Monday, August 18, 2014

Eight Common Estate Planing Objectives Of Married Couples

Lewis Saret ( has published an article entitled Eight Common Estate Planning Objectives Of Married Couples” (May 13, 2014). Provided below is a summary of the article from


Eight Common Estate Planing Objectives Of Married Couples

If you asked 10 different couples what their estate planning objectives are, you would probably receive 10 different answers.

Upon deeper probing, you would discover that most married couples share the same basic estate planning objectives.

Knowing these objectives help both the couple and their estate planner determine what might be the best way to structure their estate plan. 

The most important estate planning objective for most married couples is to ensure that their loved ones are provided for if one or both spouses become incapacitated or pass away.

To accomplish a couple's estate planning objectives in a cost-effective manner inherently requires that future expenses be taken into consideration as well as the cost and time spent implementing the estate plan.

To read the 8 Common Estate Planning Objectives go to "Eight Common Estate Planning Objectives Of Married Couples" By Lewis Saret (  


Monday, October 14, 2013

It’s Estate Planning Week (October 15 – 21st 2013)!

October 15, 2013 marks the start of National Estate Planning Awareness week for the year 2013. This is a great time to get educated on Estate Planning and update any legal documents, such as your will, if you have not done so in the last two years. A few things to consider are the new laws on estate taxes, beneficiary designation forms, Power of Attorney agreements, and trust creation.

Attorney Karnardo Garnett of the LegalJourney Law Firm in Tampa, FL will be participating in the National Estate Planning Week by offering seminars and attending expos discussing the importance of planning.

Attorney Garnett will be hosting and/or participating in the following events during the Estate Planning Awareness Week this October:

  • 10/18 – Preneed Planning
    • Where: 2901 W. Swann Tampa, FL
    • Time: 12:00 PM
  • 10/19 – Estate Planning 101
    • Where: Online Register Today!
    • Time: 9:00 AM
      • Topics of discussion include:
      • Estate Planning Terminology;
      • What happens when you die in Florida with/without an estate plan;
      • Common mistakes made; and
      • Five documents that everyone should have

Stay tuned for daily offers during Estate Planning Week via the LegalJourney Blog!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Free Online Seminar: Estate Planning 101

Estate Planning 101 will cover the basics of Estate Planning in Florida, including but not limited to:

•    Estate planning terminology;

•    What happens when you die in Florida with/without an estate plan; 

•    Common mistakes made; and

•    The five documents that everyone should have.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Will or Won’t? Things a Will Won’t (or Can’t) Do

Wills offer many benefits and are an important part of any estate plan, regardless of how much property you have. Your will can ensure that after death your property will be given to the loved ones you designate. If you have children, a will is necessary to designate a guardian for them. Without a will, the courts and probate laws will decide who inherits your property and who cares for your children. But there are certain things a will cannot accomplish.

A will has no effect on the distribution of certain types of property after your death. For example, if you own property in joint tenancy with another co-owner, your share of that property will automatically belong to the surviving joint tenant. Any contrary will provision would only be effective if all joint tenants died at the same time.

If you have named a beneficiary on your life insurance policy, those proceeds will not be subject to the terms of a will and will pass directly to your named beneficiary. Similarly, if you have named a beneficiary on your retirement accounts, including pension plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plans, the money will be distributed directly to that named beneficiary when you pass on, regardless of any will provisions.

Brokerage accounts, including stocks and bonds, in which you have named a transfer-on-death (TOD) beneficiary will be transferred directly to the named beneficiary. Vehicles may also be titled with a TOD beneficiary, and would therefore transfer to your beneficiary, regardless of any provisions contained in your will. Similar to TODs, bank accounts may have a pay-on-death beneficiary named.

The will’s shortcomings are not limited to matters of inheritance. Generally, wills are not as well suited as trusts for putting conditions on a gift such as requiring someone to get married or divorced, or obtain a certain education level, as a prerequisite to inheriting a portion of your estate. A simple will cannot reduce estate taxes the way some kinds of trust plans can.

A trust, not a will, is also necessary to arrange for care for a beneficiary who has special needs. A will cannot provide for long-term care arrangements for a loved one. However, a special needs trust can provide financial support for a disabled beneficiary, without risking government disability benefits.

