Attorney Colleen Carson Achieves the AV Preeminent Rating

Attorney Colleen Carson

Congratulations to BaskinFleece attorney Colleen Carson for achieving the highest level of Professional Excellence rating from her peers, the AV Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell. The Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings™ have been the gold standard in attorney ratings for more than a century. Attorneys looking to refer a client, as well as individuals researching lawyers for their own legal needs, use these ratings to identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate lawyer for their legal issue. A Peer Review Rating contributes to the comprehensive view of a lawyer and benefits the entire legal community.


AV Preeminent Peer AwardAV Preeminent®:
The highest peer rating standard. This rating signifies that the lawyer’s reviewed peers rank attorney Colleen Carson at the highest level of professional excellence for her legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.

5 Reasons to Review Your Estate Planning Today:

  1. Pay-on-death beneficiaries sometimes fail. Due to a change in computer software or a merger, it is possible for a financial institution to lose your pay-on-death beneficiary designations. As such, it is good practice to confirm designations with your financial institution at least once per year.
    estate planning
  2. There may be out-of-date contact information for the individuals named on your advance directives. Further, those individuals, due to a change of circumstance in their own life, may no longer be able to act on your behalf. In such a case, it is important to choose new fiduciaries with the ability to serve.
  3. Your intent may have changed. For example, as your children get older, they may become more viable candidates to act as fiduciaries during your lifetime or upon your passing.
  4. You are forced to locate your documents. It is important that you know where estate planningyour original estate planning documents are held, as well as any copies that have been produced. In an emergency situation, being unable to locate your advance directives could cause a delay in making important health care decisions. Additionally, upon your passing, the inability to locate your estate planning documents could cause a delay in probating your estate.
  5. Attorney Randall D. Baskin

    Attorney Randall D. Baskin

    A change in life situation, such as a change in wealth, relocation, divorce, birth or death, could drastically alter your estate planning. It is important to review your estate planning documents to ensure that they still reflect your wishes in light of any life changes. As your life evolves, so should your estate plan.

For additional information, please contact BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.

 

 

Attorney Jay Fleece Is Featured in the 23rd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©

Baskin Fleece partner Joseph W. “Jay” Fleece, III, was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 in the field of Trusts and Estates Litigation. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. This year, 7.3 million votes were analyzed, resulting inBaskinFleece lawyer Jay Fleece the inclusion of almost 55,000 lawyers in the 23rd edition. Lawyers are not required nor allowed to pay a fee to be listed. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

To schedule an appointment with a Baskin Fleece attorney, call (727) 572-4545. For more information about Baskin Fleece, visit www.BaskinFleece.com.

A Personal Representative Must Be Appointed by a Judge Before He or She Can Serve

Probate and trust administration is handled by BaskinFleece

If the decedent’s will designated a personal representative, the judge will decide if that person is qualified to serve. A circuit court judge supervises or presides over probate administration and also rules on the validity of the decedent’s will. If the decedent Personal Representativedied without a will, the judge will consider evidence to confirm the identities of the decedent’s heirs as those who will receive the decedent’s probate estate.

If the designated personal representative meets the statutory qualifications, the judge will issue “Letters of Administration,” also referred to simply as “letters.” These “letters” are important evidence of the personal representative’s authority to administer the decedent’s probate estate.

The judge will hold a hearing, as necessary, to answer any questions or to resolve disputes that arise during the course of administering the decedent’s probate estate. The judge’s decision will be set forth in a written direction called an “order.”

For information about Probate Administration in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater, call BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.

This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Some of the content of this information is courtesy of The Florida Bar and represents general legal advice. Because the law is continually changing, some provisions in this blog may be out of date. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities in your particular case.

Take Time to Give Today and Plan for Tomorrow

Community foundationIt’s that time of year when joy and thoughts of giving are upon us. Whether it’s shopping for Christmas presents, observing Hanukkah, celebrating Kwanzaa or the day of Enlightenment, take time to not only think about your family and loved ones, but those in your community who are not as fortunate as you. There are many families and organizations right here in Pinellas County that could use your help. If you have the time, volunteering can warm your heart, but if you are too busy to volunteer, a donation to your favorite charity or organization would be appreciated more than you can imagine.

Community FoundationFor example, the Pinellas Community Foundation is committed to making the Pinellas County community a better place to live. Through the generosity and dedication of their donors, advisors, and community leaders, they serve the community in the following roles:

1. Support non-profit organizations in Pinellas County so they may continue to provide effective and productive programs that benefit the community.

2. Serve donors who seek knowledge of community needs and of effective charitable giving vehicles. There are so many ways to give, the Pinellas Community Foundation can help you with the options.

3. Connect to the local community and know their needs. The Pinellas Community Foundation manages programs to deliver grants and scholarships, support educational endeavors, and address priority community needs.

Pinellas Community FoundationIt’s also a time to think about yourself and the loved ones around you. Planning what happens to your assets, estate, other valuables, and pets is something to consider as one of your New Year’s resolutions. BaskinFleece can help you with your estate planning, so call us today at 727.572.4545 to plan for your future, and call the Pinellas Community Foundation at 727.531.0058 to help those in need today.

Compensation of a Personal Representative When Administering an Estate

Estates and Trusts: The 2015 Florida Statutes – Compensation of a Personal Representative

Personal representative compensationA personal representative shall be entitled to a commission payable from the estate assets without court order as compensation for ordinary services. The commission shall be based on the compensable value of the estate, which is the inventory value of the probate estate assets and the income earned by the estate during administration.

A commission computed on the compensable value of the estate is presumed to be reasonable compensation for a personal representative in formal administration as follows:

(a) At the rate of 3 percent for the first $1 million.
(b) At the rate of 2.5 percent for all above $1 million and not exceeding $5 million.
(c) At the rate of 2 percent for all above $5 million and not exceeding $10 million.
(d) At the rate of 1.5 percent for all above $10 million.

personal representativeIn addition to the previously described commission, a personal representative shall be allowed further compensation as is reasonable for any extraordinary services including, but not limited to:

(a) The sale of real or personal property.
(b) The conduct of litigation on behalf of or against the estate.
(c) Involvement in proceedings for the adjustment or payment of any taxes.
(d) The carrying on of the decedent’s business.
(e) Dealing with protected homestead.
(f) Any other special services which may be necessary for the personal representative to perform.”
  
The above text is an excerpt from 2015 Florida Statute 733.617. For more information about the role and compensation of a Personal Representative in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater, call BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.
This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

 

The Difference Between a “Last Will and Testament” and a “Living Will”

Will: The rights of a decedent's family.

Will: The rights of a decedent’s family

Estate planning Many people confuse these two documents and sometimes believe they are the same document. They are two very different estate planning documents. A living will is a legal document that is sometimes referred to as an advance directive.  In Florida, a living will deals with whether a person wants to be kept alive by life-prolonging measures when they have a terminal condition, an end-stage condition, or are in a persistent vegetative state. A living will is only effective when a person has a terminal condition, an end-stage condition, or is in a persistent vegetative state.

A professional guardian must pass a rigorous testing process to become a registered guardian, and all guardians are bonded for 100% of the value of the ward’s liquid assets.A last will and testament is a legal document where you name a person to manage your estate and advise to whom your estate shall be devised. A last will and testament is only effective once a person has died.

For help or answers to will and estate planning-related questions, you can contact BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.

 

 

 

The content of this information is courtesy of The Florida Bar and represents general legal advice. Because the law is continually changing, some provisions in this blog may be out of date. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities in your particular case.

This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.