J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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December 2016 Archives

What is a holographic will and is it a good idea to write one?

Wills can be great tools for protecting assets and giving effect to an estate plan. Many estates in Polk County have had great success in achieving these goals through the use of a properly attested will. There are various requirements the law lays down for a properly attested will. These requirements are to maximize the likelihood that the will maker's intentions will be known and followed.

Do single people in Florida need a will?

When a person dies 'intestate,' it means that he or she dies without leaving a last will and testament. Hence, surviving family members and other interested parties, have no direction on how the person would have wanted to distribute his or her assets. While people who have a spouse and children, and maybe even grandchildren, may understand the importance of executing a will, single people might think that wills are unnecessary for them. This raises the question of whether single people should have a will.

Florida estate assets may be subject to federal estate taxes

It has been said that the only things one can be sure of are death and taxes, so it should not come as a surprise that the two sometimes can be found together. This is principally in the form of the estate tax that some estates owe. This blog post will briefly describe the kinds of taxation that an estate and assets in Lakeland may be subject to.

Power of attorney can be useful in estate administration

People in Winter Haven and Lakeland who are working on their estate plans probably concentrate on common planning instruments like wills and trusts. These are essential components of many estate plans, but people should not forget about other important issues, like deciding whether a power of attorney makes sense for the future.

How does estate administration work in Florida?

Estate administration refers to the process by which an individual's estate is settled after their death. Estate administration should be of interest both to people considering their own estate plans and people who are serving or may serve as a personal representative for another. Some people in Winter Haven may already be familiar with the estate administration process; others may benefit from a refresher on the subject.

When does an irrevocable trust make sense?

A trust is a legal instrument that involves three parties. The grantor is the person who deposits assets into the trust. Next, the beneficiary is the person or group of people who will ultimately benefit from the assets in the trust. Finally, the trustee is the person or other party that is responsible for overseeing the trust and its assets.

Understanding special needs trusts

Often people who are mentally ill or who are disabled rely on their parents or other family members for care and support. What happens when their parents or other family members are no longer around to look after them? Where will they get the support they need? One possible solution is a special needs trust.

Proper will execution should not be left to chance

A will is a crucial component of any estate plan, and people in Florida who have assets that they plan to pass down upon their deaths should have a will. The person's will should detail precisely how he or she wishes to dispose of the assets, and the terms of the will should be clear and unambiguous. However, even the most comprehensive will is no good unless it is legally binding.

Holidays can be a good chance to discuss estate planning

Last week, people all over the country gathered with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving. For many families in Polk County, Thanksgiving is probably synonymous with an indulgent family meal, and table conversation on a wide spectrum of topics. Although some of those conversations may touch on controversial subjects that result in lively debate, estate planning is probably not one such topic.