April 2008 Archives

April 30, 2008

Where should I store my will and whom should I give copies of my estate planning documents?

It is important to keep your Florida Estate Planning Documents safe. In some cases if the original documents are lost, a copy is as good as the original. With the will, the original is the document that is important.

Some people choose to keep originals documents at their Florida Estate Planning Lawyer office, in a bank vault, with other people, or at home in their filing system. It is important to let someone know where they will be kept in case they are needed.

People have different views on their Florida Estate Planning Documents. Some do not want to disclose them and others want to openly disclose them with their family and friends.

Each person has to look at their family circumstances and determine the risks and benefits of sharing their documents as compared to keeping them private.

Sometimes when the documents are kept private, it is important to let someone know how to obtain the documents in the event they are needed.

It is important to remember that your will is different than your other Florida Estate Planning because it is the original that is important. A copy of any other Florida Estate Planning Documents is the same as the original, but only the original Florida Will can be deposited with the court.

Some people are afraid that family members will destroy the original Florida Will in order to change how property is distributed at death.

Documents like living wills and medical powers of attorney should be given to your agents before the need arises for their use.

Some people pick a Personal Representative that does not stand to inherit property under the will and give them copies or instructions to follow upon their death.

It is generally not advisable to pick a PR or trustee that you have concerns about are.

Most wills distribute property as expected or evenly among their family members. In such a case it is a good idea to distribute copies of the documents to everyone and keep them updated with changes.

If there is a sudden change in the terms of the will, it may give the other family members reason to suspect that there might be something wrong with the documents.

One of the nice advantages of a Florida Revocable Trust is that you can not designate an individual to receive notice who is different than the beneficiary. This helps to keep the subject matter and contents of one's estate private. For those who are interested in privacy a Florida Revocable Trust may be a solution.

April 29, 2008

What are the pros and cons of a Florida Revocable Trust?

A Florida Revocable Trust is a useful estate planning tool. They can be used for many functions including disposition of one's assets upon death. In my practice I use Florida Revocable Trust for the purchase of Class 3 items which are controlled by the NFA, to provide for pets and animals after death, and to hold assets. Each type of Florida Revocable Trust has unique language and purpose.

In addition there are several benefits in using a Florida Revocable Trust to dispose of property over a will. These include the following:

1: No Florida Probate is required for assets that are in a living trust at the time of death. Although this is the most common reason people use a Florida Revocable Trust it is not the only reason. Many times there are other ways of accomplishing the same results with payable on death designations or having assets held in the name of more than one person. Other property such as retirement accounts, life insurance and those with beneficiaries will pass to your beneficiaries on their own without a Florida Probate.

When property is transferred by your Florida Will to a living trust, a Florida Probate is still required.

Florida now requires the trustee of a living trust to file a notice of the trust with the appropriate court containing information about the person who created the trust and the trustee. In some cases the trust is filed in the probate proceeding because they are responsible for paying clams of the creditors and the creditors must be given notice of this.

2: Instruction. Some trusts are used to provide the beneficiaries with instructions or notice that they would otherwise not have available to them. One example is the Florida Gun Trust. One of the benefits of a Florida Gun Trust is that the beneficiaries and successor trustee's are given information on what laws they must comply with and how to avoid criminal and civil liabilities associated with improper actions.

3: Privacy. As mentioned above, when a person dies with a Florida Will, an inventory must be filed with the court. You may not want your friends, neighbors, or the media to be able to read a listing of what you own and what it is worth. After all, an inventory is a public record. With a living trust, your properties and their values remain private.

4: Constitutional Rights. Some trusts like the Gun Trust or NFA trust allow individuals to maintain their right put purchase items that would otherwise not be permitted under some state laws.

5:Future Incapacity. When one becomes incapacitated, their finances can be dealt with by their successor trustee. This can avoid the unnecessary costs associated with the invalid rejections associated with a Power of Attorney. In can also avoid the necessity to establish a Florida Guardianship.

6: Harder to Challenge. When you make an unequal distribution among your heirs they might not be happy and want to dispute your wishes. A Florida Revocable Trust can shorten the time to dispute distributions and the time in which someone has to complain about the outcome. When proper notice is given, individuals only have 6 months to bring an action.

