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Choosing the Right Trustee

A colleague in the financial services industry recently shared a “situation” with me involving an estate plan gone really bad. This story illustrates why choosing the right trustee can make or break an estate plan.  In a nutshell, a door to door salesman with shiny cufflinks had ascended on a geographic area of relatively high […] Read more

how to title real estate for asset protection

Florida law offers some of the strongest creditor protections in the country—particularly with regard to real estate.  Those protections make Florida real estate not just a valuable asset but also an effective means of shielding wealth against creditor attachment.  Absent careful planning, though, the same protections that make Florida a great place to own land […] Read more

House photo illustrating tenancy in common in Florida

Florida law recognizes three basic forms of joint ownership.  Two of the three—joint tenancy and tenancy in the entireties—come with what is referred to as a “right of survivorship.”  What that means is that, when one co-owner dies, the surviving owner automatically receives full, undivided ownership of the asset.  By definition, a co-owner who holds […] Read more

Categorizing Estate Assets

Administering a Florida estate can be a simple and straightforward process, or it can seem like a crazy labyrinth filled with potential pitfalls.  The difference often comes down to how complex the estate is and how well it has been arranged.  A little planning up front can make estate administration in Florida a lot less […] Read more

Business Entity Options for Partners in Florida

When you have a great idea for a business, it can be tempting to dive right in—strike while the iron is hot.  Experienced entrepreneurs, though, know that careful planning is half the battle.  If you’re working with a partner, part of that planning process is choosing the right entity structure and getting the precise business […] Read more

Tenancy by the Entirety in Florida

Successful marriages are often described as partnerships.  Ideally, there’s a mutual respect and appreciation for one another’s contributions.  And, although marriage usually involves a bigger emotional commitment than a business partnership, in either relationship you’re likely to find jointly owned property. However, when it comes to joint ownership, a spouse gets the edge over a […] Read more

Virtual Florida Estate Planning

WEB BASED ESTATE PLANNING:  THE NEXT FRONTIER OR A DEAD-END STREET? With each passing year, more and more of everyday life moves online.  The emergence of COVID-19 and its impact on Florida estate planning, has only accelerated that trend. You can work from home, go on virtual tours of museums, or even take guitar lessons […] Read more

As most Americans are painfully aware, the novel coronavirus arrived on the scene in late 2019, and before long was causing major disruptions to life in the United States.  Millions of Americans were put out of work, businesses throughout the country had to close up shop, and even family life was affected.  Previously innocuous visits […] Read more

In 2019, the U.S. Congress significantly overhauled the laws affecting retirement planning when it passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (better known as the “SECURE Act”).  The SECURE Act’s primary objectives are to expand access to tax-advantaged retirement accounts like IRAs and 401ks and to allow more retirees’ savings to last […] Read more

Surviving spouses have robust inheritance rights in pretty much any jurisdiction, but in Florida those rights are especially strong.  Whether or not a decedent spouse leaves a will—and even if a will expressly disinherits the other spouse—a widowed spouse retains legal rights in at least a portion of a decedent spouse’s estate.  In many cases, […] Read more