One of the main draws of an LLC is that it may limit its members and managers liability to what is in the company. However, the protection from personal liability begins well before the company’s first lawsuit. It begins when the company is registered with the state of Florida. Recently, Members and Managers have been afforded greater protection in an LLC because they are no longer required to be listed on the Article of Organization on the Secretary of State’s website. This allows the Members and Managers to remain anonymous as to the creditor seeking cursory information on who is behind the company. That is until there is a court-mandated request fo...
If you start a business in Florida with multiple people without any type of formal registration with the state, you may have created a Partnership. A partnership is the default business structure Florida Law classifies businesses among co-owners who have agreed to share in profits and losses but have not made an election as to what type of entity they wish to be for mostly tax purposes.
However, depending on the co-owner agreement (i.e. one person manages the business while the others are silent investors), the default to General Partnership may not be the most favorable to the owners or the partnership itself.
Recently, I served as a legal advisor to a woman, let's call her Carmen for ease of reference, who lives in Israel but has property and family in Florida and Israel. She is a U.S. citizen, and after spending a few decades living in Florida, she has decided to move back to Israel to live out the rest of her "youth."
Carmen has two daughters, who interestingly enough, each married brothers from another family. One of Carmen's daughter's, Taylor, lives in Israel, while the other daughter, Diane, lives in Tampa, Florida.
After explaining the difference between creating a Last Will and Testament versus creating a Living Trust, Car...
We live in a world where all of our information, documentation, social life, and mail is digital. So the question is, what happens to all of these digital assets when you pass away? What will happen to the tweets or Facebook posts that you were so keen about posting?
Almost all of our digital accounts and devices are protected by passwords or codes which sometimes make it impossible for others to access all of your important documents or information. This issue is relatively new in the legal field, but there are steps to take which will make it easier to access the digital accounts of a loved one.
Many Floridians establish Living/Revocable Trusts to transfer their homestead to their beneficiaries at death. However, many are unaware of the negative consequences this transfer may have on the protectionist rights provided by Florida’s homestead laws. In order to protect those rights, certain precautions must be made:
The trust must adhere to the Florida constitutional provisions related to descent and devise. Florida’s Constitution limits to whom a homestead may be given when that person is survived by a spouse or minor child. If the trust gives the homestead to someone other than the spouse or minor child, the gift may be held invalid and the...
I am often put in the position to counsel clients on whether it is better to have a Last Will and Testament or a Living Trust to dispose of their assets at death. Time and time again, I recommend the Living Trust.
A Last Will and Testament requires the client’s family to not only prove the client’s Will in court, it also requires the court to oversee the distribution of the client’s assets and before that ever happens, the client's debt may have to be paid, thereby decreasing the amount that is paid out to the client's family. In addition to the payment of debts, personal representatives must hire an attorney to represent them in court, which can cost...
While you prepare the nursery, make day care arrangements, and buy new baby clothes, your estate plan may be the last thing on the list of things to do before your newborn bundle of joy is born. This may be because you do not fully understand the breadth of protection an estate plan offers your family. This article seeks to address the key aspects of an estate plan for new parents, which include:
Designating a guardian for your child;
Setting up a trust;
Drafting up a Last Will and Testament that restates the guardian appointed;
Designating beneficiaries of your estate;
Electing an agent to serve as your power of attorney...
A lot of clients have come to me recently with concerns about the costly and time-consuming headache that probate may create for their family.
Many seek to draft revocable trusts to transfer their property at death to their family fairly and proportionately. A revocable living trust allows you to direct who manages your property and benefits from your property after your death. Basically, whatever property is held in the name of the revocable living trust passes without the probate court’s statutorily required supervision.
However, some property by its very nature passes outside of probate, that property is categorized as a “non-probate” asset....
As the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, introduced on November 2, 2017, makes it was through the Senate today for a final vote* before heading to President Trump's desk, most of you are probably wondering how the new tax bill may affect your business and personal tax liability. In order to help those wondering minds, I present the following brief summary of some key changes:
What does the new tax bill mean for you, individually:
According to Congress’ official website, the new tax bill, as written, changes the following as it relates to an individual’s taxes:
Replace the 7 existing tax brackets to 4 brackets (12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%).
Asset protection is about protecting the “things” you’ve worked your lifetime to accumulate. It may sound easy but yet many people don’t seek to take the necessary asset protection steps until it’s too late. This article will first explain why asset protection planning is a crucial part of any comprehensive estate plan and then it will provide an overview of Florida’s asset protection strategies.
Safeguarding Your Assets
The mechanism used to safeguard assets is different for everyone. For some, it’s hoarding cash under a mattress. For others, it may be having a safety deposit box. While others, may choose to take more drastic measures su...