LegalJourney Blog

Monday, October 3, 2016

When Dividing Assets, the Little Things Matter


Paul Sullivan (The New York Times) published an article entitled, "When Dividing Assets, the Little Things Matter" (April 15, 2016). Provided below is a brief summary to the article from The New York Times:

 

 When Dividing Assets, the Little Things Matter

People often spend a lot of time crafting estate plans that lay out how their big assets - from cash to homes and securities - will be divided among their children, grandchildren and everyone else down the line.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Why You Need to Fund a Trust


How do I transfer assets into my revocable living trust?

There are a variety of estate planning tools than can ensure your loved ones are protected. While creating a will serves a variety of purposes, it must be probated which can be a time consuming and costly process. For this reason, establishing a revocable living trust is another option. This estate planning tool takes ownership to your property, but allows you (as the trustee) to continue managing your assets during your lifetime.

In addition, a well designed trust allows your property to be distributed to the beneficiaries without going through probate, and also allows you to name someone to manage the assets in the event you become incapacitated.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Without an Estate Plan, You and Your Heirs Could Have Big Problems


How important is an estate plan?

It can be easy to put off something like estate planning.  After all, few among us wish to consider the eventuality of our own deaths.  However, if tragedy strikes and you are not prepared, it is your heirs that may suffer. More than half of all Americans today do not have even a will in place.  Without a will, a state court will be forced to make decisions concerning who gets your assets and, if you have minor children, who will care for them.


Read more . . .


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Estate Planning for Millennials


Am I too young to need an estate plan?

Many young adults assume they are too young to need an estate plan.  After all, young adults may still be enrolled in college or just embarking on their career path.  They may have few, if any, significant assets.  Even still, there are certain


Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Estate Planning for Seniors in Second (or Third) Committed Relationships

What questions should you and your partner ask as you plan your estate(s)?

Because it is now so common to be involved in a second, or even third, intimate relationship later in life, it is important for those involved to consult with a reliable estate planning attorney to straighten out their financial plans for the future. Though most of us don't like to think about it, let alone plan for it, we are all going to die, many of us after a prolonged illness. This means that, as responsible adults, we should all make preparations for elder care of ourselves and our spouses or significant others and for the distribution of our assets after we pass away. These processes become more difficult when we are married to, or involved with, a person who is not the parent of our children and who may also have children of his or her own. Unions that are consummated later in life have a different set of complications than the ones of typical newlyweds.



Read more . . .


Friday, August 5, 2016

State Requirements For Executing Your Will


Each state has its own particular requirements for the creation of a valid will.  Generally, the person executing the will, or the testator, must be eighteen, and of “sound mind” at the moment he or she signs the document.  The will must be in writing and witnessed as well, in addition to other requirements that are mandated by your state.  A will can be declared void unless it abides by the stringent requirements of your state.  Your attorney can also educate you on the tax implications relating to the dissemination of your property.


Read more . . .


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Evaluating Alternative Retirement Withdrawal Strategies


What are the best strategies to use for withdrawing money from retirement accounts?

In the present economic environment it is not uncommon for an employee to lose a job at age 55 or older or to be forced into early retirement. According to AARP, the most recent unemployment rate for workers 55 and older is approximately 4.7 percent. Even though this is somewhat lower than the unemployment rate for the general population (which is nearly 5 percent), the average length of unemployment for older workers is a bit over 51 weeks, about one-and-a-half times longer than for people under 55.

For those unemployed or starting early retirement, the question becomes: What is the best method to withdraw funds in order to fill in the gap left by loss of salary? On the plus side, many employees have substantial savings in their 401(k) plans or IRAs on which they may draw.


Read more . . .


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Estate Planning & The Critical Documents You Need

The 2015 Florida Health Care Surrogate Act allows you to choose someone to act for you in the future.  The individual designated under this act is called the “Durable Health Care Surrogate” (DHCS).  In the proper legal document, you may permit this person to act on your behalf even if you are not or do not become completely debilitated.  

A DHCS may be attractive to you because the surrogate would be able to act instantaneously, rather than having to wait for your “incapacity,” the triggering event, to be absolutely certain.


Read more . . .


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Providing for Special Needs Children in Your Estate Plan


How should I protect my special needs child in my estate plan?

Sadly, there will always be some children with special needs, whether they are born with congenital defects or develop disabilities through accident or disease. The astonishing increase in the number of cases of autism, the  Zika virus, with its potential for the catastrophic congenital defect of microcephaly, and the discovery of lead in the water of Flint, Michigan have combined to make the general population particularly uneasy about the possibility that one day some member of their own family will have special needs. While distressing to consider, it is a reality for a growing percentage of families. Families of moderate means, as well as those who have substantial estates, should consult with


Read more . . .


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Florida Becomes First State to Require That Insurance Companies Make Sure Policy Beneficiaries Get Paid


What happens to death benefits if a policyholder's survivors fail to contact an insurer?

When a loved one dies, family members are often left with the unhappy task of tracking down bank accounts, insurance policies and other assets. Unless the deceased was extremely well-organized, this can be a chore. Beneficiaries often fail to locate all the wealth to which they are entitled and receive little help from insurance companies. Some insurers have a history of failing to notify beneficiaries of the existence of policies, even when they are aware that the policyholder has died.

Florida First in the Nation to Require Insurers to Notify Beneficiaries

A new Florida law will change that.
Read more . . .


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Attorney Karnardo Garnett represents clients with their Estate Planning, Elder Law and Asset Protection needs throughout the Tampa Bay Area, serving all of the bay area, including but not limited to Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Gibsonton, Riverview, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Hillsborough County, and Pinellas County, FL



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