Worried That a Sizeable Estate or Trust Gift Was Procured by Undue Influence?

By: Melody Lynch

Do you have a loved one who recently passed away and you are concerned that their will or trust was procured by undue influence? Although the law on undue influence has not evolved much since the seminal Florida Supreme Court case of In re Estate of Carpenter in 1971, the greying of the population in Florida has resulted in an increase in undue influence claims in the courts. In order to prove undue influence in Florida, you must demonstrate that a substantial beneficiary acquired an asset via undue influence. This person must have had a confidential relationship and must have actively procured the gift in one of the following ways: (1) presence of the beneficiary at execution of the document; (2) presence of the beneficiary when the person expressed the desire to make a will or form a trust; (3) the beneficiary recommends the attorney who prepared the will or trust; (4) the beneficiary knows the contents of the will or trust prior to execution; (5) the beneficiary gives direction to the attorney preparing the document; (6) the beneficiary secures witnesses for execution; or (7) the beneficiary maintains the will or trust for safekeeping. read more

Rule #1 in Asset Protection Planning: Don’t Procrastinate!

By Jason Palmisano.  Don’t wait until you are sued or threatened with a lawsuit to begin planning to protect your assets.  If you do then it may be too late.  Transfers after the sharks are circling in an attempt to move assets out of the reach of your judgment creditors (or potential judgment creditors) could be deemed a fraudulent transfer.  Florida Statute 726.105 provides a transfer made by a debtor is fraudulent as to a creditor if the debtor made the transfer “with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any creditor of the debtor”.   One of the key factors in determining the debtor’s intent is whether or not the debtor had been sued or threatened to be sued before he or she transferred the assets. read more

When Should You Make A Will? Julie Answers Question on FOX News

By:  Julie Frey 

Today, I was given the opportunity to appear on Fox 35 News Good Day Orlando and answer commonly asked questions about wills in an interview with Ryan Elijah. Fox reported that although it’s essential to legally protect your loved ones and even your assets,  it turns out that 64% of us don’t have a Will. That is a shocking number because if we don’t create a Will, our families will be the ones to suffer. I tell my clients that as soon as they own anything, such as a bank account, a house, a car, they should create a Will. I have witnessed situations where a person did not create a Will in time and it left the family in disarray, which we helped to sort out. I have also seen situations where a person drafted their own Will through a form but did it incorrectly, so the Will was invalid, and the intended beneficiaries did not inherit the assets. In one case, the assets went to the State of Florida. To watch the video, click here. Thanks Fox 35 News for covering such an important topic!