Check out some of our recent articles.
Preparing for Disability
There are several different types of trusts in Florida for disabled individuals that protect public benefits eligibility while offering additional financial stability. Selecting the best trust for each unique situation can make a huge difference in future quality of life.
Business Succession Planning
You have spent years, if not a lifetime, investing time, energy, and passion into your company. As part of your estate plan, establishing a method of transferring control of your business is imperative.
Clean Up Your Affairs
Naples was recently ranked the least-polluted city in America by realtor.com. It can be difficult to fully enjoy these benefits if mental pollutants such as stress or lack of planning for the future are invading your psyche.
Securing Your Second Home
If you’ve already invested or are considering purchasing real estate in Florida, please join us in a review of the important legal issues to consider.
This is the Year to Get Organized
What should your advisors focus on in 2017? The New Year offers an opportunity to reevaluate your current situation.
Trumping Your Estate Plan
With the recent election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States, the possibility of a “complete” repeal of the estate tax appears likely.
Change is Inevitable
The IRS recently proposed expanded IRC Section 2704 regulations designed to prevent taxpayers from discounting the value of gifts, estates, and business interests on intra-family gifts.
Title Insurance: Do Not Buy Your Home Without It
What exactly is title insurance? Title insurance provides protection against financial loss incurred in connection with the legal title to your property. A contested property title could result in the loss of your time, money or even worse, your home.
Art Law: It's Not Always a Pretty Picture
This is not gold, securities or cash, it is art; precious, difficult to value and highly subjective as to taste. Art is the asset class that is often ignored in the estate planning process. Your art is your legacy! Plan wisely for its care and disposition.
Estate Planning Services
Wollman, Gehrke & Solomon, P.A. provides legal counsel in all estate planning issues. We are well qualified to draft your individual estate planning documents, including the creation of trusts, wills, and advance directives, a critical part of any quality estate plan.
Philanthropy vs Charity: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
Both philanthropy and charity are motivated by compassion, a desire to make a difference, and the aspiration to give of oneself to create a positive impact on society and the world. Are they synonymous? The answer is no.
The Do's and Don'ts of Giving Away Your Homestead
Careful estate planning now can result in the minimization or elimination of gift, estate, and income taxes on the transfer of your home to your heirs. Additionally, be sure to have a Will or Revocable Trust because failure to do so may result in your home passing under the Florida intestacy and Homestead laws.
Ten Homestead Traps for the Unwary
Florida provides its residents very generous homestead protections and exemptions, but also restricts the ability to transfer the homestead. As a result, it is very important to understand these protections, how to apply for exemptions, common mistakes that can result in your loss of these benefits, and how you may be limited in your ability to transfer your homestead.
Total Return Unitrust Promotes Smooth Sailing
When drafting trusts, it's important to ensure that your Trustee is equipped with clear instructions. In this article, we explore some of the benefits of the Total Return Unitrust, including reduced tension between income beneficiaries, and the remainder beneficiaries.
To Fund Or Not To Fund (Your Revocable Trust) - That Is The Question
Revocable trusts have been a powerful tool for estate planning attorneys for many years, but recent changes to federal law have made many trust-related decisions far more dificult. Now more than ever, estate planning is anything but "one size fits all."
Choosing A Fiduciary - It's A Job, Not A Reward
The decision of who will serve as personal representative of your estate or trustee of your trust (collectively your "fiduciaries") is one of the most important decisions you will make during the estate planning process, yet this decision is often made without much consideration.
Probate Case Summaries Prepared by T. John Costello, Jr. – Wollman, Gehrke & Solomon, P.A.
If a known or reasonably ascertainable creditor is not served with a copy of the Notice to Creditors, its claim is not barred by the three-month claim period if filed within two years of the decedent’s death. Jones v. Golden, 40 Fla. L. Weekly S517 (Fla. 2015)
Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover (Part I): Tips & Cautions Regarding Reverse Mortgages, Annuities, & Life Insurance
When you hear a financial advisor recommend a Reverse Mortgage, Annuity, or Life Insurance, your first impulse may be to run for the hills. Are these bad products that cost too much or can there be positive aspects?
Don't Judge A Book by Its Cover (Part II): Tips and Cautions Regarding Annuities
Are Annuities a fantastic retirement vehicle or a bad investment promoted by overzealous salesmen? This is the second of a three part series on financial products that have been given a black eye by a few bad financial advisors who oversell products that are unsuitable or not properly designed.