7: Easy Modification. When retirement accounts or many assets are pointed to a Florida Revocable Trust the trust can be changed without some of the restrictions that are typically placed on accounts. Often if is difficult to remove someone from retirement or benefits accounts, but there is no approval process associated with the modification of a Florida Revocable Trust.

8: Ancillary or Out-of-state Probate. Property owned in another state is normally subject to a second probate or ancillary probate. If the a trust owns the property an additional or out of state probate can be avoided.


Everything is not positive with a Florida Revocable Trust and there are some downsides you should consider.

1: Cost. A living trust can cost more than using other methods.

2: Time-consuming to Fund properly. Depending on how many different types assets you have, proper setup of a living trust can take time and cost money to move the assets to your Florida Revocable Trust

2: More Complicated. Unlike with a Florida Will which you only have to change with there is a life event that causes you to reevaluate your wishes, a Florida Revocable Trust assets need to be maintained within the trust. Much of this can be transparent, but it takes a conscious effort to realize when you receive assets that are not in the trust, and transfer them to the trust. In addition, some families require more than one trust and this can increase the level of complexity.

3: Medicaid ineligibility. Transfers to a Florida Revocable Trust can create a period where one is ineligible for Medicaid benefits. Although this can be resolved by revoking the trust, there may be some additional time and expenses associated with this process. This is more of an issue with older individuals but you never know when it might affect you.

4: Time-consuming to Revoke. Although living trusts can be easily amended, the same effort that was involved in creating them is associated with revocation.

5: Probate or additional costs after death. If you have a taxable estate there will be tax returns and other costs associated with death. With a trust there may be an additional set of returns that are due and this could be more than the savings on probate. You should consider this when you are looking to save costs associated with a Florida Probate.

6: Probate?. If you leave assets in your personal estate you will still need to do a probate. Although the cost of the probate may be significantly lower the time delay and work associated with of the administration of a will.

April 29, 2008

How to obtain a Will in a safety deposit box?

In Florida when an individual left their Florida Will in a bank vault or safety deposit box a court order is necessary to open the box unless there is a joint owner on the account.

The process involves having a judge issue an order to inspect the contents of the box. If there is a will it should be deposited with the court in the probate proceeding.

If you need help getting a Florida will that is stored in a safe deposit box at a bank, you should Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer

April 28, 2008

Where I keep my signed Estate Planning Documents?

Many people feel that one of the best places to keep your estate planning documents and original Florida Will is in a safe deposit box. A bank box can protect the documents from most natural disasters. If you keep the documents in a bank you should have a joint holder on the account to simplify the process of obtaining the documents in the event of your death.

Some people also keep their documents with the lawyer who created them. Many lawyers will not retain original documents because of the risk of loss and expense associated with keeping the documents.

Most people keep their documents at their home. They can be kept in a safe, file cabinet, or even their freezer. If they are kept in a place that is not obvious, you need to let others know where they are located so they will be found when they are needed.

If Florida, you need to be conscious of Hurricanes and potential water damage from the storms that frequent our state.

April 27, 2008

Creating an Estate Plan in Florida

There are many parts to a Florida Estate Planning.
The Documents include Durable Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, HIPAA releases, Medical Powers of Attorney, Living and Revocable trusts and other documents depending on the particular needs of the clients.

The most important thing to remember is not everyone needs a living trust (see my articles on Trust Mill Scams) and each plan should be customized to the individuals family dynamics.
If you would like your Florida Estate Plan reviewed Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer.

April 24, 2008

Voluntary Guardianship over Foreign Minor with Parents Consent

It is important to note that in Florida Judges will want to see proof that a child is in the United States legally prior to issuing a guardianship over the minor person. With the recent changes in security and immigration, there is concern about creating a legitimate reason for the minor to stay in the country with the guardianship.

April 22, 2008

Putting your Bank Account in Your Revocable Living Trust.

The Ca Estate Planning Blog has an article on how to put your bank account in your Florida Revocable Trust . It is one of the most important things that can be done after setting up your Florida Living or Revocable Trust.

