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Posts by Jeffrey Kempf, Esq.

Can a Step-Brother that is a Nonresident of Florida Act as Personal Representative?

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May 23rd, 2022

Posted in Probate & Guardianship,Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

Florida law provides restrictions on who can serve as personal representative (i.e. executor of an estate) when that person is not domiciled in or resident of Florida. A common question we receive when drafting a will for a client is whether the client’s step-sibling (or other step-relative) can serve as personal representative even though the step-sibling (or other step-relative) is not a resident of Florida.


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Who Gets My Property If I Don’t Have a Will?

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March 14th, 2022

Posted in Probate & Guardianship,Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

Many people believe that if they die without a will, the state (or government) gets their property.  While this is possible, it is very unlikely to occur.  So, what happens to your property if you die without a will?

When a person dies without a will, they die intestate (whereas dying with a will is called testate).  The Florida Statutes, under Part I of Chapter 732, titled Intestate Succession, presents a hierarchy of classes of people who are to inherit your “intestate estate” if you do not have a will.  That hierarchy is as follows:


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Maybe You do Need a Trust – Here’s Why

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December 1st, 2021

Posted in Asset Protection,Business & Corporate Law,Probate & Guardianship,Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

People need an estate plan if they want to ensure that their intentions will be honored after death with respect to the distribution of their assets. If you have an estate plan in place, does it also include a trust (sometimes called a living trust or a revocable trust)? If your current estate plan only consists of a last will and testament, you may want to consider also creating a trust.


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

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September 15th, 2021

Posted in Asset Protection,Probate & Guardianship,Tax Law & IRS Defense,Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

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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Relocating a LLC or Corporation from Another State to Florida

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July 14th, 2021

Posted in Business & Corporate Law

If you are looking to relocate your business to Florida, we suggest using a statutory conversion if this option is available. A statutory conversion transforms your state’s LLC or Corporation into a Florida LLC or Corporation, and the EIN, property deeds, and management structure generally remain the same. The conversion process is much simpler than forming a new entity and winding down the old entity. For this to be possible, both states must have laws permitting this type of conversion. For the conversion to occur, you file Articles of Conversion along with either Articles of Organization (for an LLC) or Articles of Incorporation (for a Corporation) with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations (commonly referred to as Sunbiz). Additionally, Florida law requires that a Plan of Conversion be drafted and approved for proper corporate governance. Once the Articles of Conversion are accepted, you may need to dissolve your business entity in the previous state.


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Guardianship for Your Minor Children can be Avoided

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May 21st, 2021

Posted in Asset Protection,Probate & Guardianship,Wills, Trusts & Estate 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 Asset Protection,Probate & Guardianship,Wills, Trusts & Estate 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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