Details Matter When Completing A Beneficiary Designation!

A recent federal case, originating in Florida, illustrates the importance of compliance with the EXACT requirements to designate a beneficiary for a 401(k) and ESOP plan. In Arlene Ruiz V. Publix Super Markets, Inc., a federal district court determined that an intent to change a beneficiary is NOT enough to…

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Electronic Wills? The Future of Will Drafting in Florida?

Until a recent  Florida Real Property, Probate and Trust Law (“RPPTL”) meeting, this author had never heard of an electronic will statute. An organization, independent of RPPTL and the Florida Bar, proposed a bill in the legislature, (the “Act”) with the help of Senator Passidomo, enacting electronic wills, effective July…

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End of Year Thoughts

As we approach the end of the year, we want to thank each of you for your business and referrals. We really appreciate all of you. We also want to point out some items that you should consider as we approach year end. Take your required minimum distribution for the year,…

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How Do You Select a Trustee?

Estate planning requires many decisions, not the least of which is whom to appoint as an agent to act under a health care surrogate and a durable power of attorney and whom to appoint as a  personal representative  and a trustee. How do you select these individuals? Take your time…

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Florida Enters the Digital Age with New Legislation!

All of us have digital assets and electronic communications. Our Facebook pages, the Google emails, the bitcoins, the domain names… all are new assets since the estate planning profession has been in existence. Much confusion exists as to what a fiduciary can and can not do in dealing with such…

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Someone Dies…Do Not Forget Deadlines for the Subchapter-S Election!

Many entities are used for estate planning and for business operations. Often a corporation elects to be taxed a Subchapter S (“Sub-S”) corporation because of favorable taxation as a “pass through” entity instead of a “regular” corporation. Being taxed as a “regular” corporation can result in double taxation. The Sub-S…

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Be Careful with Prenuptial Agreements!

The drafting of a prenuptial agreement is a very complicated process. You should always have legal advice. Generally (not always) a family law attorney will draft such an agreement with the help and advice of an experienced estate planning attorney. In a recent Florida Supreme court case, Hahamovitch v. Hahamovitch,…

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A Recipe for Disaster… Improper Planning for Stepchildren

It is no secret that,  when parents get remarried, one of the biggest issues, either financially or emotionally, is dealing with stepchildren and step-parenting. The issues become even more apparent when the biological father or mother dies. A recent case shows what happens when there is little planning or thought…

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