If you have not funded your Florida Revocable Trust please Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to make sure it is funded properly.

April 21, 2008

Family Limited Partnership and Discounts

The Wills Trust and Estate Professors Blog commented on discounts on Family Limited Partnerships and discounts in relation to an elective share.

In In re Estate of Hjersted, 175 P.3d 810 (Kan. 2008), the court held that in valuing partnership interests owned by a deceased spouse for purposes of calculating the surviving spouse's elective share entitlement, discounts for lack of marketability and lack of control are "not precluded."

April 18, 2008

Second Marriage and Life Insurance

As the second marriage becomes more popular, it becomes more important than ever to protect your life insurance for your children. I received a call today where the second wife had changed the life insurance benefits to her name, as might be expected. Five months later the father of two children died. The second wife will receive all the benefits of the life insurance and non will go to help support the fathers biological children. When the wife dies, it is likely that the money will go to her biological children and the fathers children will receive nothing. What this the intent of the father? Probably not? Can anything be done to protect your assets for your descendants? yes

How can you allow a portion of the money to be available for the benefit of a second or third wife and give part to your biological children. One way is through changes in the beneficiary designations. Although this can be difficult and some companies require the consent of the spouse, it is not impossible.

The better way, is to set up a revocable trust. The trust can designate who you would like to receive the proceeds and how you want the money distributed. Even better, once you create the trust, you can amend it.

It is best to create the trust before you get married, and amend it when you choose. Paul A. Rabalais of the Estate Planning Law Firm of Louisiana Blog recently wrote a similar article on this topic that you may want to review for more information.

If you need help creating a Florida Revocable Trust Contact a Florida attorney who is familiar with Florida Estate Planning Documents

April 17, 2008

Power of Attorney Abuse on Rise

The Wall Street Journal online has an article on How to Ensure Relatives Don't Rip You Off. Also the Toronto Estate Law Blog has an article today on POA abuse.

The article mentions several things that can be done to safeguard clients.
1) a provision requiring regular accounting statements from the agents.
2) Naming co-agents who can serve as checks on each other.
3) naming a supervisor who has the power to fire an agent

When setting up a Power of Attorney, you want to name an agent while you're still in good health and can make clear decisions. Typically, such documents are included as part of a standard Florida estate-planning package, which also includes a Florida Will and health-care proxy giving an agent the power to make health decisions when you can't.

Powers of Attorney are often a tough balancing act: You want them to be simple for trusted family members or friends to implement, without too many hoops each time a transaction is made. But you also want to avoid giving agents a license to steal.

To further protect yourself, you can require that your agent provide family members, or a third party, such as a lawyer or accountant, with regular accounting statements. Another strategy is to name co-agents. While that can be a burden -- many transactions, for instance, would need two signatures -- it can also create a system of checks and balances. In some cases, lawyers appoint an additional safeguard: a "protector," who has the power to replace the agent if there is wrongdoing.

Another key point: Make sure to carefully lay out exactly what powers you want your agent to have. For instance, you can limit the agent's power to make gifts of your property, so they can't just give money to themselves. Spell out under what conditions gifts can be made, how much and to whom.

April 17, 2008

Estate Planning and Divorce

Leanna Hamill of the Massachusetts Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog has recently posted two useful and informative articles (Part 1 and Part 2) about Estate Planning and Divorce which was summarized on the Georgia Wills and Probate Law Blog.

In addition Paul Rabalais recently wrote a similar article on the Louisiana Estate Planning Blog Importance of Estate Planning Amplified When There's A Second Marriage
The articles suggested revoking and or creating new Durable Powers of Attorney and Designation of Health care Surrogates as well as the importance of involving your Florida Estate Planning Lawyer in your divorce before it is finalized. Often wills, trusts, and non-probate assets will need to be retitled at the time of the divorce. In Florida, there is an automatic stay on changing the title or disposing of assets after a divorce has been filed in the courts.

