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When and why would I want to go through probate in Florida?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

 

    Probate can be a good option for those who do not want to spend money during their lifetime on legal fees to prepare Trust documents.  Allowing an estate to go through probate would instead cause the cost of distributing the estate to come out of the heirs' inheritances.

    Probate is also a good option if the deceased is owed assets or payments at the time of death.  Probate may be necessary in this situation for the Personal Representative to collect on behalf of the estate.  Some examples of cases in which this is useful is when a promissory note is payable to the deceased, an inheritance due was not paid to the deceased prior to death, or in the situation of a personal injury claim if the estate has a wrongful death or other suit against the party that caused the death.

    If the deceased has unresolved tax debts with the IRS or another taxing authority, probate allows the Personal Representative the chance to negotiate and attempt to reduce or resolve the tax debt.

    Lastly, probate can sometime benefit the family by having the court oversee and make decisions in abnormally complex family situations or disputes.

    If you have questions about probate, contact one of our experienced estate planning attorneys at (941) 906-1231 to review your individual needs and receive personalized recommendations.

What are Probate Assets vs. Non-Probate Assets?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

 

    Probate assets include assets for which the deceased person was the sole owner or jointly owned assets which lacked provisions for automatic succession of ownership at death.  Non-probate assets include jointly held property for which ownership includes the "right of survivorship."  In this situation, the surviving owner automatically owns the property when the other owner dies.  Other examples of "non-probate assets" are  assets titled in the name of a trust or assets that have formal "beneficiary distribution" assignment to them, such as IRAs, life insurance policies, or payable-on-death accounts.

What is Probate?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, Florida

    Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person, paying their debts, and distributing their assets to beneficiaries only after some of these assets are used to pay the costs associated with probate court.

    The two main types of probate administration are formal administration and summary administration which occurs if assets are less than $75,000.  If assets are less than $6,000 a non-court supervised administration proceeding called disposition of personal property without administration occurs.  In Florida, the person in charge of the estate is called the personal representative.  The personal representative is in charge of giving notice of the probate proceedings to "known or reasonably ascertainable" creditors in order to ensure all of the deceased's debts are paid.

    Beneficiaries are the people who inherit assets from the deceased.

    If you are looking to avoid probate through estate planning or are currently going through probate or ancillary probate and need legal advice, contact one of our experienced attorneys at (941) 906-1231.

Form 114 (FBAR) for Foreign, non-US Financial Assets Needs to be Filed by June 30th

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

 

    Were you an account holder for a financial account located outside of the US valued at over $10,000 in 2014?  If so, you must file an FBAR by June 30th.  An FBAR, also known as Form 114, must be filed by anyone who is considered an account holder for a foreign account meeting the value criteria above.

 

    The FBAR form can be found here and can be submitted online:

    FBAR Filing Form

 

    To speak with our Board Certified Tax Attorney Fredric C. Jacobs, Esq. about your personal tax needs or high net worth tax planning, call our office at (941) 906-1231.

Who Can Help Me with Medicaid Planning?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

           A January 15, 2015 ruling by the Florida Supreme Court makes it illegal for a non-lawyer to provide services assisting in Medicaid planning. The decision classifies the following actions as the unlicensed practice of law:

  • Giving legal advice regarding the implementation of Florida law to obtain Medicaid benefits.
  • Drafting personal services contracts.
  • Preparing and executing qualified income trusts.

Any of the above offenses are punishable by five years in prison. Additionally, anyone who receives the services listed above from a non-lawyer is considered to be aiding and abetting a crime.

Helping someone fill out their Medicaid application is not considered to be in violation of Florida laws. It is advice given before the application is filed by non-attorneys which has been criminalized.

If you are in need of Medicaid planning services, contact our Florida Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, Babette Bach, Esq. at (941) 906-1231 to discuss whether you or your loved one would benefit from asset protection planning.

New Law Increases Protections for those in Assisted Living Facilities in Florida

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

 

    Enacted legislation (HB 1001) that will go into effect on July 1st, 2015 will provide more consumer protections to patients in assisted living facilities.  This bill seeks to better and more strictly enforce current regulations by increasing the number of required inspections for assisted living facilities which have been reported for violations.  More training will be required for facility staff and the Agency for Health Care Administration will be required to provide more website content so consumers have adequate information to select a quality assisted living facility.

    Planning for incapacity and long term or end of life care is an important part of estate planning with Bach & Jacobs, P.A.  To discuss your estate planning and create documents to protect your medical preferences, contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A. at (941) 906-1231.

