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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Can an estate be liable for damages if a person gets into an accident while driving the decedent’s car prior to the appointment of a personal representative?

In the case of Depriest v. Greeson, 213 So.3d 1022 (1st DCA February 21, 2017), the decedent’s daughter caused an accident using the decedent’s car after the death of the decedent and prior to the appointment of her step-brother as personal representative. The First District Court of appeals held that prior to the appointment of a personal representative, the law does not impose a duty upon the nominated personal representative to act or prevent harm to the estate. However, it is important to keep in mind that the Depriest holding is based upon a unique set of facts. A different timeline could have led to a very different result.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Can improper execution of a trust be validated under Fla. Stat. 736.0415, Florida’s statute permitting reformation?

The decision in Kelly v. Lindenau, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1133 (Fla. 3d DCA May 17, 2017) is in keeping with Florida’s long-standing tradition of strictly enforcing execution requirements of wills and trusts, notwithstanding the intent of the testator or settlor. In Kelly, the Second District Court of Appeals held that Fla. Stat. 736.0415, Florida’s trust reformation statute, was not an appropriate remedy to correct execution defects of a trust which conveyed real property to the decedent’s beneficiaries upon his death.  This case, like many other cases, emphasizes the importance of a Florida resident having a knowledgeable Florida attorney familiar with the legal requirements of creating a valid will or trust.




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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Florida 2017 Notable Cases

Can improper execution of a trust be validated under Fla. Stat. 736.0415, Florida’s statute permitting reformation?

The decision in Kelly v. Lindenau, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1133 (Fla. 3d DCA May 17, 2017) is in keeping with Florida’s long-standing tradition of strictly enforcing execution requirements of wills and trusts, notwithstanding the intent of the testator or settlor. In Kelly, the Second District Court of Appeals held that Fla. Stat. 736.0415, Florida’s trust reformation statute, was not an appropriate remedy to correct execution defects of a trust which conveyed real property to the decedent’s beneficiaries upon his death.  This case, like many other cases, emphasizes the importance of a Florida resident having a knowledgeable Florida attorney familiar with the legal requirements of creating a valid will or trust. 


 


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Florida 2016 Notable Cases


SATISFACTION OF NUPTIAL AGREEMENT – CLAIM BY SURVIVING SPOUSE The Northern Trust Company v. Shaw, 196 So.

DECISION –  The Fourth District Court of Appeals held that a prenuptial agreement was satisfied when a decedent’s wife received $480,000 from the decedent’s IRA and testamentary gifts of personal property worth approximately $103,000.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Notable 2015 Florida Cases


REASONABLY ASCERTAINABLE CREDITOR CLAIMS – Jones v. Golden, 176 So. 3d 242 (Fla. October 1, 2015)

Florida’s Supreme Court held that the claims of known or reasonably ascertainable creditors who were not served with notice are timely if filed within two years of the decedent’s death.  

The Supreme Court of Florida recently addressed the issue of whether the claim of a creditor who is not served with a copy of the notice to creditors but whose claim is known or reasonably ascertainable is barred under Fla. Stat. 733.702(1)if not filed within three months after the first publication of the notice to creditors absent an extension, or whether the claim is timely if filed within two years of the decedent’s death under Fla. Stat. 733.710.


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Friday, May 5, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update #5

Takeaways from Trump Tax Reform Update #5

  • Trump and key Republicans still focused on Obama Care repeal
  • Mixed signals – but consensus seems to indicate no tax reform before September
  • Secretary Mnuchin  tells Financial Times August goal for tax reform is “highly aggressive to not realistic at this point”.
  • President Trump says, ‘we’re going to surprise you’ with speed of tax reform, but need healthcare fix first.
  • “and the beat goes on…”

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update #4

Takeaways from Trump Tax Reform Update #4

  • Legislative loss on healthcare may make tax reform even more difficult
  • Chairman Brady, House Ways & Means says his committee will go BIG on tax reform, not just tinker with tax laws
  • Offsets to tax reductions which will bring revenue into the government may be more important than ever, Republicans look for ways to replace the $1 Trillion they hoped to get in revenue savings under repeal of Obama care
  • Look for discussions on new tax basis rules and possible new capital gains tax on death
  • Expect new legislation to be done under reconciliation with perhaps a 10 year sunset

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update #3

As discussed in our DLF Estate Tax Repeal Update #2, many estate plans utilize a Family or Bypass Trust along with a Marital or Spousal Trust.  Due to the use of “formula funding language” used by most if not almost all estate planners over the last sixteen years or so, the repeal of the estate tax could result in all the assets of the decedent being funded into the Family or Bypass Trust.  The problem is, unless that Bypass Trust allows for distributions to the surviving spouse, the widow or widower of the decedent could be left with little or no assets.  Of course, there are many other potential unintended consequences if the estate tax is repealed, or if rules on income and capital gains taxes are substantially changed, which will cause many taxpayers to look to amendment or in some extreme cases even termination of their trusts.


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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update # 2

One of the issues that we see with the discussion of the proposed Trump Tax Reforms is that many clients assume that Tax Reform will mean lower taxes.  If Trump and the Republicans lower taxes, how could that be a bad thing?  Under all circumstances, wouldn’t lower taxes have a positive impact on all taxpayers? And isn’t that especially true for affluent tax payers? As any student of tax law in the United States can attest, tax reform doesn’t always mean lower taxes for all and of course, in the past, tax reform has led to some unintended consequences.


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Monday, January 16, 2017

Trump Tax Reform Update # 1

Early in 2017, President-Elect Trump will be taking office with a large majority of Republicans in the House (235 to 191) and a majority of Republicans in the Senate (51 to 47).  One major focus of the new administration will be tax reform.

What exactly will the new tax legislation look like? At this point, there are more questions than answers: Will the Republicans be able to pass what they want in the way of tax reform or will the Democrats block or modify the changes.  Exactly what specific terms and policies do the Republicans want to accomplish in their tax reform? Are there differences between the designs of the Congressional Republicans and the new president on what new tax reforms should look like? Will the Republicans modify their goals in tax reform in order to get at least some support from the Democrats in Congress? How will the tax reforms coordinate with efforts to balance the budget and hopefully not add to the already staggering federal deficit? How will potential tax reform be impacted by other administration priorities like repeal of the healthcare law, illegal immigration, major infrastructure projects, etc.?


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Thursday, July 10, 2014

State "Conversion Laws" Could Change Existing Same-Sex Legal Relationships and Have Uncertain Tax Implications

Brian K. Duffey, Esq.

The following is a very brief overview of some of the key points, which were addressed in an article recently authored by Patrick J. Duffey and Alexander Popovich.  For more information and citations please see: Implications of State “Conversion” Laws for Same-Sex Couples, Estate Planning, July 2014, Vol 41 number 7.


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