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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 […]

Legal Fees and the Elective Share

Published: February 3rd, 2016

By: Brad Gould

Recently, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals held that legal fees incurred by the personal representatives of an estate to defend claims against the estate are not chargeable against the elective share. In Blackburn v. Boulis, the personal representatives incurred attorneys’ fees as a result of “years of contentious litigation in probate court.” The probate […]

Five Reasons You Need an Estate Plan (Even If You Aren’t a Powerball Winner)

Published: January 14th, 2016

By: Dana M. Apfelbaum

Many people believe that only the wealthy need estate planning.  In fact, while the complexity of the plan needed may vary due to the amount and nature of a person’s assets, the need for an estate plan is common between a billionaire and the average person.  Here are five reasons the average person needs an […]

Appellate Court Affirms Involuntary Dismissal of Undue Influence Claim

Published: January 6th, 2016

By: Daryl J. Krauza

Recently, the Fifth District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of a son’s undue influence claims brought against his sister in Luciani v. Nealon, 2015 WL 7782819 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015). Rule 1.420(b), Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, allows the trial court to involuntarily dismiss a case when, after viewing the evidence presented […]