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February 2016 Archives

Why You Should Talk to Your Aging Parents Now About Estate Planning

With advances in medicine and healthier lifestyles many individuals today are living longer and longer. Many of us have aging parents who are lively and independent, however, one day it will be our responsibility to take care of them. Unfortunately the law does not provide children with automatic access and control of their parent's accounts, funds and assets. For instance, when the day comes for you to sell your parent's home you may find out that you simply do not have the legal authority to do so. In such circumstances your only choice may be to institute guardianship proceedings in court to gain full legal control and responsibility of your parents and their financial affairs. Guardianship can be an expensive and time consuming process which can be avoided in most circumstances with just the most basic of estate plans. As part of your parents' estate planning, consider a simple durable power of attorney, which can be drafted to allow you to manage your parent's finances and pay their bills without court intervention.

FIRPTA Withholding

The Foreign Investment Real Property Tax Act ("FIRPTA") is a federal law which requires the buyer of U.S. real estate to withhold a percentage of the gross sales price to secure payment of U.S. income taxes when the Seller is a non-resident foreigner.

How To Avoid the Slow and Costly Probate Process In Florida.

Many of my estate planning clients are surprised to find out that a properly executed Will does not avoid probate. In fact signing a Will gives your entire estate a first class ticket to the slow and costly probate court after you die. If you pass without a Will the situation is even worse because the estate will have to be administered in probate court as an intestate estate which will only further complicate matters. In Florida the probate process can cost thousands of dollars in legal fees and in some cases may take years to complete, meanwhile your family may not have access to your assets until the probate is complete.

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