After your divorce, in addition to signing your new estate planning documents, you should also make sure that you have changed the beneficiaries on any life insurance policies, 401(k) plans, IRAs, and any other accounts that may have had your former spouse listed. If you have set up a trust, your estate planning attorney can assist you in making sure that the trust is properly named as the beneficiary of these accounts.

April 16, 2008

Tricks of the Trade- Dateline NBC Insurance Investigations

Last Sunday April 13, Dateline NBC had a story on tricks insurance agents use to sell insurance policies to our nations seniors. Insurance is a $14 trillion dollar business. They used hidden cameras. For those of you who missed it, here is a link to the transcript of the show. Here is a link ot a video of some of the interviews on the show.

April 16, 2008

Tennessee NFA Gun Trust Lawyer®

Tennessee has joined the growing list of states in which we have a relationship with a lawyer who is familiar with the (NFA) National Firearms Act's requirements relating to the formation of trusts to purchase Title II Firearms (sold by Class 3 SOT dealers). These include silencers, short barrel rifles, and machine guns.

If you are looking to create a Tennessee NFA Gun Trust, please Contact us and we can help make sure your trust deals with the many unique issues surrounding owning these firearms in a Revocable Trust

If you live in Tennessee or another state and wish to create a NFA trust to protect your family and purchase NFA firearms (Title II) or Title I firearms Contact a NFA Gun Trust Lawyer® in your state.

If you are a lawyer licensed in any state and would like to work with us to provide NFA trusts to clients in your state, please Contact David Goldman a Florida Gun Trust Lawyer.

April 16, 2008

Medicaid and improvements paid for by Life Tenant of Property

In Florida, the Life tenant is generally responsible for the costs of repairs, but the remaindermen are responsible for the payments for improvements to the property.

If the life tenant paid for the costs of improvements on a property, this would constitute an uncompensated transfer or gift which could result in a period of ineligibility for Medicaid.

If repairs are being done on the property, it is important to have he contractor and suppliers specify that everything is begin done as a repair to avoid the possibility of the DCF worker classifying it as an improvement and creating a gift.

Before making repairs on a life estate, you should make sure that the act will not disqualify your family member from coverage. Please Contact a Florida Elder Law Lawyer to discuss your situation and Florida Medicaid Planning.

April 16, 2008

Florida legislation would force more Medicaid beneciaries into private managed care plans

The Miami Herald reported that Florida lawmakers on Wednesday added language to a state budget companion bill (HB 5085) that would expand a Medicaid pilot program that shifts some beneficiaries to private managed care plans, such as health maintenance organizations, the Miami Herald reports. The bill seeks to expand the pilot program to nine additional counties in 2010. Critics of the pilot program say that many beneficiaries have had difficulty finding a health plan that meets their needs and that it is not clear the program saved money or improved care. The state Agency for Health Care Administration had said it would not ask lawmakers to expand the program this year, after the agency's inspector general acknowledged problems with the pilot. However, the agency's new secretary, Holly Benson, supports expanding the Medicaid overhaul more quickly, and state Reps. Bill Galvano (R) and Aaron Bean (R) are pushing for further expansion of the program. Galvano said officials are learning from the pilot program and will make adjustments accordingly.

April 16, 2008

Florida's Govenor Signs NRA backed Gun Law

Florida Governor Charlie Crist today signed important National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed legislation into law that will protect the existing rights of law-abiding gun owners. House Bill 503 preserves the self-defense rights of law-abiding men and women as they travel in their cars to and from their daily activities.

"Customers and workers should not have to choose between protecting themselves or following the political policies of an anti-gun business," said NRA Past President Marion P. Hammer. "The right to protect oneself must be maintained no matter where you park your car."

This legislation protects the rights of gun owners to possess a firearm in any private motor vehicle in a parking lot, and prevents businesses from searching private vehicles of customers or employees.

"This is a great day for the people of the state of Florida," concluded Hammer. "Their right to keep and bear arms for self-defense and other lawful purposes has been restored."

April 15, 2008

Virginia NFA Gun Trust Lawyer: Class 3 Firearms Trust

Virginia has joined the growing list of states in which we have a relationship with a lawyer who is familiar with the (NFA) National Firearms Act's requirements relating to the formation of trusts to purchase Title II Firearms (sold by Class 3 SOT dealers). These include silencers, short barrel rifles, and machine guns.

