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Another confusing tax form for executors

Who thinks about tax season in July? The answer is likely no one outside of an accountant’s or tax attorney’s office. But the confusion over how to complete tax forms may not go away for executors tasked with administering an estate. Obscure and dense tax forms can be vexing; especially for those who do not regularly deal with them.

But due to legislation passed in 2015, executors must now complete IRS tax form 8971. This post will briefly explain what the form is and why it can be confounding. 

Property tax reduction efforts to be "Trumped" again?

As the President of the United States, Donald Trump is fighting to reform taxes. While action has yet to be taken by his administration, Trump, the brand and business, are pursuing its own form of a lower tax assessment on his golf club in Jupiter, Florida.

As a titan of industry, Trump has made no secret about doing everything the law allows to lower his tax bills, tactics that are common in enterprises that own real estate. In fact, his business has a pattern of challenging tax assessments on all of his properties, including his well-known golf clubs.

To robocall or not to robocall

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) allows consumers to sue companies who call via an automatic dialing system without prior consent. Many lawsuits against creditors and collection agencies revolve around the specific issue of consent when it comes to “robocalls.”

A recent case involved Alberto Reyes, the plaintiff, who had leased a car through Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Automotive Financial Services. The application signed by Reyes had a provision that allowed Lincoln to make contact calls as part of the overall agreement. When Reyes stopped making payments, Lincoln responded with calls to collect the past due debt.

How serious is serial adverse possession in Florida?

Is it possible for anyone to take over your property. The answer is an alarming, yet qualified “yes.” Under the right circumstances, it is legal through a process known as adverse possession.

Adverse possession has allowed unauthorized property seizure for decades. Essentially, someone (commonly referred to as a “squatter”) can follow a process to become the owner and occupy the land.

It may be time for your mid-year, estate planning “tune-up”

The creation of an estate plan should never be “one and done.” Taking proactive steps in protecting your assets is vital. The one thing you can count on about life is that it will change after the documents are signed.

Think of a will, trust and other instruments as a car. It requires ongoing care and maintenance. As you reach the mid-point of the year, you may see the need for a tune-up.

Shopping malls and their bleak business future

Shopping malls once attracted consumers looking to make purchases under one roof. However, this common destination boasting convenience and climate control may become all too uncommon.

Mall business that once boomed faces dire predictions of a bust. Credit Suisse, a leading financial services company, forecasts that shopping centers will lose the battle as quickly as they are shedding square footage. Over the next five years, 20 to 25 percent will permanently close their doors.

A business partnership ends before it begins

While internal disputes can put a business’ future in questions, equally serious conflicts can sabotage pending partnerships. Power struggles can occur before power is even secured, especially when millions and billions of dollars are at stake,

The unlikely duo of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter were on track to purchase the Miami Marlins major league baseball team. Bush would join his brother, former President and Texas Rangers owner George W. Bush, as a franchise owner. Jeter had publicly expressed his eagerness in buying a team since his retirement.

Florida's "Liquor Wall" survives

Walls have been the subject of political conversations for decades. Back in the mid-eighties, former President Ronald Reagan implored Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down that wall.” During his campaign and in the early days of his presidency, Donald Trump promises to, “Build that wall.”

Florida also has a proposed wall. It is popularly referred to as the “liquor wall” that keeps sales of spirits in liquor stores.

Four Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid In A Second Marriage

A second marriage is a time for a new beginning. Even so, many individuals who remarry are likely to bring children from a prior marriage to the relationship, as well as financial obligations. These factors can complicate estate planning and what happens to your assets and property after your death. This is a time to enjoy your new marriage, but also a time to be responsible when it comes to estate planning.

The first mistake to avoid is failing to update wills, living wills and other documents, including the beneficiaries listed on insurance policies and other accounts. If and when you should need someone to make medical decisions for you and you want it to be your spouse, this change should be made.

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