News & Resources

The Kiddie Tax: Think Twice Before Making Gifts

Co–authored by Kristine M. Scott, Estate Planning Associate Whether it’s to start your kids’ portfolio early, or provide income to students already in college, parents and grandparents make gifts to their children and grandchildren more than you may think. And if those children are under the age of 18, or over 18 but still considered a dependent, you should be aware of the “kiddie tax.” What happens when the child receives interest, dividends, or capital gains (“unearned income”) […]

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Guides for Managing Someone Else’s Money

Co-authored by Sharon L. Palmer, ACP, FRP Being named to take care of someone else’s money – whether as a trustee of a trust, as a court appointed guardian, or as an agent under someone’s durable power of attorney – can be a tremendous responsibility. It’s easy for the person assigned to that task to become confused about their duties, responsibilities, and the legal requirements that come along with that task. If one adds all that to the actual […]

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Summer-Mid-Year Estate Planning Review

Co–authored by Kristine M. Scott, Estate Planning Associate School is out, the kids are home, and you’re traveling to new places and spending time with your family. It’s summer time! While going out on the boat sounds like a good idea, try to make time to take a fresh look at your estate plan before things get busy with school activities and fall events. Life changes every day, and your estate plan should evolve with your life. Keeping […]

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What Is a Letter of Intent?

Co-authored by Sharon L. Palmer, ACP, FRP A Letter of Intent is a non-legal document that is quickly becoming a popular way to summarize and/or supplement your estate plan for those you leave behind. Essentially, it’s a letter from you to your personal representative/trustee and/or beneficiaries discussing your personal thoughts that resulted in your estate plan as well as any personal wishes to be considered in implementing your plan. While not a legally binding document, a letter of intent […]

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What You Need to Know about Florida Homestead Protection

Co–authored by Kristine M. Scott, Estate Planning Associate When it comes to asset protection, there is nothing stronger than Florida’s homestead exemption. Florida’s constitution provides that your homestead is exempt from “forced sale” from any court. What does that mean? Creditors (other than someone to whom you voluntarily give a lien against your home, such as the lender on your home mortgage) cannot levy and execute on any judgment against property that qualifies as your homestead. What’s Protected? […]

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FAQs About Trusts—“Can I do this?”

Co–authored by Kristine M. Scott, Estate Planning Associate Even though the term “trust” is used frequently, few people understand the terminology and technicalities of trusts until they are faced with one. What Is a Trust? A trust is a legal relationship between two parties: the person who creates the trust (the grantor/settlor) and the person (or institution/trust company) responsible for managing the trust, the Trustee. Under the arrangement, the Trustee manages the trust assets for the benefit of […]

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