Articles Tagged with miami will attorney

By Phillip B. Rarick, Miami Probate Attorney 

Note:   This is a short list of  initial tasks for a person who may be appointed the Personal Representative (or Executor) of an estate under a Florida will, or if there is no will, in an intestate estate.  This is not a complete list of the Personal Representative’s tasks.     For questions call an attorney at Rarick & Bowden Gold, P.A. at  (305) 556-5209 or email to


By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.,  Miami Trust Attorney

A common question we receive for persons who have prepared revocable living trusts is what do I do about title or registration for my cars.  Unless your car is a Maserati or you have a collection of valuable old cars, here are three rules to follow if you live in Florida:

1.       Do not title or register the car in your trust.  A car is more likely to be a “lawsuit on wheels” than a valuable asset.  There is no advantage to putting your car in the trust as cars do not need to be probated in Florida unless you have more than two cars in your name.  If you have a collection of cars, then contact our office for further advice. 

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq., Miami Trust Attorney


Parents of children with autism have many daunting tasks.  One task that is often put off until it is too late is making sure you have a back-up plan if you can no longer care for your child.  You are the primary care giver for your child.  If you become disabled or die, do you have a plan?  Do you have instructions to care for your child?  Have you designated persons whom you trust and who could care for your child if you cannot not provide such care?

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq., Miami Probate Attorney

A family member has died, and you are the Personal Representative or Executor named in their will. Your job is to find a probate attorney.    You probably have three objectives: you want an attorney who will handle the legal tasks (1) efficiently; (2) as quickly as possible, and  (3) in the least expensive way.

Efficiently and As Quickly As Possible

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq., Miami Trust Attorney

Define Your Objectives – and Ask The Right Questions

Many persons seeking to retain an attorney for preparing a living trust often ask the wrong question, which is simply this: What is the cost for a living trust?   This is usually mistake number one.   Of course you want to minimize costs.  But paying even $10 for a legal instrument that does not accomplish your objectives is worthless.   The place to start is to identify your objectives, and then find the legal plan that will accomplish these objectives at the least cost.

By Miami Probate Attorney Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.

Florida’s elective share statute allows attorneys to draft standby Florida elective share trusts.  (For a summary of Florida’s elective share see our post: Florida’s Sweeping Elective Share.)  As of  April 23, 2002, trusts that create property  interests contingent upon an election being  made are now qualified to fund the spouse’s elective share interests. The requirements for such a trust are set forth at F.S. §732.2025(2) and include: (1) surviving spouse must be entitled to use of the property for life or  have all of the income payable as least annually; (2) the surviving spouse has the right to make the trust productive of income or convert it within a reasonable time; and no person other than the spouse has the power to distribute income or principal to anyone other than the spouse.

Rarick, Beskin & Garcia Vega has been trusted by numerous law firms and many families during the past 18 years for probate,  estate planning, trust and asset protection cases.  To schedule an appointment, call (305) 556-5209 or email

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.

The time from to open and close a Florida probate estate depends on the type of administration – and of course upon the attorney.     If the attorney is not experienced in Florida probate or does not concentrate in this field, expect the probate to take much longer and cost more.

A.           Summary Administration: The Fast Track

The fastest Florida probate procedure is Summary Administration, but it may only be used if  (a) the value of the decedent’s entire estate subject to administration in this state, exclusive of exempt property, does not exceed $75,000; or (b) the decedent has been dead for more than two years, regardless of the size of the estate. F.S. 735.201(2).    For more information about Summary Administration, see our Florida Probate Quick Reference Guide

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq., Miami Probate Attorney

I.       Executive Summary

Attorney’s fees and personal representative’s (“PR”) fees make up most of the costs for Florida Probate.   The biggest cost are usually attorney fees.  Florida probate attorney fees depend on whether the proceeding is Summary Administration – usually the quickest and least expensive – or  Formal Administration.   Many factors will enter into the fees, including whether the probate is contested, is subject to estate and other taxes,  involves the sale of real estate, and requires advice regarding homestead.  The second biggest cost are usually PR fees.  However, since PR fees have a similar presumptive statutory schedule as attorney fees, they can equal or exceed attorney’s fees.

Answer by Miami Trust Attorney Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.

Below is a summary of the basic obligations of a successor trustee of a trust.

Note: Trust administration requires strict compliance with the trust terms and often analysis of complex tax requirements. 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.

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