Articles Posted in Will Law

By: Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.

Most divorce judgments call for one of the parties to obtain a life insurance policy to secure the payment of child support, alimony or some other financial obligation.  Let’s assume the obligation is solely child support:  a potential mistake is failure to secure payment of the policy premiums by use of an irrevocable Children’s Safe Harbor Trust structured as a spendthrift trust.

For securing the payment of child support, the settlement agreement should have specific language that may read as follows:

By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Trust Attorney

A Living Will is not a will and it is not a living trust.  It is simply detailed, legally binding instructions to your physician that you do not want to be maintained in a persistent vegetative state if there is zero possibility of recovery.

The term “living will” is confusing because it is not a will.  A better name is Declaration Regarding Life Prolong Procedures.  Such a Declaration is important to most persons because, at the end of life, they do not want to maintained in a vegetative state if there is absolutely no possibility of recovery.

Within the past 10 years, the Living Trust has replaced the Will as the best way to care for you and your loved ones because it can avoid the fees, cost, and stress of court intervention in the event of mental incapacity or death.  Properly funded, a living trust can help you keep legal control in your family or with persons you trust and avoid having a judge – an unknown third person –  make decisions about your personal affairs.

A living trust is simply detailed, legally binding instructions to care for you and your family.  There are three key players in a trust.  First, the Trustmaker or grantor; this is the person who makes the trust.  Second, the Trustee, whose job is to follow the instructions of the trust exactly and to the spirit of the trust.  The third role are the Beneficiaries.  The Trustee’s fiduciary duties run like a laser beam to the beneficiaries:  every penny of the Trust must be used in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

Initially, you can act in all three roles in your living trust:  You can be the trustmaker, trustee and beneficiary.  Your spouse, children, or other loved ones can also be beneficiaries.

By Miami Trust Attorneys Phillip B. Rarick, Esq. and Jay R. Beskin, Esq.

I.       The Opportunity – And The Problem.

The Opportunity: Gifts to family members and others are free of the U.S. gift tax if under the exemption.   Specifically, U.S. Citizens in 2012 can give away assets worth $5,120,000 ($10,240,000 per couple) without having to pay any federal estate tax or gift tax.

Contact Information