June 2009 Archives

June 16, 2009

Asset Protection Lawyers can help structure assets

Florida Asset Protection Attorneys can help structure the ownership of assets to protect from liabilities and creditors. Often individuals own a bulk of their assets individually or in a Florida Revocable Trust, or in a corporation. The assets and businesses held in these entities can be subject to the claims of creditors if a judgment is obtained against the individual. In touch economic times like these it is more important than ever to protect your assets from the claims of creditors. You should discuss your assets and potential liabilities with a Florida Asset Protection Lawyer who also knows about Florida Estate Planning to make sure they are protected to the extent possible from claims that could cause you to lose the assets or income you have worked hard to create.

June 8, 2009

Who can be a Personal Representative?

In Florida who can be a personal representative, or executor, of an estate?

1. The personal representative could be an individual, bank, or trust company, subject to certain restrictions.
2. An individual who is either a resident of Florida, or is a spouse, sibling, parent, child, or certain other close relative, can serve as personal representative.
3. A trust company incorporated under the laws of Florida, or a bank or savings and loan authorized and qualified to exercise fiduciary powers in Florida, can serve as personal representative.
The preference of who will be appointed as the Personal representative is determined first by who is nominated in a will left by the decedent and if there is not a valid will appointing someone who wishes to serve then the surviving spouse has preference with the second preference going to the person selected by a majority in interest of the heirs.

Update:
Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.

June 7, 2009

What happens if there is no will?

In aFlorida Probate, where the decedent did not have a will, Florida's intestate laws of succession define how property will be distributed between the person's family members.

If there was a surviving spouse and no lineal descendants the spouse will receive everything in the decedent's estate.

If there is no spouse but there are lineal descendants (children) then the estate is split equally between all surviving children. If a child predeceased their parent and had children of their own, that child's share will be equally divided between his or her children (the decedent's grandchildren). If the child that did not survive the parent did not have children, that child's share will go to his or her siblings equally.

If there is a surviving spouse and descendants and:

1. all of the descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse will receive the first $60,000 plus 1/2 of the remaining estate, with the balance being shared between the lineal descendants.
2. one or more of the lineal descendants is not a lineal descendant of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse receives 1/2 of the probate estate and the lineal descendants receive the other 1/2 of the probate estate.

If there is no surviving spouse and no lineal descendants the probate property goes to the decedent's surviving parents and if none, then to the decedent's siblings or the descendants of any deceased brothers or sisters.

There are other provisions in the Florida Probate code which provide for exceptions for homestead property, exempt personal property, and a statutory allowance to the surviving spouse and any lineal descendants or ascendants the decedent supported.

If you need help with a Florida Probate and determining your rightful share of an estate in Florida you should contact an attorney familiar with Florida Probate or a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer.

Update:
Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.

June 6, 2009

What Asset are subject to Florida probate

In Florida, Probate assets are those items in the decedent's name at death which contain no provision for automatic succession of ownership at death like those that are jointly owned or have a payable on death designation. For example:

1. bank accounts that is not a joint account, one held in trust for another, or those without a beneficiary,
2 real estate in the individuals sole name unless it is a homestead property and the decedent is survived by a spouse or children'
3 property owned by the decedent and spouse becomes subject to probate upon the death of the surviving spouse (subject to surviving descendants in the case of a homestead),
4. life insurance payable to the decedent or their estate,
5. retirement accounts payable to the decedent or their estate,
6. annuities payable to the decedent or their estate,

Update:
Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.

June 5, 2009

Obtaining a Copy of a WIll in Florida Before a Probate is Filed

will.jpgIn Florida, the custodian of a will is required to file the will with the court having jurisdiction over the decedent within 10 day of learning that the testator is dead. As Florida Probate Lawyers we often have clients who are wanting to see a family members will but are not provided with one. Although you may not have a right to get one from the custodian, you can require them to file it in the court and then obtain a copy with the court.

If the custodian refuses or delays in filing the testator's will timely (within 10 days) you may file an action to require compliance with the Florida Statutes. In such a case, you are entitled to be reimbursed all costs, damages, and a reasonable attorney's fees.

We often send demand letters for our clients requesting the will to be deposited with the court prior to filing actions on their behalf. If you would like to learn more about this and how you can obtain a Florida Will Contact a Florida Probate Attorney to discuss your situation.

June 3, 2009

Probate Intake form

When deciding on a Florida Probate it is important to gather as much information as possible. We have developed a Florida Probate Intake Form. which helps individuals and their families involved in a Florida Probate gather and organize the information. Feel Free to download the Florida Probate Intake Form.

Update:
Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.

June 3, 2009

Is Your Child Trust-Worthy?

The Wall Street Journal has an article on Deciding if Your Kid is Trust-Worthy where they discuss using trust like a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer would use to protect your families assets.

Part of the article is devoted to helping you determine if your child or your children are the best ones to manage your finances or Florida Revocable Trust in the even you become incapacitated or die. These are areas you should discuss your your Florida Estate Planning Lawyer in an effort to determine how best to structure a Florida Revocable Trust.