Blog

Don’t Blindly Trust Trusts

The best thing a nominated Trustee can do is decline to serve (I’m only kidding…or perhaps not). The second best thing is to hire an attorney. It’s no secret among those who regularly practice in trusts and estates that living trusts have been oversold for the past 15 years. By “living trust,” I am referring… read more

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Phantom Income in Estates

“Phantom income” is a term sometimes applied to taxable income you did not know you had, or no one reminded you that you had. Business owners often see it when they use the business income to pay off loans that put capital into the business. The interest may be deductible, but the principal payment is… read more

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“What Is Probate, Anyway?”

A primer on Florida probate – what it is and how it works. Probate is the name of a court process for transferring ownership of property after the owner’s death to the persons who have inherited that property. Probate happens whether or not the person now deceased left a Last Will. A Last Will never… read more

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Don’t Pay Creditors!

Do not let the creditors of your loved one’s Florida estate pressure you into paying them before a Florida probate administration has even begun. We see too often a client who has been harassed into payment, just days or weeks after their family member has passed away, only to find out when they call us… read more

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Debts Also Die

You would not know it from some bill collectors who hound people even 10 years after the debt was due, but nearly all debts die of old age eventually. Legally, it is called a “statute of limitations,” which means that after a certain number of years the courts will not enforce the debt. If a… read more

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Death and Taxes

One of the nastiest surprises that families involved with a Florida probate often face is the HUGE increase in property taxes on the homestead after the final owner dies. There is no change when a husband or wife passes away, provided there is a surviving spouse. However, when the survivor dies, and the homestead property… read more

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Original Wills

You have a family member who has passed away. You have diligently searched and located the original Will. Now what do you do with it? Take good care of that original Will until you can get it into court! First, confirm it is the original Will, not just a good copy. There is a world… read more

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