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Death does not stop a corporation or LLC

Besides taxes and liabilities, there is another good reason to incorporate a sole proprietorship: what happens when you die. There are often several good reasons to incorporate a business that is a “sole proprietorship” (one man or woman doing business or offering professional services). In addition to shielding against some liabilities and saving taxes in… read more

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Probate and Taxes (Oversimplified)

Taxes are confusing to most folks. We are often asked by executors and heirs, “Do I need to worry about taxes?” No offense to IRS, but that’s like asking if you need to worry about snakes. The answer is: depends on the snake. For taxes, it depends on whether you are talking about income tax… read more

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New Year’s Resolutions: What happens if you don’t get around to making a Will in 2017?

2016 saw the loss of some of our favorite entertainment icons- Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, Prince, to name just a few. These losses cause many people to think about estate planning. Most years, we get calls early in the year from clients who have put off doing their estate planning, and they once again commit… read more

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There’s always a plan, just not always a good plan.

If you do not plan your estate, the State will plan it for you. Whether they know it or not, everyone in this country has an estate plan. It’s either one they did themselves, or one done for them by the state where they live. For some folks, the state’s plan for those who don’t… read more

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Is summary administration always the better way when available?

Sometimes it is not practical to use a summary administration even if it is an option. Examples: The Will leaves the property to a large number of beneficiaries, each of whom would have to sign the contract to sell as well as the deed and other closing papers. If some of the beneficiaries are minors,… read more

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Condo Assessments Can Grab Heirs in Cases of Homestead

It may not be safe for the heirs to just “walk away” from a homestead condo due to the law on condo association assessments. Inheriting a condominium is no longer safe to walk away from. The condo associations in Florida obviously have great lobbyists, because the Florida statute on fees and assessments owed by condo… read more

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No One HAS To Serve as Personal Representative

Sometimes the best advice is “Don’t Do It.” Sometimes the best advice we can give to prospective executors (in Florida called Personal Representatives) is, “Don’t do it.” Just because a Last Will names you as executor, that does not bind you. In some estates the Will (usually not drafted by a lawyer) is so hard… read more

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E-Filing Settling Down

How is Electronic Filing doing in Florida probate courts? Progress is slow, and in a few cases going backward, but from a statewide perspective we see hope that electronic filing one day will be what the proponents thought it could be. For example, we’re no longer seeing certain judges require the paper filing of all… read more

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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

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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

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