If you are looking to create a Virginia NFA Gun Trust Lawyer, please Contact us and we can help make sure your trust deals with the many unique issues surrounding owning these firearms in a Trust.

If you live in Virginia or another state and wish to create a NFA trust to protect your family and purchase NFA firearms (Title II) or Title I firearms Contact a NFA Gun Trust Lawyer® in your state.

If you are a lawyer licensed in any state and would like to work with us to provide NFA trusts to clients in your state, please Contact David Goldman a Florida Gun Trust Lawyer®.

April 14, 2008

Can a Personal Representative Pay the Debt on a Conveyed Home or Property?

In Florida an encumbered property shall be entitled to have the encumbrance on the property paid at the expense of the residue of the estate only when the will shows that intent. A general direction in a will to pay the debts does not show that intent Florida Probate Code Section 733.803 , Florida Statutes (2002)

In a recent case a Personal Representative tried to make the argument that since the debt was paid off a mortgage during the probate proceeding and that the above rule only applied if the debt was in place at the time of the distribution. In re Estate of Woodward (Fla. 2d DCA Apr 09, 2008)

The court said that the PR could not rewrite the decedents will and pay off the mortgage. The Florida Probate Code makes it clear that without a specific instruction in the will the property was to pass with the encumbrance.

If you are a PR or a beneficiary of an estate in Florida and you have a question about whether you can pay off a mortgage, Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to discuss your circumstances.

April 12, 2008

Estate Planning for Each Stage of Life

Neil E. Hendershot, an estate and fiduciary law attorney with Goldberg Katzman, P.C., in Harrisburg, Pa., and an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law posted an article by David Alexaner of the Janus Capital Group that describes what types of estate planning and adjustments are common at different ages or times of one's life:.

Young Adult (18-30)
Middle Adult (30-45)
Pre-Retirement (45-65)
Retirement & Beyond (65+)

If you want to review your Florida Estate Planning please Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer.

April 11, 2008

Can I Deduct my Long Term Car Insurance Premiums?

As we get older long term care insurance premiums can become expensive. To qualify for a deduction on the insurance costs the policy must be a "qualified policy" as defined by the IRS.

A qualified policy is one issued after January 1, 1997 that adheres to certain regulations established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Policies purchased before January 1, 1997 may still be treated as "qualified" if they are approved by the insurance commissioner of the state where it was sold.

If you policy is qualified then premiums are treated as un-remibursed medical expenses for income tax purposes. To qualify for the deduction of the premiums these un-reimburesed medical expenses must exceed 7.5 percent of the adjusted gross income. In determininging whether you meet the threashold you can use the lesser of the premium paid or the value. If on 12/31/2008 you are:


- 40 or under, the maximum portion of your long term care insurance premium considered "health insurance premiums" is $310.
- Between 41 and 50, the maximum portion of your long term care insurance premium considered "health insurance premiums" is $580.
- Between 51 and 60, the maximum portion of your long term care insurance premium considered "health insurance premiums" is $1,150.
- Between 61 and 70, the maximum portion of your long term care insurance premium considered "health insurance premiums" is $3,080.
- Over 70, the maximum portion of your long term care insurance premium considered "health insurance premiums" is $3,850.

April 10, 2008

Divorce and Estate Planning opportunities

Divorcing spouses can add flexibility to their tax and estate plans using property settlement agreements according to Private Letter Ruling 12572406.

Kreig Mtichell a Colorado Estate Planning Attorney wrote an article on this process. He stated that the facts involved a Husband and Wife who shiged a property settlement agreement pursuant to their divorce. The husband owned a large amount of publicly traded stock. The wife was to recieive a portion of the stock in the divorce agreement approved by the court.

Later the husband and his ex wife renegotiated the agreement to provide a larger amount of stock to the wife.

The IRS ruled that this accelerated lifetime payment by the husband to the wife was not taxable income to the husband or wife and not a taxable gift from the husband to the wife.

