Aug 302012
 

As a follow-up to the previous post regarding 4 life changing events that require an estate planning review we now turn to three property transactions that should also lead to a review of an estate plan. Going through probate: It is no secret that longer life spans, ballooning medical costs, and two recessions have been negative factors on the average inheritance these days.  That said, whatever the amount is, there will be even less of it if creditors come calling or if it passes through another probate.  Any time a person receives a large sum of money or property, they More…

Aug 282012
 
4 Life Changing Events That Require An Estate Planning Review

Effective estate planning is not the kind of thing that is done once and then put on a shelf for the rest of your life.  It requires consistent review and alteration as circumstances change.  Here are 4 life changing instances which should cause you to pick up the phone and give your Florida estate planning attorney a call: Marriage: Anytime someone decides to get married is a good time to consider whether an estate planning change is in order.  This is true for both the individual and their descendants.  Decisions will need to be made regarding how property will be More…

Aug 242012
 
Avoiding Built-In Conflicts Is An Essential Element Of Any Estate Plan

One of the primary purposes of engaging in estate planning is that of avoiding conflicts.  The death of a loved one can easily bring out the worst in people, especially if there is incomplete, or nonexistent, guidance regarding how the decedent’s assets are to be divided.  Thus we engage in estate planning to provide some certainty as to our wishes, with the hope that this will make things easier on our family and friends after we are gone. One of the important goals of the experienced estate planning attorney is that of avoiding “built-in” conflicts.  For example, if the children More…

Aug 222012
 
Avoiding The Stress And Strife That Comes With Estate Planning

One lesson that too many families seem to learn the hard way is that dying without any estate planning can lead to problems.  In fact, if you ask any experienced Florida estate planning attorney about the easiest initial conference they can imagine, chances are high that they will cite those where the perspective client has recently lost a loved one and been forced to go through Florida probate without the guidance of a will or trust agreement.  A person who has gone through this experience often has a burning desire to ensure that their loved ones do not suffer through More…

Aug 172012
 
When It Comes To Florida Probate, Don’t Mess With The IRS

It is common during the course of a Florida probate for the personal representative to discover that the decedent has outstanding federal tax debt.  When this happens, it is imperative that funds which are available to pay creditor’s claims be properly allocated to the IRS.  Florida Statute 733.707, which outlines the order in which creditors of the probate estate are to be paid, states that the IRS is a “Class 3″ creditor.  This means that the funds which are available after payment of administrative costs and fees, compensation for the personal representative and the fees of the probate attorney, and More…

Aug 082012
 
When To Pay Creditors Of A Florida Probate Estate

A common question which can arise during the probate process is when exactly creditors of the estate should be paid.  As with most things legal, there is no cut-and-dry answer to this question. Florida Statute 733.707 outlines the order in which creditors of the probate estate are to be paid.  This statute sets forth the order of priorities as follows: Class 1 (First) – Administrative costs and fees, including compensation for  the Personal   Representative and  the fees of the probate attorney; Class 2 – Reasonable funeral, internment, and grave expenses up to $6,000; Class 3 – Debts and taxes with More…

Aug 022012
 
Recent Estate Dispute Highlights The Importance Of Getting Planning Reviewed Frequently

A recent high dollar estate battle in California provides a lesson for all, especially anyone with enough assets to incur estate tax, which, absent corrective legislation, means anyone with more than $1 million (or $2 million per couple) as of January 1, 2013.  That lesson is that it pays to have your estate planning reviewed periodically, the more often the better. Magnolia Audio Video founder Leonard Tweten and his wife, Eileen, had amassed a $100 million fortune over their 58 years of marriage.  In an effort to avoid estate taxes, they set up a trust which contained a “formula clause.”  More…