 

Babette Bach Speaks to ABC 7 about New Guardianship Law

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

Bach & Jacobs attorney Babette Bach has been working for the past year on a new law to regulate guardians and emergency guardianship proceedings.  Bach stated in an interview with ABC 7 that this law will strengthen the number of quality, educated professional guardians working in the state of Florida.  To hear more about this new law, watch the interview with Babette linked below.

Interview with Babette on ABC 7


2015 Declaration of Preneed Guardian for Adult

To read the 2015 Declaration of Preneed Guardian for Adult, click here.

2015 Declaration of Preneed Guardian for Minor Child

To read the 2015 Declaration of Preneed Guardian for Minor Child, click here.

download-pdf-button

Democratic Club of Sarasota

Democratic Club

Dear Members and Friends,

Click here for a link to the Democratic Club of Sarasota Monthly Update.

 

Here are the highlights:

- President Mary Clupper celebrates the success of the
Kennedy-King Dinner

- Details on next Monday's Wine, Cheese & Politics
event at the Bayfront Community Center with Elder
Law Expert Babette Bach. Don't miss this chance to
hear from Florida's foremost Elder Law Expert on the
hot topic of Elderly Guardianship that has been
featured in many Herald Tribune articles this year!

- April luncheon at The Francis featuring Terri Wonder,
PhD on Womens Veterans issues, specifically The
Role of Women in Counterinsurgency. Check out
the delicious lunch choices!

Many of our members receive the Events Mailer by U.S. Mail. If you would like to discontinue your mailed copy in order to save the Club printing and mailing costs, please e-mail Dick Stammer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) and state you want to OPT OUT OF THE EVENTS MAILER BY U.S. MAIL. Whether you receive The Events Mailer by mail or not, all members will receive the e-mail link every month. Only reply to this message if you are opting out of the mailed copy. For other concerns or comments, you may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Click here to donate to the student fund
Sincerely,

Tom Cook, DCS Corresponding Secretary
Democratic Club of Sarasota

In the Media: Babette Bach and Rob Patten Featured in Scene Magazine

Babette Bach and Rob Patten were featured in the February 2015 issue of Scene Magazine, which included an article on their shared commitment to land conservation and environmental protection.  Click here to read the article and see a picture near their rustic cabin on the Myakka River.

Read the entire article here

 

Babette Bach Esq. To Speak On The Unlicensed Practice Of Law And Medicaid.

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

Babette Bach Esq. will be a speaker at the Florida Health Care Assoc. District VI meeting.
Ms. Bach’s presentation will be on the “Unlicensed Practice of Law & Medicaid Planning”

LOCATION: Tidewell Hospice Building, 5955 Rand Boulevard, Sarasota FL. 34240.
DATE: Thursday, January 22nd, 2015.
TIME: 12pm.

For the recent Supreme Court ruling on Medicaid planning by non-lawyers (January 15, 2015),
please click this link: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2015/sc14-211.pdf

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Increase for 2015

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, FL

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the COLA for seniors, placing the increase at 1.7% for 2015. There's not going to be any change in the Part B premium of $104.90 (for those unmarried seniors with incomes below $85,000). The SSI monthly benefit is $733. The Presumed Maximum Value is $264.33. The 2015 Florida Medicaid Income Cap is $2199. Attorney Babette B. Bach is a Board Certified Florida Elder Law attorney and an expert in public benefits. Call Bach & Jacobs, PA to schedule an appointment with Babette to review your eligibility for Medicaid and other public benefits.

Federal labor rules for in-home caregivers, domestic service workers changing Jan. 1, 2015

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, Florida

Do you employ private-duty caregivers in your home? On January 1, 2015, a new Final Rule issued by the United States Department of Labor will take effect concerning domestic service workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and will extend minimum wage and overtime protection to such workers.   Domestic employers are very vulnerable to employment-related mistakes and oversights that could carry significant financial and legal risks. The attorneys at Bach & Jacobs, P.A. work with clients to make them aware of payroll, tax, and labor law requirements, including insurance requirements, when they hire home help. Contact our office today to make an appointment with one of our elder law attorneys if you are employing or are considering employing private duty home health assistance.

Why would someone convey property using a lady bird deed?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, Florida

Question:    Why would someone convey property using a lady bird deed?

