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By: Jacqueline R. Bowden Gold, Esq. and Phil Rarick, Esq.

The Coronavirus has left the US economy in a stand still. It has forced businesses to shut down and events to be cancelled or postponed across the nation – creating significant anxiety for small business owners. During these times, many businesses are unable to or fear they will become unable to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Here is a term you’ve probably heard before but never paid much attention to: Force Majeure. If you are unable to fulfill your contractual obligations or are worried that the obligor (the person who has a duty to perform) under an existing contract will not perform, Force Majeure is an important provision to look for in your contract.

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.,  Miami Lakes and Weston Estate Planning Attorney

On any other year the Florida Corporate Annual Reports would be due May 1. However, the Governor has signed an order extending the deadline to June 30, 2020.

If you have an interest in a Florida LLC, corporation, professional association, or partnership and have not filed your 2020 annual report be sure to do so prior to June 30. Otherwise the state will charge you a $400 late fee if you miss this deadline.

By Phil Rarick & Jacqueline Bowden Gold, Estate & Business Law Attorneys

 
______#1.       Coronavirus Check Calculator.  Here is a simple, handy calculator describing who qualifies for the federal pandemic legislation checks and determines the amount of the check.  Click here:   Coronavirus Checks Calculator

When Will Checks Arrive?   Secretary Mnuchin said that direct deposits will start going out April 17 followed by checks in the mail.  It is not clear how long it will take the Treasury Department to get these checks out by mail – some experts caution it could take weeks or months.

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 & Jacqueline Bowden Gold, Miami Lakes and Weston Business Law Attorneys

First, I want to share with you this simple, handy calculator that appeared in the Washington Post describing who qualifies for the federal Pandemic legislation checks and determines the amount of the check.

Click here:   Coronavirus Checks Calculator

By: Jacqueline R. Bowden Gold, Miami Lakes and Weston Estate Planning Attorney

Don’t make the mistake of drafting your own Will and estate plan to save money. With general forms available and online companies that claim to walk you through the “easy” drafting process, it is common to fall prey to their low-priced services. As a Florida Probate and Medicaid Planning attorney, I see the harmful after- effects of “do it yourself” wills:  high legal fees to clean up ambiguities and sometimes open warfare among the family because of lack of clarity regarding the decedent’s true wishes.

For other common mistakes not discussed in this article read:  5 Common Mistakes with Do It Yourself Florida Wills.

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 Phillip B. Rarick, Esq., Miami Asset Protection Attorney

If you have never checked Florida’s web site for lost accounts and abandoned property you should do so – immediately. You may be pleasantly surprised!

You may think that it is not possible that you have any “unclaimed” property held by the State of Florida – and you could be wrong.

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 Phil Rarick, Weston Estate Planning Attorney

You and your spouse are finally going out for the evening.  The babysitter, a  high school  student,  has arrived and you are loading the young woman with last minute instructions:  time for bed, make sure the kids brush their teeth, books to read little Tommy, etc, etc.   What is ironic is many such fretful parents leave more instructions for their babysitter when they are out for a brief night out than they do if they would suddenly die.

Many parents have life insurance to provide for their spouse and children.  What is missing here is that life insurance without detailed instructions could mean that your son or daughter gets a windfall when they turn 18 and then proceed to blow it on a hot car and high living – your dream of them getting a quality post high school education is up in smoke.

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