The IRS found that the accelerated lifetime payment by the husband to the wife was not taxable income to the husband or wife because the transfer was "related to the cessation of marriage." Even though the modification of the property settlement agreement occurred "years after the divorce."

The IRS stated that the accelerated lifetime payment by the husband to the wife was not a taxable gift from the husband to the wife based on the same reasoning.

April 10, 2008

Workers Allowed to Keep Guns in Cars

The Florida Legislature has passed a bill allowing employees to keep gun in their cars while at work. Currently employers have been able to prohibit employees from keeping guns in their cars while on company parking lots. The new bill will allow workers to leave their personal weapons in their vehicles on company owned parking lots.

April 8, 2008

Florida Pet Trusts

Many pet owners think of their pets as part of their family. Legally pets are considered personal property like a car or jewelry.

If you are sick, injured, or unable to care for your pet and have not planned ahead, your pets may not be taken care of by the person you want. They may be managed like your other personal property.

Upon your death, your pets will pass as residual property under your will or your states intestate laws.

It is important to make specific provisions in your will, trust, and other estate planning documents to provide for your pet. If not, you pet could end up like many, in a shelter or on the street.

A Pet trust give you the ability to control your pets care if you are unable to. You can also add additional pets to the trust during your life. The trust can go into effect as soon as you create it.

Other less expensive methods of taking care of your pets include provisions in a will to create a pet trust if a pet survives you and conditional gifts in the will. Although a gift in the will does not require that the funds be used for the benefit of the pet the funds are given with the instructions to be used for the purpose you request.

If you would like to know more about creating Estate Planning Documents to provide for your pet, please Contact a licensed Estate Planning Lawyer in your state.

April 5, 2008

Louisiana NFA Gun Trust Lawyer

Louisiana has joined the growing list of states in which we have a relationship with a lawyer who is familiar with the (NFA) National Firearms Act's requirements relating to the formation of trusts to purchase Title II Firearms (sold by Cladd 3 SOT dealers). These include silencers, short barrel rifles, and machine guns.

If you are looking to create a Louisiana NFA Gun Trust, please Contact us and we can help make sure your trust deals with the many unique issues surrounding owning these firearms in a Revocable Trust

If you live in Louisiana or another state and wish to create a NFA trust to protect your family and purchase NFA firearms (Title II) or Title I firearms Contact a NFA Gun Trust Lawyer® in your state.

If you are a lawyer licensed in any state and would like to work with us to provide NFA trusts to clients in your state, please Contact David Goldman a Florida Gun Trust Lawyer®.

April 4, 2008

Mississippi NFA Gun Trust Lawyer®

Mississippi has joined the growing list of states in which we have a relationship with a lawyer who is familiar with the (NFA) National Firearms Act's requirements relating to the formation of trusts to purchase Title II Firearms (sold by Class 3 SOT dealers). These include silencers, short barrel rifles, and machine guns.

If you are looking to create a Mississippi NFA Gun Trust, please Contact us and we can help make sure your trust deals with the many unique issues surrounding owning these firearms in a Revocable Trust.

If you live in Mississippi or another state and wish to create a NFA trust to protect your family and purchase NFA or Title 1 firearms Contact a NFA lawyer in your state

If you are a lawyer licensed in any state and would like to work with us to provide NFA trusts to clients in your state, please Contact David Goldman a Florida Gun Trust Lawyer®.

April 4, 2008

Medicaid Cuts Threaten Nursing Homes in Florida

The JC FLorida reported on recent cuts on proposed cuts in state funding.

This week both the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee and the House Health care Council introduced their 2008-09 budgets. The Senate reduced nursing home funding $163 million and the House reduced funding $278 million.

Florida legislators approved landmark elder-care facility reform legislation in 2001 that mandated increased minimum staffing requirements, tougher regulation and quality improvement, and risk management programs. Since then, nursing home quality has steadily improved. Now, Medicaid funding cuts threaten this progress and the vulnerable elderly who have nowhere else to go.

Today, Florida’s nursing home staffing standards are one of the highest in the nation. The Florida Legislature has funded these required staffing increases, but the new Medicaid rates effective Jan. 1, 2008, cut funding by an annualized $75 million, eliminating the funding received for the Jan. 1, 2007 mandatory nurse and certified nurses’ aide staffing increases.

