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Failure to Follow Signing Formalities Can Sink an Estate Plan

Published: June 6th, 2017

By: Brad Gould

Wills and trusts must be executed with certain formalities. If those formalities are not strictly complied with by the parties, the documents may be disregarded. In the case of Kelly vs. Lindenau, a grantor’s failure to have two witnesses sign a trust amendment resulted in the invalidity of the trust amendment. The grantor, Ralph Falkenthal, […]

The Pros & Cons of ESOPs – Is This Succession Planning Tool for You?

Published: October 26th, 2016

By: Joseph “Jay” Van Heyde II

Many business owners who are at or nearing retirement age are facing the difficult task of developing a business succession plan in order to reap the benefits of years spent developing a successful business. Often times, there is no “next generation” to inherit or carry on the family business or no team of key management […]

IRS Attack on Valuation Discounts Creates Urgency for Transfer Tax Planning Prior to Year-End

Trust and Estate Attorney Orlando
Published: August 23rd, 2016

By: Matthew J. Ahearn Brian M. Malec

On August 2, 2016, the IRS issued proposed regulations under Code section 2704 that, if finalized in their current form, will effectively eliminate any meaningful valuation discounts for transfers of interests in family-controlled entities between family members. The issuance of these proposed regulations is one of the most important developments for high net worth families […]

Out of State Counsel Beware: Estate Claims Must Be E-Filed

Published: August 8th, 2016

By: Joel C. Zwemer

It has frequently been said that “it is the little things that get you.” That certainly holds true in the practice of law. A recent decision from the Fourth District Court of Appeals provides an illustration of the accuracy of that saying. It also provides an example of the dangers faced by attorneys attempting to […]

Long-Awaited Proposed Regulations for Section 2704 Issued!

Published: August 2nd, 2016

By: Dana M. Apfelbaum

Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code provides for special rules relating to the valuation of transfers of business interests to certain family members for estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes (collectively the “transfer taxes”).  Practically, § 2704 limits the ability to lower the value of a business interest as determined for transfer tax […]

Appeals Court Provides Guidance on Method for Revoking a Trust

Published: July 7th, 2016

By: Brad Gould

In the recent case of Bernal v. Marin, the Third District Court of Appeals interpreted F.S. §736.0602(3), which sets forth the methods by which a trust settlor may revoke or amend a trust.  The statute provides alternative ways that settlor may amend or revoke a trust in addition to those allowed under the common law. […]

Top Five Estate Planning Steps to Take During a Divorce

Published: April 22nd, 2016

By: Brad Gould

Divorces are stressful and expensive situations for everyone involved.  However, they can be a lot worse if one spouse dies before the divorce is finalized.  Whether you are the recipient of a divorce petition or the sender, one of the first people you should call (after your divorce attorney) is your estate planning attorney*.  The […]

Basis Consistency is here; Form 8971 Reporting Requirements are Fast Approaching

Published: February 23rd, 2016

By: Kyle C. Griffin

On July 31, 2015, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (the “Act”) was signed into law. Sections 2004 and 2005 of the Act included a number of new tax provisions requiring consistent basis reporting between an estate and persons acquiring property from a decedent. These provisions were made effective […]