Blog

Practical Tips For Personal Representatives of Florida Estates

Here are a few tips for someone who finds himself or herself suddenly faced with the overwhelming task of handling a probate estate in Florida: Have their mail forwarded to your house. You should go through each piece of mail to assist you in identifying all of the creditors and assets of the Florida Estate…. read more

Read More

Why Trustees Open a Florida Probate Administration

One of the big reasons one would consider setting up a Living Trust (technically called “inter vivos trust,” meaning a trust created while you are alive) is to avoid a probate administration after your death. By correctly titling all of your assets (except for personal effects, cash and other assets which are not “titled”) in… read more

Read More

Are Life Insurance Proceeds Assets in Probate?

Normally life insurance proceeds go directly to the name beneficiaries and are not probate assets. Unless payable to your own estate, death benefits payable under your life insurance policies are NOT estate assets, which means they do not go according to your Will and which sometimes means they go to the “wrong people.” Money paid… read more

Read More

Move Cars Out of Estate Quickly

We do not like cars or trucks in an estate. Under Florida law, the owner of a vehicle is normally liable for accidents caused by the car, and that liability is not limited to the car insurance limits. So an estate with $200,000 in stocks and bonds can see all of that disappear in the… read more

Read More

Don’t Wait to Sell that House

In ancient days, 25 years ago, many title insurance underwriters believed that an executor (personal representative) needed to get past the creditor period (3 months) before he or she could validly sell real property owned by a decedent. Those days are gone and for non-homestead property, all an executor needs is either an order approving… read more

Read More

When It Comes to Stocks, Stop the Loss

An executor or personal representative of an estate with significant stocks or other marketable securities should always consider entering a stop-loss order. That is a standing order with your broker to sell a security if the price drops to a certain level. A trailing stop-loss order is one that raises that sale price as the… read more

Read More

“You Get What You Pay For”

We are often asked, “Would I be OK with a Will from Legal Zoom or drafting one on my own from a software program?” The answer is complicated because (1) not everyone needs a Will, although most do; and (2) so much depends on what the person already knows about the laws of property and… read more

Read More

Why Is Florida Probate So Complicated?

We hear that question a lot. Some of the complexity is due to legal protections. Some of it is just unnecessary. Compared to the probate systems in other states, according to some of our clients, Florida’s rules are complicated, complex and apparently designed so that a “consumer” (non-lawyer) cannot possibly work through it herself, no… read more

Read More

Top Five Mistakes in Florida Wills

#5 Unqualified Executor This is a common mistake because most states have no residency requirement for executors. A Personal Representative (“PR”) in Florida must be either a Florida resident or related to the decedent, within the prescribed range, by blood or marriage. Many retirees and snowbirds get caught on this problem when they name their… read more

Read More

Inherited Money Generally Not Taxable

“Do I have to pay Federal Income Tax on my inheritance?” Clients are constantly asking us if their inheritances are subject to federal income tax, and with certain exceptions such as IRAs with deferred tax portions, the answer is usually no. Neither Florida nor the federal government will impose a tax on you for inheriting… read more

Read More