Don't Judge a Book by its Cover (Part III): Tips & Cautions Regarding Life Insurance
Life Insurance is an extremely valuable and essential financial tool that is too often used inappropriately. When purchased from a competent insurance professional, life insurance can be the ultimate in financial planning.
Are You Ready for a "Healthy" Hurricane Evacuation?
Are you ready to leave your home in a moment's notice in the event of an emergency? If you are mature in years, a caretaker, a pet owner, diabetic, or anyone with advanced medical issues, we want you to have an emergency health care plan.
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist What Is Truly Important To You?
If you were told that you had one hour to prepare your home for a hurricane and evacuate the area, what would you do? Are you ready?
Avoiding the Deadly Deeds
One of the fasted ways to derail and otherwise smooth real estate transaction is the discovery too close to the closing date that a deceased person is actually the record owner or there are issues in the chain of title. This is a common occurrence in South Florida that can be colloquially referred to as a “Deadly Deed”.
Power of Attorney (POA)... New FL Statute
A durable power of attorney (POA) document allows you to designate someone to serve as your agent and have general authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. This document is effective immediately upon execution.
Northern Death Taxes: Reasons to Become a Florida Resident
Do you live in the Sunshine State, but also own northern real estate? If you're considering becoming a Floridian, state death taxes imposed by northern states may be the best reason to make the move now and become a resident.
"New Perfect Storm" Conditions Lead to Huge Tax Savings
In the world of advanced estate planning there existed a "Perfect Storm" from 2008-2010. A perfect storm in the sense that conditions were ideal for transferring ones estate to the next generation at an incredibly low estate and gift tax rate due to historically low federal interest rates and extraordinary low asset values.
What We Know. What We Don't Know.
As an estate planner, this is a very confusing time. Why? With the upcoming election and continued Congressional gridlock, no one seems to know exactly what our federal tax code will look like in 2013. In addition, the further implementation of the Patient Protection & Affordable Act ("Obama Care") will have tax implications that will affect estate planning now and in the future.
Your Home(stead) Is Your Castle - So Why Does Your Spouse Control it's Disposition?
Florida Statute and the Florida Constitution protect your spouse from being disinherited. In theory this is an excellent idea. However, if your home is soley in your name and you wish for someone other than your spouse to inherit the property it cannot be done without your spouse’s consent.
Pets Trusts: Can You Place A Value on Man's Best Friend?
What if you had to value one of your most prized possessions - your pet. Although many treat pets as part of the family, technically pets are a property right or possession. Therefore, when you pass away this most valuable property must be given to someone else for care.
The Importance of Creating an Emergency Plan For Your Four-Legged Friends
While most pets should be seen by a veterinarian on a regular basis, it is equally important to have an emergency plan in place just in case the unexpected happens. From weather-related evacuations to sickness, accident or death, it’s smart to be prepared.
I Just Re-Titled My Homestead As Joint Tenants With Rights of Survivorship With My Children" Mistake?
Too often we hear that homeowners have added their children onto the title to their homestead to avoid probate and/or to avoid paying estate taxes. This is rarely, if ever, a good idea.
Real Estate Law 101: How Should A Married Couple Take Title to Florida Real Property?
The question of the day is whether Tenants by the Entireties (T-by-E) is the same thing as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship (JTROS)? The simple answer is that they appear to be very similar and are therefore often mistaken for one another. Buyer beware. They are not similar.
Plan Your Estate - Don't Forget To Cover Your Assets
Florida is one of the best states for estate planning and asset preservation. You’ve heard the expression, “A little knowledge goes a long way.” This is very true when it comes to protecting your assets from unforeseen creditors in Florida.
Don't Get Stuck In "The Box" (Be Sure To Obtain Your Homeowners Insurance before Hurricane Season)
Don’t get stuck in “The Box” refers to the “Hurricane Box.” From the beginning of Hurricane Season, June 1st, through the end, November 30th, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to buy certain insurance coverage for the peril of Windstorm or Hurricane damage (as well as other insurance coverage). If a named Tropical Storm or Hurricane enters an approximately 16,000 sq. mile box extending over Florida and adjacent states and well into the Atlantic Ocean, then insurance companies will suspend binding coverage.
Downsizing 101: Getting Ready For the Transition
Careful estate planning now can result in the minimization or elimination of gift, estate and income taxes on the transfer of your home to your heirs. Additionally, be sure to have a Will or Revocable Trust because failure to do so may result in your home passing under the Florida Intestacy and Homestead laws.