News & Resources

Help! My Parent Has Died, and I Don’t Know Where to Begin

Co-authored by Sharon L. Palmer, ACP, FRP It is not unusual for our office to receive calls from a recent decedent’s family members who have little knowledge of their loved one’s assets and debts. They are often at a loss as to where to begin to find that information. To facilitate their search, we recommend going through the following checklist: 1. Safe Deposit Box If you have access to the box, review and inventory it for asset information and […]

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Required Minimum Distributions Part 2 – How Qualified Charitable Distributions Can Minimize the Tax Impact of RMDs

Co–authored by Kristine M. Scott, Estate Planning Associate As discussed in part 1, the IRS requires you to begin withdrawing a minimum amount annually from traditional IRAs (and from most 401ks) once you reach age 70 ½. These minimum withdrawal amounts are called Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). If you are one of the 3.4 million Americans who turn 70 in 2018 and own one or more of these accounts, you know that RMDs are in your near future. […]

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Is Probate Always Needed When a Loved One Dies?

Co-authored by Sharon L. Palmer, ACP, FRP When thinking about the transfer of assets after their death, many people often make one of two erroneous assumptions regarding probate (a court proceeding transferring assets to beneficiaries and/or heirs-at-law): They are married, so everything they own will go directly to their spouse upon their death; or They have a Will (last will and testament), so their assets go to the parties named in the Will without having to go through probate. […]

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Turning 70½ in 2018? What You Need to Know about RMDs

Are you one of the millions of Americans with an IRA or 401k who have recently turned 70 or will reach that age in 2018? There are a few rules you need to know to avoid heavy penalties by the IRS for failure to take the proper required minimum distribution, commonly known as the “RMD”. When to Take the RMD If you turn 70 between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, you should take […]

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Medicaid Planning 101: What You Need to Know

Medicaid is the joint state-federal program that pays for nursing home benefits. Since it is a joint program, the requirements vary from state to state, although the program itself is fairly uniform. This summary reflects only Florida law, and is current as of December 2017. General Requirements to Qualify for Medicaid Allowable Assets In general, the person seeking to qualify cannot have more than $2,000 of assets in his or her name ($3,000 combined limit […]

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Social Media, Cloud Files, and More: Estate Planning for Your Digital Assets

These days, most of us find ourselves living in a technology-driven world—from our social media accounts, to our online bill pay, and even our food delivery services. But what happens to those accounts when you die? Well, if no end of life planning is done, the answer could be a nightmare for your family. When most of us sign up for a new account, whether it be a bank account, social media, or storage service, […]

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