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Articles Tagged with miami will attorney

by: Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed the world as we know it and presented daunting challenges we have not encountered in our life time. It requires a total review of your estate plan and business entities to assure you are taking full advantage of Florida laws designed to protect your family and business.

The hard new reality: What plan was best for you prior to 2020 may not be what is best for you today

By Phil Rarick,  Esq., and Jacqueline Bowden Gold, Esq., Miami Asset Protection Attorneys

The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed the world as we know it and presented daunting challenges we have not encountered in our life-times. It requires a total review of your estate plan and business entities by an experienced Miami asset protection attorney to assure you are taking full advantage of Florida laws designed to protect your family and business.

Take this three minute survey for a quick assessment. Your family will thank you!

By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Probate Attorney

You are named the personal representative (or executor in other states) and a loved one or family member has just died.   No doubt these are difficult times, but thankfully there are many resources for help.  The following is a checklist of initial important tasks to help guide you after the funeral or memorial service.

Note:   You are not required to accept the Personal Representative duties.  Before you can legally act on behalf of the estate you will likely need to secure Letters of Administration issued by a Florida probate court that officially designate you as the legal authority in charge of the estate.    Therefore, you should not take action as Personal Representative before you know your duties and what potential claims you may face from estate beneficiaries and creditors.  Consult a Miami probate attorney and see our 10 Basic Legal Rights for Beneficiaries Under a Florida Will.

If you are a beneficiary or interested person of a Florida Will, you have numerous legal rights protected by Florida law.  These laws are designed to keep you informed about the probate administration and make sure the decedent’s wishes as described in the Will are fulfilled.

The person in charge of making sure the property distributions in the Will are satisfied according to the instructions of the decedent is called a “Personal Representative” (referred to in other states as an “Executor”). The Personal Representative (or “PR”) has numerous fiduciary duties that run like a laser beam to the beneficiary.  Here are some of the most important:

  1. You have a right to secure a true copy of the Will.   The original will must be deposited with the court within 10 days of notice of death by whomever has custody of it.  F.S. 732.901

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:

One of the most important decisions a baseball manager must make is his batting order – it can mean the difference between a win or loss.  (We will not digress to the Marlin’s management decisions – although this is tempting.)

One of the most important decisions you can make for your estate plan is your batting order of successor trustees:  who do you want to step up to the plate for you if you cannot?  It is important to place in position those persons in whom you have complete trust.   Your successor trustee is charged with managing your financial affairs.   This person is a fiduciary, and therefore under the law has a high fiduciary duty to follow your trust instructions exactly, pay all taxes on time,  keep a good accounting of all monies coming in and going out – these are just a few of the many tasks.  For a good summary of successor Trustee duties see our report: 12 Point Summary of Florida Successor Trustee Duties.

Many persons prefer to name a family member as a successor trustee – such as an older child.   However, this position can sometimes cause conflict and disharmony in the family – especially when the older child must make discretionary decisions about distributions of trust funds to the other children.

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: Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Probate Attorney

Executive Summary

Failure to obtain court approval under Florida guardianship law of a pre-suit structured settlement exceeding $15,000 on behalf of a Florida minor child could result in the settlement being disaffirmed by the minor on reaching majority or within a reasonable time thereafter. See F.S. 744.387(3)(a)

By Phillip B. Rarick Esq., Miami Probate Attorney

The following documents are usually needed to open a testate Florida ancillary probate:

Court-authenticated copy of:

By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Probate Attorney

Executive Summary:

The following is a memorandum our firm gives to the person named as Personal Representative (in other states this role is referred to as the “Executor”) in the decedent’s will, or who is entitled to be Personal Representative  under Florida law.   This memo summarizes:

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