Here is your copy of the most recent Family Wealth Compass.
This publication offers a timely roundup of estate and trust planning tips, information and news, courtesy of Gunster’s private wealth services attorneys; please contact any team member for more information.
In this latest issue, you’ll find information on the following topics:
Duties of a Florida trustee
A trustee is a “fiduciary” and has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The trust instrument should detail the specific duties and powers bestowed upon the trustee so the trustee is fully aware of his or her obligations and responsibilities.
The trustee should also quickly determine the assets of the trust as the trustee has a duty to control and protect the trust property. Further, the trustee has a duty to keep clear, distinct and accurate records of the trust, and ensure the trust property is kept separate from the trustee’s own property.
Items of sentimental value can have a lasting effect
It is important to remember that items of tangible personal property can have sentimental value to your family members and the distribution of such property after your death may cause friction among family members.
It may be worthwhile to specifically identify which family members you want to receive such items upon your death.
Florida law permits a decedent to dispose of tangible personal property by a separate writing that is referred to in decedent’s will. Therefore, you can change your list at any time without having to go through the formalities of revising your will.
Are you properly protected? 5 important insurance questions to consider
It is important to examine your coverage at least once a year – often in conjunction with an annual financial review – and consider any changes that have taken place.
Even minor changes in your estate plan or lifestyle, such as transferring a property to a trust or entity, a new teen driver in your household, or hiring a new housekeeper, can impact your insurance program, sometimes even negating coverage as a result.
Personal representatives, beware: Your duties have increased
Congress has added new requirements for personal representatives, requiring them to report the basis of property acquired by a beneficiary from an estate.
These new rules require filing additional forms identifying the recipient of specific property and providing such beneficiary with the basis information.
The proposed regulations require a personal representative to file amended basis returns if property is distributed to a different beneficiary than initially anticipated or if the value of property is adjusted as a result of an estate tax audit.
The IRS has stated that basis returns otherwise due earlier will be accepted if filed by June 30, 2016.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 12 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With nearly 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.