Think you know it all? Think again!
By: Katie White, Esq. (850) 202-8535 Many of our clients are at least somewhat familiar with their relative’s finances when we first meet, or become so shortly after probate has begun. But most of them don’t know about the repository of everything from uncashed refund checks to safe deposit box contents – Florida’s Unclaimed Property Registry. … read moreRead More
Handwritten Wills – What’s The Problem?
By: Katie White, Esq. (850) 202-8535 With the increased availability of forms and information online, we’ve also seen a rise in the number of handwritten (versus typed) Wills. If a Will is clear and sets out what you want to happen when you pass, then what does it matter if it is typed or written… read moreRead More
Probate Is So Expensive
By Katie White (850) 202-8535 At least, that is what everyone thinks. “The State will get it all”, or, “the attorney said I have to pay 3%” are also common things we hear during consultations. (The State doesn’t get anything in Florida, by the way.) For years, we have tried to educate potential clients about… read moreRead More
When A Beneficiary Dies Before Probate Ends
It happens sometimes. An heir at law or a beneficiary under a Last Will survives the decedent, and then dies before the probate administration is complete. What happens to that beneficiary’s share? The answer is clear, if you take it one step at a time. First, if there was a Last Will naming the beneficiary,… read moreRead More
A Deed Is Not Title
Probate deals with real property a lot – houses, condos, vacant lots, commercial buildings. Our clients often confuse the word “title” with “deed.” They will refer to a deed when they really mean title, as in “When does probate give me my deed?” One reason for the confusion is that, for motor vehicles, there is… read moreRead More
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 moreRead More
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 the IRS, but that’s like asking if you need to worry about snakes. The answer is: it depends on the snake. For taxes, it depends on whether you are talking about… read moreRead More
What Happens if You Don’t Get Around to Making a Will?
A lot of people think that “the State” gets a portion of your assets if you die without a will, which is not the case. Florida has very detailed “default” rules outlining who inherits in probate estates where there is no Will. In most cases, the spouse inherits first, with some exceptions if there are… read moreRead More
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 moreRead More
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 moreRead More