There seems to be articles misquoting the Suspension of RMDs by Congress. Congress has not suspended the 2008 RMDs. As of this time The Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 is awaiting the President’s signature.

One of the provisions of the bill is the suspension of required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2009 ONLY.

This applies to all RMDs from IRAs and employer plans for account owners AND beneficiaries. This temporary suspension will not affect an individual’s required beginning date. An individual who turns 70 ½ in 2008 and chooses to defer their first distribution to April 1, 2009 must still take that distribution.

When is a Jacksonville Mediator helpful in resolving a Florida lawsuit?

After your Jacksonville attorney has filed suit, or you have been served with one you may quickly find that thousands of dollars are spend in attorney’s fees and costs. There are fees for pleadings and counter-pleadings, requests and responses to interrogatories and requests for admissions, depositions and motion hearings. Typically after all of these fees your attorney sets the case for trial only to then inform you that the court has ordered mediation by a Florida Mediator.

Florida Clients often ask, Why are they are now having to meet with the other party to discuss settlement after paying all this money and waiting all this time for a trial? They wonder if they could have met much earlier in process and saved thousands of dollars. If you are in a lawsuit you should ask your Florida Lawyer early if the court will be ordering a mediation and when the proper time to have the mediation would be. Often an early mediation can save both sides substantial fees and lead to a good resolution of the issues involved in the case.

Grandparents-on-beach.jpgGuardianship is a relationship created by state law in which a court gives one person or entity (the guardian) the duty and power to make personal and/or property decisions for another (the ward).

An article written by Brenda K. Uekert and Thomas Dibble. The article, “Guardianship of the Elderly” will appear in the next issue of Court Manager magazine where the author discusses the:

purpose of guardianships;

Abusive guardianships that often exploit the elderly;

Senior citizens in Florida are being warned to think before going to financial planning seminars and estate-preservation workshops that offer a “free lunch” or “free dinner” to lure seniors to attend.

The Florida AG’s Office has received more than a dozen complaints from seniors enticed to attend a free meal that actually turned out to be a high-pressure sales pitch for investments that may be entirely inappropriate based on age and financial circumstance.

In quoting Attorney General Bill McCollum, the Naples Daily News reported that “The last thing our seniors need during this economic climate when their retirement savings may be dwindling is an investment scam that further depletes that nest egg”. “Too many of our seniors are finding that these free meals can cost them dearly.” The invitations often arrive by phone or mail and promise tips on earning great financial returns with minimal risk, eliminating taxes or avoiding probate. After a high-pressure presentation, salespeople then try to schedule follow-up visits in the homes of those who attend so they can continue the pitch. In addition to losing money, consumers who complained to the Attorney General reported being badgered by many unsolicited phone calls and frustrated by misrepresentation of the seminar’s purpose.

Leanna Hamill, a Massachusetts Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney, has an article on a new website She states that the videos are designed to be short, simple, and direct. They easily accessed by users 24 hours a day and cover the tasks and daily activities for caregivers.

If you need help with a Florida Medicaid Application Contact a Florida Elder Law Attorney

Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, PVB, Ponte Vedra Beach, Orange Park, Florida WillThe UPC or Uniform Probate Code has been modified to accept a Notarized Will as valid. Lawrence W Waggoner, wrote an article “The UPC Authorizes Notarized Wills“, 34 ACTEC 83 (Fall 2008). (This article was brought to my attention by Gerry Beyer of the Wills, Trust & Estate professor Blog)

The article begins by reviewing the history of attested wills which were derived from the English Statute of Frauds Act of 1837. The requirements state that the will must be (1) in writing, (2) signed by the testator, and (3) witnessed by attesting witnesses. The UPC also popularized the concept used in Florida of self-proved wills. A self-proved will allows the testator to execute a will and attach an affidavit to the will, notarized and signed by the testator and the attesting witnesses.

In 1990- the UPC adopted another new concept, the harmless error rule. Under the harmless error rule, a will that does not strictly comply with the statutory requirements for an attested will is treated as if it had been properly executed if the will is proved by clear and convincing evidence that the decedent intended the document to be his or her will. So far Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, Utah, and Virgina have adopted statutes based upon the Harmless-Error Rule.

In Florida if you are a beneficiary a potential heir, you are entitled to an inventory and accounting. As An Atlanta Georgia Estate Planning Lawyer wrote in their article AS A BENEFICIARY OR HEIR OF A GEORGIA PROBATE ESTATE, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO AN INVENTORY AND ACCOUNTING IN GEORGIA PROBATE COURT – REMEMBER, “POSSESSION IS NINE-TENTHS OF THE LAW”, SO ACT QUICKLY AND WITH KNOWLEDGE, it is important to act fast.

It is often frustrating for beneficiaries that this doesn’t happen quickly or automatically. Often beneficiaries only receive these documents after a Florida Probate Attorney makes a formal request for them.

If you have not received an inventory or accounting relating to a Florida Probate Contact a Florida Probate Lawyer

A Michigan Estate Planning Lawyer Blog has written another article on Problems with Michigan Trust Kits. While we have reported on these issues many times in Florida, there appear to be similar problems in other states. Christopher Berry, a Michigan Estate Planning Attorney, points out that Michigan citizens have lost over $200,000 because of poorly drafted Revocable Trust .

In addition, many of these Estate Planning Kits do not take Elder law issues into account when filling out the generic forms for individuals and their families. Please contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to discuss your individual needs.

taxpapers.jpgLife insurance is counted as part of your taxable estate. Many people understand that life insurance is income tax free to the beneficiaries, but the do not know that the proceeds of a life insurance policy are usually counted as part of the decedent’s estate for Federal Estate Tax purposes.

This increase in the taxable estate can often lead to estate tax or a death tax being due. 1,000,000 in life insurance can create as much as a $450,000 tax bill for the estate. To avoid this many individual create an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust or ILIT. An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust is a type of Florida Revocable Trust that is designed to hold and own life insurance policies. Once the ILIT is created you transfer ownership of your life insurance policies or purchase new policies in the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust. By giving up all “incidents of ownership” over the policies the benefits of the policies are not part of your taxable estate when you die.

To find out how an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust can benefit you Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to discuss your situation.

If you are a Trustee or Guardian over property in Florida There are many things to consider when remodeling or purchasing an older home, which is common in the real estate industry.

I recently became aware of problems with some homes built before 1980 because they have a strong likelihood of containing asbestos. Due to a steady progression of technology and green sustainable methods, there are many ways to ensure your home or property is asbestos free. If you are interested in saving money, remodeling and improving your carbon footprint, here is some information that I found to help you get on the right track.

Asbestos insulation was used in millions of homes throughout the last quarter of the 20th century and can become a real dilemma for homeowners due to a variety of health problems, including malignant mesothelioma and a variety of other lung ailments. Mesothelioma takes the lives of thousands of people each year and has lead to a variety of mesothelioma lawyers throughout the nation. Manufacturers of asbestos products knew about the harmful effects of asbestos and continued manufacturing the products anyways.

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