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Articles Tagged with Estate Planning

By Phil Rarick, Esq., Miami Trust Attorney

Family law attorneys are increasingly using trusts to secure and safeguard the payment of financial obligations in their marital settlement agreements.  Such trusts can provide the following key benefits:

  • Security that payments will be made in a timely fashion

12 Point Summary of Florida Successor Trustee Duties

Note: Trust administration requires strict compliance with the trust terms and often analysis of complex tax requirements. A trustee is a fiduciary and is held to a high standard of care under Florida law. If you are a successor trustee, we can help. It is important that you follow the advice of an experienced Trust Administration Attorney to avoid or reduce estate taxes or income taxes and to protect yourself against personal liability. Not only are the expenses of an attorney and CPA typically considered routine trust expenses, but failure to utilize such services can expose the trustee to personal liability.

  1. Show Loyalty To All Trust Beneficiaries. Even if the successor trustee is himself a beneficiary, as trustee he has the duty of loyalty to all the other beneficiaries, including the remaindermen. Remaindermen are beneficiaries who do not have a current interest in the trust income or principal, but have a future interest in the trust.

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.,  Weston Asset Protection Attorney

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande is a current, hot selling book written by a physician and advising how to get things right by implementing commonsense systems.

In today’s modern medicine, coupled with our information age, where virtually every procedure can be scrutinized by an “expert” easily found on Google, it should be standard procedure for every doctor to have a comprehensive asset protection plan –  one that is up-to-date to  meet the challenges of our fast-changing legal system.

By: Jacqueline R. Bowden and Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Estate Planning Attorneys

A power of attorney is a legal instrument you may give to a trusted family member or friend  (commonly called your attorney-in-fact or agent) to manage your financial affairs and act on your behalf. The person creating the document is referred to as the principal. A Durable Power of Attorney (DPA) differs as it remains effective after the principal becomes incapacitated. In order for a DPA to remain effective it must include language stating that subsequent incapacity will not affect the powers of your agent.

Note:  Florida’s Durable Power of Attorney law was completely rewritten effective October 1, 2011.   See New Florida Durable Power of Attorney Law Makes Sweeping Changes.  If you have a DPA dated prior to October, 2011, we strongly recommend that you update your DPA.

Last year I reminded you of a corporate scam called Compliance Services.  This year I need to advise you that this company is still in business – and now there another highly questionable company to be on the alert.

First, if your client gets a letter that looks like an “official” letter from the state of Florida, or an email from a company called Compliance Services  (not to be confused with the Florida corporation, Compliance Services, Inc.) asking for a fee of $125 for corporate minutes  BEWARE.  Minutes are not required to be posted with the  Florida Secretary of State.  Rather, they should be prepared and filed in your client’s corporate book. This company is trying to masquerade as a Florida government agency and scam your client out of $125.  These messages should not be confused with notices from the Florida State Division of Corporations remindng each business entity to file its 2012 Annual Report.  Such messages were sent out via email by the Florida Division of Corporations in early January.

Second, while not a scam, there is a web site that can easily confuse your client and trick them into paying extra money for filing their annual report.   The “trick” site is sunbiz.com; the official web site for the state of Florida is www.sunbiz.org.  Avoid sunbiz.com.

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