Sep 192012
 
Funding A Revocable Living Trust

One of the most common estate planning instruments used in the State of Florida is the revocable living trust.  These trusts are popular due to their ability to help avoid the arduous Florida probate process as well as their usefulness in planning for incapacity.  The first step to forming a Florida revocable living trust, is usually the drafting of a trust agreement which is then signed by the trust creator (known as the “settlor” under Florida law) who may also serve as initial trustee.  These agreements are often crafted under the guidance of a Florida estate planning attorney, as they More…

Sep 132012
 
Florida Law Removes Divorced Spouse As A Beneficiary From Non-Probate Assets

A recently enacted Florida law would nullify the designation of a spouse as the beneficiary of non-probate assets such as life insurance policies, qualified annuities, individual retirement accounts (IRA), employee benefit plans, and payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) accounts, upon the dissolution or annulment of a marriage. Florida Statute 732.703, effective July 1, 2012, states that “a designation made by or on behalf of the decedent providing for the payment or transfer at death of an interest in an asset to or for the benefit of the decedent’s former spouse is void as of the time More…

Sep 112012
 

Sherman Hemsley, who delighted American television audiences as the cantankerous George Jefferson, sadly lost a battle with cancer on July 24, 2012.  In a development that surely makes a bad situation even worse, a legal battle over his estate has caused his embalmed body to remain in refrigeration at an El Paso, Texas, funeral home until a local court rules on the validity of his will. It seems that a dispute has arisen between Hemsley’s manager and “beloved partner” Flora Enchinton, and Richard Thornton, a man who claims to be the actor’s brother.  According to the funeral home, the Philadelphia More…

Sep 052012
 

When it comes to families with special needs children, the act of engaging in effective estate planning takes on an even greater importance.  If something should happen to the parents of the child, it is essential that a proper plan is in place to avoid any unnecessary disruption during what will already be a devastating time in that child’s life. One important step in this kind of estate plan is the establishment of a supplemental needs trust (also known as a “special needs trust”).  These kinds of trusts are utilized as a method of protecting the child’s assets from harmful More…