Estate Closing Letters Must Now Be Requested From The IRS

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A change in procedures by the Internal Revenue Service could cause delays for beneficiaries of estate assets in Florida. Previously, the IRS would automatically send a closing letter to an estate executor after they had filed Form 706. Once the closing letter was received, the estate executor could begin dispersing the remainder of the estate’s […]

Floridians Advised To Plan Estates Cautiously

Florida Plan Estates

According to one financial expert, the estate plans of business owners should have three distinct objectives. These include succession plans that let businesses transfer to new owners and help their original owners retain control via stock. Estate master plans should also incorporate retirement arrangements that let people and their spouses keep up their preferred lifestyles […]

Gifting Considerations

Gifting Considerations

Gifting to your adult children a portion of their inheritances while you are still alive is a topic of discussion that is not always as simple or clear-cut as it may seem on the surface.  Some reasons you might consider doing this may be if you have more in your savings than you thought you […]

All Shook Up: Lisa Marie Presley’s Trust

Lisa Marie Presley’s Trust

In January 2023, Elvis Presley’s only daughter, Lisa Marie, died.  Multiple online news sources subsequently reported that Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley, filed documents in a California court alleging that Lisa Marie’s 2016 Trust Amendment is invalid.  More specifically, online news sources reported that the trust amendment contains a misspelling of Priscilla’s name, there was […]

No Contest Clauses are Unenforceable in Florida

No Contest Clauses

Sometimes testators include no contest clauses in their estate planning documents, thinking that these will help ensure their wishes will be honored after their death.  No contest clauses, or “in terrorem clauses”, basically serve as a deterrent to a beneficiary of a will or trust, who might otherwise seek to challenge the terms of the […]

Estate tax and related planning

Estate and Tax Planning

The estate tax affects only certain estates: in 2023 it applies to estates exceeding a taxable value of $12.92 million, which is taxed at a rate of 40%. While this does not give cause for concern to many, these figures can and do change. Estate tax is often debated in politics and it frequently changes.  […]

Does a person’s debt go away when they die?

Debt after Death

The short answer: No, the debt does not simply go away when someone dies owing a debt. Generally speaking, a decedent’s estate is responsible for paying any unpaid debts, and no one else is required to pay those debts. When a decedent dies, their assets pass to their estate, and if there is no money […]

Morrow v. Morrow, 354 So. 2d 642 (Fla. 3d DCA Feb. 8, 2023)

Morrow v. Morrow

The recent Third District Court of Appeal reviewed the requirements for a valid will under Fla. Stat. 732.502 and found the handwritten will which was at issue, in this case, to be valid. In this case, both on a confession of error and based on the court’s independent review, the appellate court found that the […]

Estate of McKenzie v. Hi Rise Crane, Inc.

326 So. 3d 1161 (Fla. 2d DCA 2021) This case is one which demonstrates the application of the “relation back” doctrine, which may arise in cases when a personal representative for an estate is not appointed promptly.  In this First District Court of Appeal opinion from 2021, the court analyzed the “relation back doctrine” of […]

Probate as relates to IRAs and Life Insurance

Generally speaking, the probate process in Florida begins with filing a petition for administration in the circuit court, in the county where the decedent resided at the time of their death.  From there, the next step is for the court to appoint a personal representative to administer the decedent’s estate, by issuing a court order which […]