If you like statutory framework specified under the Florida Statutes, you will not need to sign a Will or any Trust documents. If, on the other hand, you want a little more say in how your assets are distributed after your death, then you need a Will or a Trust. If your estate is potentially going to be subject to estate taxes, there are a number of techniques that can take some of the harshness out of the system. However, my goal is to make sure that you are provided for and that the process be essentially transparent, which means that it does not adversely affect your lifestyle.
Probate is an all encompassing term for the process of settling a decedent's estate. If the amount of money in the decedent's probate estate is less than $75,000, there are simplified proceedings which are relatively inexpensive, not terribly cumbersome and fairly quick. If the deceased person left a probate estate over $75,000, there are far more forms, filings and paperwork involved. Lastly, if the deceased person left an estate (probate estate assets left in a revocable or marital trust, etc.) which could be subject to an estate tax, there is even more compliance work to be done, like filing a federal estate tax return. Unless someone has been deceased for more than two years, a probate will take a minimum of 90 days to serve notice on all interested parties and to extinguish all creditor claims.
Are you starting a new business? If so, there are a number of choices about what type of entity you want to form. Oftentimes, there at significant tax advantages to doing business as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), but one size does not fit all.
Do you (or are you about to) owe the IRS money for current or back taxes? While we all want to pay our fair share of taxes, sometimes the final amount is too large to come up with all at once, or perhaps there was an unexpected situation, which made it impossible to promptly settle your bill. Fortunately, there are special programs designed to help you work out a payment plan with the IRS or to settle out your debt for less than the full amount if it looks like you can't and/or won't be able to pay it in full. Additionally, some taxes are dischargeable through bankruptcy and some, like payroll taxes, are not and have to be dealt with on their own, after the bankruptcy case is over.
I have been practicing law since 1993. I earned my J.D., Cum Laude from St. Thomas University School of Law and an LLM (Masters of Law) Degree in 1992 from the University of Florida School of Law, Graduate Tax Program. Prior to practicing law, I was a professional Chef and had graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in 1982. I also have experience as an Adjunct Professor for Florida Gulf Coast University. I am a member of the Florida Bar, admitted to practice in the Middle District of the United States District Court and the United States Tax Court, and I am currently a member of the Florida Tax Law Certification Committee.
This website is for informational purposes only. Using this site or communicating with Thomas F. Hudgins, PLLC through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising.
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