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Estate & Personal Planning

Compensation & Fees for Personal Representatives, Trustees, and Attorneys in Florida Estates and Trusts

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September 15th, 2021

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning,IRS & Tax Information

Under Florida law, the personal representative of an estate (sometimes also called an executor) and the trustee of a trust are entitled to compensation, as are the attorneys who represent the personal representative and trustee.

Compensation of Personal Representative The personal representative is entitled to a commission from the estate assets, which can be calculated using a percentage of the inventory value of the probate estate assets and the income earned during administration. For a formal probate administration, the following table sets forth what amount is deemed to be reasonable compensation:


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Guardianship for Your Minor Children can be Avoided

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May 21st, 2021

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Florida law requires the establishment of a guardianship for the person or property of a minor under certain circumstances. 

Person: A guardian of the person of the minor may be required when the minor’s natural guardians are unavailable or unable to serve as the custodian of the child (i.e., due to death, disability, or incarceration, etc.) and no appropriate alternative exists.


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Top Six Questions on Last Will & Testaments

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March 19th, 2021

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

What is a Will?

A Last Will and Testament (often just called a “will”) is a written direction controlling the disposition of property at death. The laws of each state set the formal requirements for a legal will. In Florida:

  • The maker of the will (called the testator) must be at least 18 years old.
  • The testator must be of sound mind at the time the will is signed.
  • The will must be written.
  • The will must be witnessed and notarized in the special manner provided by law.
  • It is necessary to follow exactly the formalities required for the execution of a will.
  • To be effective, the will must be proved in and allowed by the probate court.

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Major Highlights of the New “Secure Act” Signed into Law

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January 17th, 2020

Posted in Asset Protection,Estate & Personal Planning,IRS & Tax Information

The SECURE Act, or the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act”, was recently signed into law on December 20, 2019 without much notice.  It took effect on January 1, 2020 and significantly changed the landscape of retirement planning.  Here are some of the major changes created by the new law:


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Florida Leads the Way Revolutionizing Estate Planning by Allowing Electronic Wills

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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

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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

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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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