January 2007 Archives

January 24, 2007

Florida Power of Appointment

A Florida Power of Appointment is a right given to another in a written instrument, such as a will or trust that allows the other to decide how to distribute your property. The power of appointment Can be a general power of appointment if it places no restrictions on who the distributes may be, or Limited or Special Power of appointment if it limits the eventual distribution.

January 11, 2007

Letters of Administration

Letters Of Administration: In a Florida probate that involves full or ancillary administration, Letters of administration are issued by the probate judge to a personal representative, showing that the personal representative has the authority to act on behalf of an estate.

Once letters are issued the Personal Representative many not do anything they want. The letters, while allowing the PR to act create liability for the PR as well as a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries and creditors of the estate including the IRS. A PR should not forget to file the 1040 tax return for the last year, the 1041 tax return for income made during the administration of the estate, the 709 estate tax return, and make sure that any minimum required distributions from IRA's or other retirement accounts are removed by December 31 in the year that the decedent died. The PR becomes personally liable for any unpaid or late filing fees including interest that are due to the failure to file these returns timely.

January 10, 2007

Legally Incapacitated in Florida

Legally Incapacitated Person: A person who has been determined by a court as not capable of handling his or her personal and financial affairs.

A Florida Durable Power of Attorney, Florida Trust, Florida Guardianship, Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate all deal with Legally Incapacitated persons.

One may not be the Personal Representative, Agent, or Trustee if they are Legally Incapacitated.

January 5, 2007

Florida Intestate Property

Intestate property will pass to the decedents heirs. In Florida if a person has a surviving spouse and of their children are also children of the spouse, the surviving spouse will receive the first $60,000 then 50% of the remainder.

If the decedent had any children that were not children of the surviving spouse the children and the wife split the proceeds of the estate. If there are 4 children and 1 spouse then the spouse would receive 50% and the children would each receive 12.5% of the non-exempt assets of the estate.

Intestate: Refers to dying without a will or other designation of how one's property should pass.

January 2, 2007

Florida Intangible Personal Property Tax Abolished

In Florida Probate cases the personal representative may still have to pay past due taxes on Intangible Personal Property:

The value of such property is not derived from the property itself but what it represents. For example types of this property include cash, stock, bonds, mutual funds, and bank accounts. The paper themself has virtually no value but the promise to pay or designation of a certain value by the company, government or stock market provides the value of the property. Florida has an intangible property tax on intangible property that a Florida resident owns as of January 1 above a specified amount. An intangibles trust can be prepared to avoid this tax.