Estate planning and asset protection changes for 2011

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As we begin 2011, there is much uncertainty in the areas of both estate planning and asset protection. As the estate laws change, we will, as we have done here continue to update you so that you may better serve your clients and protect yourself and your South Florida family.

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Estate planning and asset protection changes for 2011

  1. 1. Estate Planning and Asset Protection Changes for 2011 By Michael D. WildAs we begin 2011, there is much uncertainty in the areas of both estateplanning and asset protection. For much of 2010, we expected 2011 togreet us with a 55 percent estate tax on all assets over $1 million.Toward the end of 2010, President Obama gave in to Republicandemands of a reprieve on this exorbitantly high death tax and agreed toreduce the estate tax for 2011 and 2012 to 35 percent, with a $5 millionexemption amount. If you plan on dying in the next two years, you maybe relieved.However, if you plan on living well past 2012, uncertainty still remains.As of today, the estate tax rate for 2013 will revert to 55 percent, withonly a $1 million exemption amount. We will hope for the best but mustplan for the worst, which is why we recommend that our clients set upIrrevocable Life Insurance Trusts for all life insurance policies over$250,000 and Bypass trusts for all marital estates over $2 million. Visit the Fort Lauderdale Estate Planning Law Firm of Wild Felice and Pardo for a Free ConsultationAs the estate laws change, we will continue to update you so that youmay better serve your clients and protect yourself and your family.The world of asset protection was turned slightly on its head as well in2010. On June 24, 2010, the Florida Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in the case of Shaun Olmstead, et al., v. The FederalTrade Commission and raised the question as to whether Florida limitedliability companies (LLCs) will continue to have charging orderprotection.A charging order is a remedy that a creditor of a member in an LLC canreceive from a court that instructs the entity to give the creditor anydistributions that would otherwise be paid to the partner or member from
  2. 2. the entity. Generally, a creditor who receives a charging order withrespect to a member’s interest in the entity does not have any authorityto mandate distributions from the entity or to participate in themanagement and affairs of the entity, nor are they able to access theassets of the company. Visit the Fort Lauderdale Estate Planning Law Firm of Wild Felice and Pardo for a Free ConsultationCharging orders are governed by state law, and in many states, acharging order is the exclusive remedy for a creditor with respect to adebtor’s LLC membership. However, the Olmstead ruling allowed thecreditor to “pierce the corporate veil” of the LLC and access the actualassets of the LLC.While the LLC at issue in Olmstead was a single-member LLC, manyattorneys are concerned about the slippery slope that would allow thepiercing of multiple-member LLC’s as well. It is definitely somethingthat we will keep an eye on in the coming months.For more information on successful Florida estate planning and assetprotection techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of WildFelice & Pardo, P.A. at 954-944-2855 or via email at info@wfplaw.comto schedule your free consultation. Let us protect what and who youvalue most.

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