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July 2012 Archives

Revocable trusts may reduce Florida estate disputes

West Palm Beach readers may know that a parent's death often leads to inheritance disputes among children, even when the terms of a will seem to clearly set forth the testator's intent. Although a simple will may work well for some estates, the shortcoming of a will is that it must pass through probate court before estate assets may be distributed.

Limited partnerships may strengthen Florida families

West Palm Beach residents may be aware that the current federal gift tax exemption is set to expire at the end of this year. With no clear indication of what will become of the exemption, an increasing number of affluent families are turning to family limited partnerships as an attractive vehicle for achieving estate planning goals. Establishing a partnership this year can help families maximize estate planning opportunities under the current gift tax exemption limit.

Doctor reminds Florida of importance of healthcare directives

West Palm Beach residents may not have thought yet about medical directives as an important component of an estate plan, even though such directives can specify one's wishes for end-of-life care. One doctor recently took the opportunity in the Sun Sentinel to remind Floridians that healthcare directives represent the only way to exercise your right to make medical decisions should you become incapacitated. Additionally, the doctor urges everyone to prepare healthcare directives in order to avoid unnecessary medical expenses.

Oil man's disappearance in Florida leads to guardianship petition

The Florida coastline south of West Palm Beach served as the stage last week for another dramatic chapter in the life of a wealthy oil man whose whereabouts are currently unknown. For years the oil magnate has battled bipolar disorder while simultaneously tangling with his uncle over profits from the sale of a lucrative energy business. Now, as his wife worries over his fate, the missing man's mother has petitioned for guardianship of his assets, valued at an estimated $75 million.