The Florida Estate & Tax Blog is published by Andrew Berger and Julie Garber, two Becker & Poliakoff attorneys. Andrew and Julie have focused both of their practices on different aspects of estate and tax law, and together they form a wonderful duo. The blog covers a range of topics concerning Florida residents, including estate planning, wills and trusts, probates, gift taxes, and estate taxes.
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Florida Resident Legally Adopts His Girlfriend, Making Her a Beneficiary of a Trust for His Children
In October 2011, John Goodman, age 48, a wealthy businessman from West Palm Beach, legally adopted his girlfriend of two years, Heather Laruso Hutchins, age 42, thereby making her the third beneficiary of a trust that he established in 1991 for the benefit of his children. Goodman is facing both...
As you can imagine, a large part of my practice as a Florida estate planning attorney is devoted to working with new retirees who have decided to give up their residency up north and become permanent residents of Florida. Aside from helping them overcome the hurdles created by their former...
On January 17, 2010, President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act (TRUIRJCA for short) into law. What does this federal law have to do with Florida estate taxes? Everything - you see, without the enactment of TRUIRJCA, Florida's...
Florida residents, snowbirds who have not made Florida their permanent residence, and anyone else who owns assets located in Florida need to be aware that the new Florida Power of Attorney Act goes into effect on October 1, 2011. This new act completely...
On October 1, 2011, a new Florida probate law will go into effect that will drastically change what happens to the estate of a married Florida resident (or someone who owns real estate in Florida) who dies without a will, which is referred to as dying "intestate." But...
Back in June 2010 the Florida Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Olmstead vs. Federal Trade Commission case, thereby throwing the asset protection benefits of Florida LLCs into question (for more on this, see Florida Single Member LLCs - Buyer Beware). It didn't take long after the...
Last week Andrew Berger and I presented a live webinar titled "New Estate Tax Laws - What You Need to Know Now." Here are the five key points that we wanted attendees to take away from the presentation: 1. How the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001...
This is a common belief of Florida residents - that if they're married, then even without making a will their spouse will inherit all of their property. The answer is maybe yes and maybe no - it all depends on how your property is titled at the time of your death and whether or not...
Recently I was interviewed for an article for Vanguard.com about why it's so important for single people to make an estate plan. Because the legal definition of single simply means "not legally married," if you're single but have children and/or are in a committed relationship,...
If you live in Florida and you don't have an estate plan, then the laws of our fine state will make an estate plan for you. Great, right? Absolutely not. Why? Because Florida laws governing guardianship and probate, like the laws of most states, are antiquated since they're...