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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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®.

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.

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.

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.

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