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Recent Blog Posts

Pay On Death/Transfer On Death/Joint Ownership Pitfall

Dangers of using POD/TOD beneficiaries and joint ownership to avoid probate – you leave nothing in the estate or trust for the Personal Representative/Trustee to pay funeral expenses and other expenses of administration. A recent estate came in with this problem. If the PR/Trustee was the person receiving the POD assets, it would have been […]

Scams involving the IRS

Here is some valuable information from LISI Income Tax Planning Newsletter #191 (February 5, 2020) at “A frequent scam relates to calls and other communications that claim to be from the IRS.  Historically we could advise individuals to rest assured that the IRS only communicates via mail and any other form of contact should be considered a […]


It is time to review your IRAs and how you want them to be inherited.  The SECURE Act was attached to an appropriations bill at the end of December 2019 and passed into law.  Starting January 1, 2020, the “stretch out” rules no longer apply to inherited IRAs for people dying after that date, except […]

Be wary of transferring ownership of assets to children

You can’t have your cake and eat it too – at least not when it comes to Medicaid or even general estate planning. Oftentimes parents will mistakenly transfer their assets to a child in the child’s sole name so that they may be eligible for Medicaid should the need arise at a later date, but […]

Life insurance for child support

Sometimes clients are advised by their family law attorneys to require the former spouse to maintain a life insurance policy to cover future child support payments in case the former spouse dies before the children reach majority age. This is a good idea especially if the children are very young. However, the supporting parent may […]

Estate planning during divorce/dissolution

I occasionally receive calls from people who are just starting the process of getting divorced (legally called a “dissolution of marriage”) to ask if there is anything they should do about their estate planning documents even though they are not legally divorced yet. Unfortunately, when they ask the family law attorney, the attorney often says […]

Pay-on-Death, Joint Tenancy, and Beneficiary Designations

Did you know that assets you place in joint tenancy, or name a beneficiary for, are not subject to your Will? In some circumstances, using these methods to get property to someone is appropriate; but many times, it can mess up a carefully executed and balanced estate plan. Joint bank accounts are equally available to […]

Florida Homestead

Did you know that the Florida Constitution places restrictions on what you can do with your home during life and at death? Many people know about the ad valorem tax benefits of Florida homestead – such as the Save Our Homes appreciation cap and various tax deductions – as well as the creditor protection offered […]

Qualified Personal Representative

Did you know that Florida law requires the Personal Representative (or Executor) named in your Will to be a Florida resident? If the person is not a Florida resident, then the person needs to be related to you by blood. In-laws will only qualify so long as your blood relation is alive when you die, […]

Lost homestead deduction on joint property

A daughter lived with her mother in property they owned together as joint tenants. When the mother died, daughter didn’t probate the property. Ten years later, the appraiser’s office has disallowed half of the homestead deduction on the house and the property taxes were duly increased. Now she needs to probate the property to get […]