Blog Category

Estate Planning

Are You a Super-Duper Influencer or Just a Super Influencer?

The term “super influencer” has emerged as a public figure critical to a brand’s success, amassing followers and shortly after wealth. Most likely, it’ll be your teenager that’s the influencer in the family, but it could be you (heck-yeah, we’re still cool!) The lack the proper business succession and estate planning tools to safeguard these […]

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Why Estate Planning Matters During Coronavirus and What You Can Do to Prepare

The outbreak of Coronavirus has people all over the world thinking about their advanced directives. While this topic is generally annoying to think about (adulting is annoying) and even more annoying to discuss with your loved ones, estate planning is now more than ever a critical tool that can be used to assure that your […]

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What Can Be Learned from Kenny Rodger’s Estate?

The legendary county singer, Kenny Rogers passed away on March 20 at the age of 81. The six-decade superstar sustained 5 marriages and a restaurant chain. Given his entrepreneurial ambitions, there is a chance that the Gambler’s Personal Representative will need to act before the Judge makes it into his chambers to sign the probate […]

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Henry VIII of England and Florida Surviving Spouse’s Homestead

Florida Homestead laws, actually a part of the Florida constitution, are difficult to navigate and what better guide than King Henry VIII and his former 6 wives! Lets assume that the 1509-1547 English Monarch resided in Florida, never added any of his victims (er…wives) to the deed on his homestead property and didn’t have a […]

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What can be learned from Megxit

By now, we’ve all digested the controversial news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are stepping down as senior royals and moving to Canada. A lot of opinions have been shared, but I’m going to unpack the estate planning lesson from their withdrawal. Should the Sussexes embrace Canadian culture and get a winter residence here […]

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What Can Be Learned from Peter Stringfellow’s Estate

Strip club king Peter Stringfellow left only a £1M estate despite amassing a £37M fortune. Flamboyant Peter, who died in June of 2018 at the age of 77, left most of his surprisingly small estate to his third wife, Bella, 41 years his junior. It’s unclear whether the businessman’s estate was smaller than he anticipated […]

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What Can Be Learned from Gloria Vanderbilt’s Estate Plan

Gloria Vanderbilt, the railroad fortune heiress, left most of the Vanderbilt fortune to her youngest son, Anderson Cooper. On a personal note, I just love Cooper’s giggle, and feel for that reason alone she made the right choice! Vanderbilt’s eldest child, Leopold Stanislous Stokowski, was left with his mother’s apartment in Manhattan and Vanderbilt’s other […]

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Estate Planning, a Family Affair

It happens sometimes.  Not to me, because I have the BEST clients ever, that read my crazy newsletters diligently (love you too baby)! But my estate planning lawyer friends tell me that it happens….a husband and wife come in for estate planning and then one of the spouses reaches out “privately” to the lawyer to ask […]

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What Can Be Learned From George and Barbara Bush’s Estate Plans

George H.W. Bush’s death, less than eight months after his wife’s does not feel like a surprise.  We often see the death of a longtime married couple in quick succession and even have a name for it, “broken-heart syndrome” a romantic notion that two hearts are so entwined that they can’t bear to be without […]

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Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Got Married… Without a Prenup

Although they both reached out to lawyers for a prenup, Justin and Hailey contacted their attorneys the very same day that they got hitched.  There’s no way to get a prenup drafted and signed that quickly.  It turns out Justin is so in love he doesn’t see the need for one. Justin’s net worth is […]

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Aretha Franklin Had No Estate Plan

Five people reached out to me to let me know that the Queen of Soul passed away intestate, without a will or trust.  You guys are reading my emails and know my genre! Franklin’s lack of an estate plan is surprising for three reasons.  (1) She had been ill for quite some time with pancreatic […]

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Death Disrupted: New Technologies to Digitize Life

I spend a lot of my day talking about and planning for death.  Until now, it’s been an inevitability of life.  However, a la Black Mirror, artificial intelligence specialists and computer scientists say they are close to creating programs to digitize the mind.  A startup claims to have successfully preserved an animal’s brain connectomes to […]

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What Can We Learn From Anthony Bourdain’s Estate Plan?

Anthony Bourdain not only loved to explore but also made it a point to inspire others to travel.  In his Last Will and Testament, he specifically bequeathed his frequent flyer miles to his wife and asked that she “dispose of [them] in accordance with what [she] believes to have been my wishes.” Although most loyalty […]

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Navigating the Trust Agreement Highway

Just like cars, there are many different types of trusts out there for you to select. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, here is a run-down; a trust is a legal arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Most trusts […]

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Does Your Trust Need a Facelift?

Hey, we do live in South Florida. But seriously, I come across many trusts created in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s where life was slower, and trusts were irrevocable. These irrevocable trusts had a goal to reduce the size of a person’s estate to avoid estate tax. If you’ve been reading my  newsletters, you […]

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Prince’s Estate is a Mess

There’s no other way to say it.  Almost two years after the legendary singer died, Prince’s estate is more convoluted than ever.  To the best of our knowledge, the Purple One didn’t have a will.  Leaving behind an estimated $300 million estate, Prince died without parents, children or a spouse declared as his heirs. As a […]

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Do Not Resuscitate Tattoo

Just when you think you’ve seen it all….an unconscious patient was brought into a Miami emergency room with the words “Do Not Resuscitate” tattooed across his chest.  The word “Not” was underlined, and the tattoo included a signature.  The patient had a history of pulmonary disease and lived at a nursing home.  He was found […]

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Family Holiday Discussions

I’m often asked how to prevent family squabbles once a loved-one passes away.  Surprisingly, the answer is to ensure a common understanding of the estate plan.  Even an “unfair” plan, where one person doesn’t feel they are receiving their fair share, is more easily digestible if communicated correctly.  Coincidentally, Holidays are a perfect time to […]

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The Worst State to Die In 2017 (from a state death tax perspective)

There are currently 18 states plus the District of Columbia that impose either an estate or inheritance tax or both.  Nine of those states are introducing death tax changes in 2017, and they’re all changes that lessen the tax bite.  How much you may leave your heirs free of state death tax depends on where […]

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Hugh Hefner: An Estate Planning Role Model

In case you haven’t heard, Hugh Hefner “Hef”, the publisher of Playboy Magazine, died last month, at the age of ninety-one. Although his Will was not made public, It’s clear that Hef took the necessary steps to ensure that his estate plan was iron clad. Hef is survived by his third wife Crystal Hefner and […]

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Estate Planning for Same-Sex Unions in Florida

The US Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013) recently held that for purposes of applying federal law, same-sex married couples residing in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriages (like New York) are to be treated the same as opposite-sex married couples. The Court, however, did not decide the legal […]

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What’s Portability?

More than a fancy word, there are two portability programs I discuss frequently with folks: 1. The Florida Portability Transfer of Homestead, where beginning in 2008 Florida homeowners can transfer (or port) the savings they’ve accumulated (known as the Homestead Assessment Difference) to another homesteaded property, up to $500,000. 2. The Federal estate planning device […]

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Estate Planning with Religion in Mind

According to many surveys, 95 percent of Americans believe in G-d or some type of higher power. While some define religion as a belief in G-d, not all religions do. For some, spirituality may be a vital part of their lives, but not include a belief in G-d. Whatever your religious views or spiritual nature, […]

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Who Will Watch Over Johnny?

As every parent knows, life happens. Things that cannot be predicted happen and all that we can do sometimes is be prepared for whatever life throws our way. As parents, we are responsible for our children and as long as we are on this earth we try to make the best decisions on their behalf. […]

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