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…

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…

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…

Nov 152011
 
Proper Estate Planning Is Not Just For Celebrities

Over the past week, the news outlets have been abuzz with the story of Kim Kardashian and her 72 days of marital bliss, now a distant memory.  As the trendy couple prepares to untie the knot, we are once again reminded of the necessity of proper estate planning. Marriage, whether for a day or for a lifetime, is a significant life event that often encourages attention to important matters such as estate planning.  For many newlywed couples, the act of getting married can spur a flurry of “mature” activities, such as buying a house, obtaining steady employment, and finally scheduling More…

Sep 282011
 
Jointly Owned Property Is No Substitute For A Proper Estate Plan

These days, it is very common to hear someone remark that, in lieu of meeting with an estate planning attorney, they intend to simply title all of their assets jointly between themselves and a child or other trusted individual.  Usually, the person was talking with a friend, coworker, or golfing buddy who suggested that joint ownership of their assets was a much cheaper and just as effective method of insuring that their loved ones received their property when they have passed.  Unfortunately, joint ownership of your assets is not as secure or effective as a professionally developed estate plan for More…

Apr 272011
 
Estate Planning Needs and the Divorced Parent

Divorce is often a painful event for couples, especially when young children are involved.  After going through a divorce and dealing with attorneys, the last thing that a parent wants to do is work with another attorney to update their estate plan. If the parents were responsible, they visited an attorney and did wills to provide for the care of their children while they were married.  In a typical simple will, each spouse usually leaves everything to their spouse should they die first.  Fortunately, after divorce, Florida law prevents the divorced spouse from inheriting should the other parent die first. More…