Answer:    There are multiple advantages of using a Lady Bird deed.  First, the transfer of the real property occurs pursuant to the remainder provision in the deed and will not require probate to effectuate the transfer.  Second, the owner/life tenant can maintain the homestead tax exemption.  Third, it gives the owner/life tenant greater control than with a typical life-estate deed.  The remainderman can be changed and a future conveyance or mortgage would not require the remainderman’s cooperation or approval.  Fourth, there are various tax advantages.  The remainderman receives the property at the life tenant’s death with a ‘stepped up basis’ for federal income tax purposes.  The Florida Department of Revenue does not levy documentary stamp taxes against Lady Bird deed transfers.  Finally, a Lady Bird deed can be useful in planning for Medicaid eligibility for an unmarried applicant because the creation of the deed is not considered to be a transfer of assets by the state.  Contact Board Certified Elder Lawyer Babette B. Bach, Esq. to find out if a Lady Bird deed would be appropriate for transferring interests in real property you own.

What is a ‘Lady Bird Deed’?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A. - Sarasota, Florida

Question:    What is a ‘Lady Bird Deed’?  

Answer:    A Lady Bird deed, or “enhanced life estate deed,” is a method for transferring an interest in real estate.  With a Lady Bird deed, the owner of a property reserves a life estate in the property, entitling the grantor the right to live on the real property for the rest of his or her life.  The deed also identifies a ‘remainderman’, who, at the grantor’s death, receives title to the real property.  What makes Lady Bird deeds unique is that the grantor/owner/life tenant also reserves the right to encumber the property, keep all income from the property, and sell the property without the approval of the remainderman.  In short, the remainderman only get what’s left on the date of death of the property owner/life tenant.  This deed is designed to leave the owner with all the powers of a solely-owned parcel but with an automatic conveyance of whatever is left upon the owner’s death to the remainderman.  It can be a useful tool.

When to Obtain an EIN for a Trust

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Question:  I have just taken over my parent’s trust as the successor trustee.  Do I need to apply for an EIN for the trust?

Answer:  It depends on whether the trust has become irrevocable.  If you become successor trustee of a revocable trust prior to the death of the grantor, then you will not need to obtain an employer identification number (“EIN”).  The grantor will continue to report all of the income and expenses of the trust on his or her individual tax return using their own Social Security number.  However, you should know that once the grantor dies, the trust becomes irrevocable.  Once the trust becomes irrevocable, the trust becomes a separate tax-paying entity.  You will need to complete the application for an EIN as soon as possible so you can properly report all post-death transactions under the trust’s EIN.  If you are the trustee of a revocable or irrevocable trust, contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A. for guidance on the proper administration of the trust.   Attorney Fred Jacobs is a Board Certified Tax Lawyer and can advise you on the legal requirements that trustees must comply with under the Florida Trust Code and the Internal Revenue Code.

Fredric C. Jacobs, Board Certified Tax Lawyer
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Herald Tribune: Bach a top-ranked Lawyer of the Year

Herald Tribune: Bach a top-ranked Lawyer of the Year

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

The Sarasota Herald Tribune covered Bach & Jacobs, PA founder Babette B. Bach's selection as a 2014 Lawyer of the Year and a Top Rated Lawyer of 2014. Babette was named a Top Rated Lawyer of 2014 as a result of her rating from Martindale-Hubbell and her expertise in the field of elder law. The legal publication Best Lawyers named Babette as a 2015 Lawyer of the Year. You can read the article by clicking here.

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Do I Need an EIN for my Revocable Living Trust?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Q:           Do I need an EIN for my revocable living trust?

A:            No.  If you created a trust, funded it with your money, and reserved the right to revoke it, then the IRS does not consider it a separate tax-paying entity. The the trust will not require its own taxpayer identification number or employer identification number (referred to as an “EIN”).  In fact, you cannot obtain an EIN for a trust that is revocable.  Such a trust does not file its own tax return.  If you would like to know if a trust would be appropriate for your estate plan or tax planning, contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A.  Attorney Fred Jacobs is a Board Certified Tax Lawyer and can advise you on the use of trusts in your planning.

Fredric C. Jacobs, Esquire, Board Certified Tax Lawyer
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Health Insurance Premium Rebates Under Obamacare in Florida

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Question: Do policy holders really get a rebate of their health insurance premiums paid to the health insurance company? 

Answer: Part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was insurance company reform, and part of the reform was the “80/20 rule.” The 80/20 rule requires insurance companies to spend 80 cents of every $1 received in premiums on actual health care, such as paying doctors and other medical providers.  The amount over 80% is refunded to the policyholders.  In 2014 in Florida alone, $41,679,928 in total rebates were paid to 981,273 insured policy holders.  ABC News explains it here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obamacare-health-insurance-rebates-check/story?id=19701785

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

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