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…

Oct 172011
 
What Happens To An Estate Plan When Both Spouses Die In The Same Incident?

One of the most common disaster scenarios estate planning attorneys are presented with is the possibility of both spouses passing in the same incident.  Clients, understandably, want to know how their estate plan will be affected in the event of a common disaster.  Usually, the attorney will plan for this possibility by inserting survivorship clauses into the documents, which require that any beneficiary, including the spouse, survive the decedent by a definite period of time.  For example, if both of the spouses are involved in a car accident, one passing at the moment of the incident and the other passing 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…

May 132011
 

In a recent Florida appellate decision, Marger v. De Rosa, the Second District Court of Appeals found that a deceased man’s interest in his home, which he owned jointly with his mother, was not homestead property and thus would not pass for the benefit of the man’s two minor children under Florida law. The man and his mother purchased the home in Largo, Florida and received a deed which stated that the two individuals owned the home as, “joint tenants with full right of survivorship and not as tenants in common.” Years later, when the man died, he left behind More…