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Articles Posted in Uncategorized

by: Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.

We have been helping small business owners survive and thrive – in good times and bad – for over 25 years. Here is how we may be able to help you in this current challenging business environment.

1.    Contract Review and Force Majeure. A Force Majeure clause is a standard clause in many contracts. If you have a contract you are trying to get out of – or the reverse – if you have a person trying to nullify performance under your existing contract the interpretation of the “Force Majeure” clause will be a determining factor.

by: Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.

Here is the good news/bad news I received from my bank today regarding my Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Application:  The good news:  your application has been approved; the bad: the SBA is out of money and you must wait for Congress to refund the program!

Although I have heard of a few small businesses that have received funding I am guessing that most persons reading this letter have encountered similar frustrations. Note: if you have received funding, please so reply.

By Phil Rarick, Jacqueline Bowden Gold, and Jay Beskin, Miami Lakes and Weston Business Law Attorneys

Note: The following is a preliminary review of key parts of the CARES Act; this commentary is  subject to change upon guidance from the SBA and U.S. government

On March 27th, Congress passed and the President signed into law a $349 billion “Paycheck Protection Program” as part of the massive Coronavirus relief package.  This program will likely be a life safer for many small businesses.  It is available through June 30, 2020, however Congressional leadership has already discussed extending it for additional months.

By: Phil Rarick, Weston Estate Planning Attorney

Editor’s Note:  The following is a public service Alert from Rarick & Beskin, P.A.  This firm does not offer  or recommend Remote Online Notarization Service providers.

Beginning January 1, 2020 Florida joins 20 other states allowing Remote Online Notarization or “RON” for deeds, mortgages and other instruments. Beginning July 1, 2020 RON will be available for “electronic wills” and other testamentary documents. See Florida Ch. 2019-71. This Alert will discuss the RON process for non-testamentary documents that will be of interest to real estate attorneys. A subsequent Alert designed for estate planning attorneys will discuss the new law’s requirements for Florida electronic wills and other estate planning documents that commence July 1.

By Phil Rarick & Jacqueline Bowden Gold, Weston Estate Planning Attorneys

In 1992 estate planning attorneys  Robert Esperti and Renno Peterson wrote the best selling book, The Living Trust Revolution that captured the major shift in estate planning arising from the $6.8 trillion worth of wealth transfer beginning to take place in the United States.  That was 1992.   With the baby boom generation now retiring it is estimated that nearly 45 million U.S. households will hand down about $68.4 trillion over the course of the next quarter-decade, according to research firm Cerulli Associates.  Note: the estimate of this massive wealth transfer is now ten times the size from 1992!

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The living trust revolution correctly foresaw the shift in estate planning from wills, as the cornerstone of estate plans, to living revocable trusts.  This revolution has helped many families avoid the cost of probate and keep legal control within the family for managing the wealth transfer.   I am convinced it has helped prevent many family disputes and outright family wars that break out when the family patriarch or matriarch dies without a well drafted trust. A well drafted trust lays out clear instructions about the family matriarch’s wishes and intentions.  It is when the matriarch leaves “in a vacuum” instructions that she creates an environment for family warfare.

By Phillip B. Rarick, Weston Estate Planning Attorney

Irrevocable divorce trusts should always be an important tool in the Family Law Attorneys bag of tools as a well designed trust can address multiple issues that cannot be fully resolved through a Divorce Agreement.   It may be a good idea to brainstorm possible irrevocable divorce trust solutions with an experienced estate planning attorney at the commencement of the case. Here are a few examples:

Dissolution #1:           Husband and wife have minor children, ages 8 and 10.  Wife is big shopper and bad money manager.  Your client is the Husband.  He is concerned that if child support payments go directly to wife she will use some of the funds to buy expensive clothing and keep up her lavish life style  – to the detriment of the children.  Both parents agree that they want to ensure that the children go to a private high school and a prestigious college or university after high school.

By Phil Rarick

All modern passenger jet planes have at least two engines.  Similar reasoning applies to prenuptial agreements.    Many will argue that a good prenuptial agreement should fly safely on its own without the need for a “second engine.”   However, a second engine could be a Nevada Asset Protection Trust (“APT”) that could only be contested in a Nevada court.    Simply by requiring a litigant to seek redress in another jurisdiction will present a strong financial and psychological deterrent to a disgruntled spouse seeking to overturn the prenuptial agreement.  Two engines are safer and stronger than one!

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Here are two initial objections that I hear from some of my Family Law attorney friends:

By Phil Rarick, Weston Estate Planning Attorney

This report is a reminder that the FBAR or Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account is due June 30.    The FBAR is required for U.S. persons having a financial interest or signature authority over one or more foreign financial accounts, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust, estate, pension, cash value life insurance, or other type of foreign financial account having an aggregate value over $10,000 at any time during 2015.

Note:  A U.S. person may have a reporting obligation even though the foreign financial account does not generate any taxable income.

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