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Estate & Personal Planning

Florida Leads the Way Revolutionizing Estate Planning by Allowing Electronic Wills

September 20th, 2019

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Florida is leading the way in estate planning as a new bill is revolutionizing the way Floridians execute their last will and testaments. The Florida Legislature passed House Bill 409, which allows for electronic wills and electronic signatures starting January 1, 2020. Like a traditional will, an electronic will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses.  An electronic signature is defined as “an electronic mark visibly manifested in a record as a signature and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”


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How to Transfer Title after a Car Owner Dies

August 12th, 2019

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Transferring the title of a decedent’s vehicle is relatively easy in Florida, courtesy of Florida Statute 319.28.  The initial step in transferring a vehicle title is assessing the ownership.  If the vehicle is owned jointly, then it automatically passes to the co-owner by operation of law at death.

For example, a vehicle titled John Smith and Mary Smith automatically passes to Mary Smith upon John Smith’s passing and vice versa.  Contact the DMV to update the title along with a death certificate.  Form 82152 can be used by surviving spouses.  The DMV’s website is here:  FL DMV


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Helping Your Millennial Children Plan for the Future

April 29th, 2019

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Baby Boomers who have worked hard to manage their finances have children who are of the age to either carry on their financial success and hard work or lose it all. The best gift a parent can give to themselves and their child is to help their children organize and manage their affairs.


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7 Things Accomplished by Having a Will

March 19th, 2019

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Let’s start off with what happens if you do not have a Will. If you die without a will (this is called dying “intestate”), your property will be distributed to your heirs according to a formula fixed by law.


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3 Estate Planning Tips for 2019

February 1st, 2019

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning,IRS & Tax Information

It is recommended to periodically review your estate plan to determine if there are new planning opportunities of which you can take advantage.  Below are three tips as you move through 2019:


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5 Reasons to Stop Avoiding Estate Planning

November 30th, 2018

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

With the new year around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you have been avoiding and go ahead and tackle it. Estate planning is typically one of those things we avoid because it is uncomfortable. Experience practicing in estate planning tells me that there are very few things in life that are certain, but we all know that one day our passing is one of those things.  So, what better time to begin your estate planning, than at a point where the possibility seems distant.

Here are just 5 reasons to stop putting it off:


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What is Probate?

May 11th, 2018

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Many people have either a fear of probate or confusion about it.  However, probate generally does not deserve the bad feelings its name evokes.  On one hand, sometimes the probate process is beneficial, whereas on the other hand, sometimes it may be more efficient and cost-effective to create a plan to avoid probate.
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Impact of Tax Reform on Estate Planning

March 19th, 2018

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning,IRS & Tax Information

How did tax reform affect estate planning? The tax reform signed into law on December 22, 2017 increased the estate tax exclusion from $5.49 million[1] to slightly over $11 million.[2]  Estate tax is a tax on property transferred upon your death, but only estates valued in excess of the exclusion may owe tax.  In general, assets of a decedent in addition to any lifetime gifts that exceed the annual gift tax exclusion[3] on which gift tax has not been paid, are included in the calculation. For married couples, each spouse could have an exclusion[4]. Most individuals and couples do not have assets exceeding $11 million and $22 million, respectively, so the group to which estate tax is relevant has drastically reduced.
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