April 3, 2008

Ohio NFA Gun Trust Lawyer®

Ohio has joined the growing list of states in which we have a relationship with a lawyer who is familiar with the (NFA) National Firearms Act's requirements relating to the formation of trusts to purchase Title II Firearms (sold by Class 3 SOT dealers). These include silencers, short barrel rifles, and machine guns.

If you are looking to create a Ohio NFA Gun Trust, please Contact us and we can help make sure your trust deals with the many unique issues surrounding owning these firearms in a Revocable Trust

If you live in Ohio or another state and wish to create a NFA trust to protect your family and purchase NFA firearms (Title II) or Title I firearms Contact a NFA Gun Trust Lawyer® in your state.

If you are a lawyer licensed in any state and would like to work with us to provide NFA trusts to clients in your state, please Contact David Goldman a Florida Gun Trust Lawyer®.

April 3, 2008

Do it yourself Estate Planning: Bad News Part 9

Invalid transfer of Florida Homestead with do it yourself deed leads to unintended consequences!Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, PVB, Ponte Vedra Beach, Orange Park, Florida Will

Man wants his second wife to have a life estate in his homestead after his death with the remainder to go to his children and not his second wife's children.

His mistake, he used a preprinted deed and filled it out wrong. The court found that he did validly convey a life estate to his wife, but did not convey the remainder of the property to his daughter because it must have been signed by both spouses.

The property went back to his heirs per stripes after his spouses death and not to his daughter as intended.

Florida's homestead provisions make it difficult to properly convey real property as you desire. There were valid ways of conveying the property correctly, but a preprinted form does not deal with non traditional families or non traditional conveyances.

Some other examples of Do it your self wills and bad news are covered in my articles listed below

Do it Yourself Wills? More bad news and
Do it Yourself Wills? a Good Idea or Not?
Do it yourself Estate Planning: Bad News Part 3
Do it yourself Estate Planning: Bad News Part 4
Do it yourself Estate Planning: Bad News Part 5
Do it yourself Estate Planning: Bad News Part 6
Do it yourself Estate Planning: Bad News Part 7
Do it yourself Estate Planning: Bad News Part 8

This is a common mistake found in Florida Probate cases, when people try to make their own wills, or transfer their assets without getting professional help from an attorney or accountant who is familiar with the effects of gifting and estate planning.

If you have used software, a form, or an online service to prepare your will, a deed, or other document, you Contacta Florida Estate planning Attorney or Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to review your documents for potential problems.

April 2, 2008

Marilyn Monroe's Estate Loses Ruling

Florida Estate Planning and LicensingA federal curt found that Marilyn Monroe was a New Yorker when she died in 1962. This means her estate which has earned more than 30 million dollars licensing her image can not control the licensing. Product makers may be free to use her image without paying licensing fees to her estate because of a difference between California and New York state laws.

Marilyn Monroe LLC plans to appeal the ruling. If you license your image, it may be important to look at the laws of your state to determine what rights your estate will have. If you have questions about licensing in your state you should Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to discuss the effects of your domicile on your future heirs.

April 1, 2008

Florida Comon Law gives Guardian Ad Litem of Child Priority of Mother's Disposition

Arthur v. Milstein. et al, 949 So.2d 1163 (Fla. 4th DCA February 28, 2007)

In this dispute regarding who controlled the disposition of the body of Anna Nicole Smith, the trial court ruled that the guardian ad litem for her minor daughter Dannielynn had priority over Anna Nicole Smith's mother based upon interpretation of Florida Statutes section 406 defining a "legally authorized person" upon whom a funeral home can rely to receive burial instructions. The appellate court indicated section 406 simply protects a funeral home from liability, and Florida common law applies regarding who has the right to possession of the body. The court found the trial court's ruling was "the right result, but for the wrong reasons," and based upon evidence indicating the intent of Anna Nicole Smith, affirmed the trial court ruling.

This issue could have been avoided with a properly drafted Florida Will. If you would like your Florida Will reviewed please Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer.