drama unfolds, a central issue will be the existence and terms of a prenuptial agreement between Cruise and Holmes. A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people who are about to wed which spells out how their assets will be distributed in the event of their divorce or death.  Prenuptial Agreements More…