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January 2020 Archives

Using a trust for a 529 plan

Many estate owners in Florida have 529 savings accounts that are used to put away money for the education of their children or grandchildren. Some may wonder if they should create a trust to hold such an account.

Guardianship bills to protect incapacitated people moves ahead

The Florida state legislature may soon be passing a bill that regulates professional guardianships. The bills has had hearings in both the House and the Senate. The law would give the state more tools to hold guardians accountable and make it necessary for judges to approve do-not-resuscitate orders.

The importance of beneficiary designations in an estate plan

There are several ways that property can be passed to heirs as part of an estate plan. One way is by joint ownership, which is common with spouses or elderly parents and a child. Other assets may be passed according to instructions in a will. If there is no will, then Florida state law will be followed in determining what happens to assets.

How a trust differs from a will

People in Florida who are creating an estate plan might wonder about the difference between a will and a trust. One of the biggest differences is that a will is not private and generally must go through the probate process. A trust is private, and when a person dies, the property in it goes directly to beneficiaries without having to pass through probate.

Open communication important to estate planning

For people in Florida who want to make sure their loved ones are provided for after their death, estate planning can be an important topic of open conversation. Many people feel like they have no idea what happened with the assets of their loved ones after they passed away. This can be particularly important for people on second or later marriages, with both spouses bringing children of their own to the relationship. In many cases, the kids involved are adults, but people often intend to provide something for their grown children as well.

Family discussions about estate plans

Some people in Florida are uncomfortable talking to their family members about their estate plans. People should discuss their estate plans with their family members so that they will know what to do when the time comes.

Reviewing trusts and other estate planning tools under SECURE Act

Strategies and tools that previously worked to protect Florida estates from taxes may be a liability under the new rules of the SECURE Act. In addition to the raising of the estate tax exemption limit to $11.4 million, Congress has changed the rules governing IRA withdrawals. A professional in the field explained the change and how to minimize its effects with the tools of estate planning.

What are spendthrift trusts?

Trusts are a tool many individuals, known as testators, use to protect the value of their assets and for passing money and other valuable items onto their heirs. Most testators set up trusts to ensure that their assets are protected from ending up in the hands of their creditors. There are many different types of trusts. Spendthrift ones are unique in that they keep money safe from both creditors and heirs.

Why undue influence is hard to define

Undue influence can occur in various scenarios, but there is currently no strict definition for the term. This is partially because pressure may be exerted on a person behind closed doors where witnesses are not present. Furthermore, adults not under the care of a guardian are allowed to do whatever they wish with their property. For instance, it is not illegal for a Florida company to ask a person to send it money over the phone.

What Our Clients Are Saying

  • I have known and worked with Austin Frye and his team since 2008. In that time he has helped serve both my business and personal legal planning needs. From guidance on reviewing and keeping shareholder and state documentation up to date... - Robert
  • It is difficult enough to cope with the emotional challenges of closing a parent's estate, and when you are also faced with the issue of your parents having insufficient documentation, and being remote from your siblings… - Zara L.
  • Austin Frye provided legal services to my father while alive and to his estate after his death; when showing the EP docs his firm prepared to other professionals (lawyers, financial advisors, accountants)… - Mark S
  • I've been a client of Austin Frye's for over 10 years. In that time, he's handled my estate/trust planning and asset protection as well as complicated business deals. - Leslie
  • Mr. Frye recently set up a complicated special needs trust for my son and, as usual, did a great job explaining it and in putting our minds at ease about our son's future well-being. - Dr. Howard
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