If you want to leave your estate to Fido, you’re out of luck in many states. Without a special pet trust, your will may not be able to provide for pets to inherit your assets. You can use your will to leave your pet to someone, and then leave money to that person in trust to help take care of your pet.

A will cannot help you avoid probate. Assets left through a will generally must be transferred through a court-supervised probate proceeding, which can take months, or longer, at significant expense to your estate. If it’s probate you want to avoid, consider establishing a living trust to hold your significant assets.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 2: Save $300 on a customized Will Based Estate Plan


Day 2: Save $300 on a Will Based Estate Plan1

The LegalJourney Law Firm is providing $300 off a customized “Will Based Estate Plan” for anyone who contacts the firm prior to close of business on January 11, 2013 and schedules an appointment for a consultation.

The LegalJourney Law Firm’s Will based Estate Plan includes: a Will, a Living Will, a Health Care Surrogate, HIPPA Authorization, a Declaration of Preneed Guardian and a Durable Power of Attorney.

To find out additional details, please contact the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC.

1This offer is available until close of business January 11th, 2013.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Preparing to Meet With an Estate Planning Attorney

A thorough and complete estate plan must take into account a significant amount of information about your assets, your family, your property, and your wishes during and after your life.  When you make your first appointment with an estate planning attorney, ask the attorney or the paralegal if they can provide a written list of important information and documents that you should bring to the meeting.  

Generally speaking, you should gather the following information before your first appointment with your estate planning lawyer.

Family Information
List the names, birth dates, death dates, and ages of all immediate family members, specifically current and former spouses, all children and stepchildren, and all grandchildren.

If you have any young or adult children with special needs, gather all information you have about their lifetime financial needs.

Property Information
For all real property you own or can reasonably expect to acquire, gather the property description, your ownership interest information, the address, market value, any outstanding mortgage balance, and the most recent tax assessment.

For any personal property of value (such as vehicles, jewelry, coins, antiques, stamps, and art), compile a list that includes a description, the physical location of each item, your ownership interest information, the market value, and any liens against the property.

Business Information
If you have an ownership interest in a business, make sure you have documents showing your ownership interest in the business, the business location, the names and contact information of other owners, and 2-3 years of past profit and loss statements.

Financial Information
Compile a list of all your financial accounts, including: checking accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, stocks and bonds, and U.S. Treasury notes.  If any of these accounts currently have designated beneficiaries, bring that information as well.

Gather all retirement savings information, including 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, IRAs, life insurance policies, Social Security statements, and pension information.  Make sure you have the account names, account numbers, current balances, outstanding loan balances, and currently named beneficiaries.

If any family members owe you debts, compile that information.

Questions to Think About
The following are some of the first questions your estate planning attorney will ask.  You are not required to have answers ready for all these questions, but because some of them are complex, it is a good idea to think through these issues before your appointment.

  • Who will be beneficiaries of your property?
  • Do you want to bequeath any specific items of property to specific individuals?
  • Is there anyone you do not want to be a beneficiary of any of your property?
  • Do you plan to make any bequests to any nonprofit organizations – university, church, charity, or other organization?
  • Do you know who you want to act as executor of your will?
  • Do you know who you want to act as trustee of any trusts you establish?
  • If you have minor children, who do you want to appoint as guardian?
  • Do you want to make arrangements for your health and financial well-being in the event you become unable to make decisions for yourself?
  • Do you have specific wishes for your funeral?
  • Are you a registered organ donor?

During your initial consultation, your estate planning attorney will review your family and financial situation, discuss your wishes, answer your questions and suggest strategies to protect your family, wealth and legacy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 6: Save $300 on a Trust based Estate Plan

Day 6: Save $300 on a Trust based Estate Plan1

The LegalJourney Law Firm is providing $300 off a “Trust based Estate Plan” for anyone who contacts the firm prior to close of business on January 12, 2012.

The LegalJourney Law Firm’s Trust based Estate Plan includes: a Revocable Trust, a Will, a Living Will, a Health Care Surrogate, HIPPA Authorization and a Durable Power of Attorney.

To find out additional details, please contact the LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC.

1This offer is available until close of business January 12th, 2012.



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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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