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? […]Continue Reading
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 […]Continue Reading
Tax Breaks That Help YOU While You Help Your Parents
Co–authored by Kristine M. Scott, Estate Planning Associate Over 17 million people in the United States are actively taking care of their elderly parents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Providing that care is important—but it can be costly. One study concluded that an average family spends $140,000 over time when caring for an elderly family member. However, an unlikely friend, the IRS, provides four tax breaks that will help with the financial burden of elderly care. […]Continue Reading
Co-authored by Sharon L. Palmer, ACP, FRP It’s now May, and you’re five months into your New Year’s resolution to get your estate in order. You’re feeling pretty good because checklist looks something like this: ☒ Discuss estate planning options with attorney. ☒ Execute your last will and testament, revocable trust, and other estate planning documents. ☒ Update/change ownership on your accounts. ☒ Update beneficiary designations. ☒ Complete a vital information workbook, including assets/debts to assist your family in […]Continue Reading
Should You Discuss Your Estate Planning with Your Beneficiaries in Advance?
Co-authored by Sharon L. Palmer, ACP, FRP When finished executing their estate planning documents, our clients very often exhale a sigh of relief. They exclaim how happy they are to, “have all of this over with”. We certainly understand their feelings. It can be daunting, to say the least, to work on your estate plan, deciding who will inherit what and who will manage and distribute your assets after you pass away. In fact, it can be downright stressful […]Continue Reading
Trust Administration versus Probate—What’s the Difference?
Co–authored by Kristine M. Scott, Estate Planning Associate Most people elect to create revocable trusts during their lifetime in conjunction with their last will and testament, so they can avoid a probate of all or part of their estate at their death. But what is the difference between administering a trust at the grantor’s death or probating the assets? Any asset titled in the name of an individual as trustee can be administered and distributed at the grantor’s […]Continue Reading