J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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June 2013 Archives

Careful estate planning considers both near and distant future

Much of estate planning involves executing a will or a trust to help take care of one's family after one dies, but what if the family needs help now? Many Florida residents struggle with formulating an estate plan that allows them to help family members today.

Beneficiaries say cop unduly influenced Florida woman's will

When a person leaves behind a valid will, Florida courts stick as close as possible to the deceased person's wishes. But there are a number of requirements that go into making a valid will. First and foremost is the requirement that the person making the will, known as the testator, was competent to make a will at the time it was executed. This is requirement is called testamentary capacity.

Artificial reproductive technology's challenge to estate planning

Many Florida couples have conceived children with the help of artificial insemination or other technological means, and this technology is getting more advanced every day. It's now relatively common for people to store their reproductive material for use later. For example, men in the military may want to store sperm before they head off on a dangerous mission, or medical patients may want to store their eggs before they begin treatment that may leave them infertile. This kind of technology can be a wonderful thing for many families, but it also raises some perplexing issues for the laws of inheritance and estate planning.

Winter Haven CPA/Attorney Uncovers Tax Error Worth Millions to Citizens

WINTER HAVEN - J. Kelly Kennedy, a Winter Haven Attorney and Certified Public Accountant, filed a declaratory action against the Polk County Property Tax Appraiser's Office in April, 2013 and recently amended it as a class action suit against all 67 Florida County Property Tax Appraisers and the Florida Department of Revenue. The amended case will affect thousands of Florida homeowners who overpaid real property taxes since 2008. "I estimate this government error has cost 10 to 25 thousand taxpayers of Florida somewhere between $10 and $40 million," Kennedy stated. "This error has gone undetected since the "Save Our Homes" statute was amended in 2007, and it is my sincere hope that I can help those taxpayers wrongly injured by their government."

Family claims inheritance stolen through financial exploitation

The percentage of Americans who are senior citizens has been steadily rising in recent years, and nowhere is that change more apparent than in Florida, where about a quarter of the population is age 65 or older. Unfortunately, alongside this trend has come another troubling development: law enforcement and other officials have noticed a big increase in cases involving financial exploitation of vulnerable seniors. Sadly, many family members don't even learn that this kind of exploitation has happened to their loved ones until after they have passed and their heirs find that the deceased's estate and assets have been plundered by unscrupulous associates or scam artists.