Jun 112012
 
Effective Estate Planning Can Help To Preserve Dwindling Inheritances

An article that appeared today in the Wall Street Journal deals with the concept that the inheritance prospects for baby boomers are dwindling, even as more of them are relying on a big bequest to help offset the retirement losses they suffered in the stock market over the past few years.  According to the article, “for a growing number of boomers, things aren’t going according to plan.  The postwar generation is living longer—and many are spending their savings along the way.  And, of course, many of them also took a hit in 2008.  The result is that, as a group, More…

May 302012
 
U.S. Trust To Expand Eldercare Planning Services As Need Increases

Much has been made in the past few months over the increasing importance of eldercare planning as an aspect of the comprehensive estate plan.  Previously, we wrote on the report released by the BMO Retirement Institute, Estate planning in the 21st century, which listed the growing need for eldercare as one of the “new realities” facing modern day estate planning. Now, U.S. Trust, the oldest trust company in the U.S., has announced that it is expanding its eldercare planning services.  “Aging baby boomers are reporting moderate to high levels of stress as they assume the responsibilities of caring for elderly More…

May 082012
 
Elder Care Is An Important Part Of Modern Estate Planning

The next issue mentioned in the recent report released by the BMO Retirement Institute, Estate planning in the 21st century, is the growing need for estate planning to address elder care and ensure that loved ones will be comfortable even in the event that their support system hits an unforeseen snag, such as the death or disability of a family member who acts as a caregiver.  The reports states that, “in a dramatic and unprecedented demographic shift, the number of young people is dwindling while the older segment of the population is rapidly expanding.  The underlying cause is that we More…

May 042012
 
Estate Planning For Digital Assets

One of the issues highlighted in the recent report released by the BMO Retirement Institute, Estate planning in the 21st century, was the accumulation of digital assets and the need to look beyond tangible, physical assets and make provision in estate plans for intangible assets.  According to the report, “as innovative technologies continue to transform the way individuals live, work, communicate and create value, the traditional estate planning process needs some rethinking to keep pace with new realities facing [individuals] today.” As ever-increasing portions of society continue to embrace modern technologies, such as smart phones, social media websites, and online More…

Dec 232011
 
Year End Estate Planning For The Small Business Owner

The end of the year is as a good time for the small business owner to review recent developments in their personal lives and update their estate plan where necessary.  There are a number of estate planning issues unique to the small business owner that should be addressed with a Florida estate planning attorney. As the family of the business owner develops and grows, so must their concern about properly structuring the business.  Births, deaths, and marriages are all life events that have enormous consequences on both a business and an estate plan.  Children become adults, obtain educations, and seek More…

Dec 082011
 
Florida’s Protection Of Retirement Accounts

As the end of the year rolls around, individuals are seeking to make contributions to their retirement accounts, in order to save for retirement as well as secure a tax deduction on their 2011 returns.  Florida residents will be happy to know that they enjoy broad and comprehensive protection of their retirement accounts from the claims of their creditors.  Florida Statute 222.21(2)(a) states that “any money or other assets payable to an owner, a participant, or a beneficiary from, or any interest of any owner, participant, or beneficiary in, a [retirement] fund or [retirement] account is exempt from all claims More…

Sep 232011
 
Revocable Living Trusts Can Reduce Probate Cost For Snowbirds

Here in Florida, we are very familiar with the term “snowbird.”  Snowbirds are often retirees who may own two or more homes, typically having one in a colder state and one in a warmer state, such as Florida.  While there is no doubt that owning multiple homes in different states can be wonderful during life, it can also create serious financial issues at death. For example, let us assume you are a snowbird who has established their primary residence in Florida and maintains a summer home in New York.  If your will is probated in Florida, that probate generally does More…

Sep 082011
 
Protection Of Annuities In Florida

Under Florida Statute § 222.14, the proceeds of an annuity contract issued to a Florida resident are not subject to attachment, garnishment or other legal process in favor of any creditor of the annuity beneficiary unless the annuity contract was established for the benefit of such creditor.  This means that Florida offers broad creditor protection for the beneficiary of an annuity. Traditionally, an annuity is an financial product issued by a financial institution that entitles the purchasers of the annuity to a series of periodic payments.  However, an annuity should not have to follow this exact format in order to More…

Jun 162011
 
When Should A Trust Be The Beneficiary Of A Qualified Retirement Account?

The revocable living trust is an increasingly popular tool in the estate planning attorney’s portfolio.  These trusts are useful for avoiding the cost and hassle of probate, as well as planning for the possibility of guardianship, and protecting family privacy.  Given the desirability of these inherent benefits, it is no surprise that many people wonder whether they should make their revocable living trust the beneficiary of their qualified retirement plan. Certainly, the easiest and cheapest way to transfer retirement plan assets upon death is to designate an individual as an outright beneficiary.  Furthermore, a direct bequest to an individual should More…