There's an old expression: "All dressed up but nowhere to go!" This phrase has been interpreted to mean being completely prepared for an event that fails to materialize. This is sometimes true with persons who do a Revocable or Living Trust but fail to fund it. They are prepared to avoid probate but this objective--avoiding probate--fails to materialize because assets are not in the Trust at that time of death.
When considering purchasing an existing business, a common question arises regarding whether to purchase the assets of the business or to purchase the business entity itself. For example, if purchasing a small sandwich shop which is owned and operated by Acme Corporation, should the buyer purchase the assets of the sandwich shop or should the purchaser buy the stock of Acme Corporation? As with many questions under the law, the answer is that "it depends" and the purchaser would be well-advised to seek legal and financial advice.
When a person dies resident in Florida, there are four basic categories into which each of their assets or properties fall. Experienced estate and probate attorneys know that where an asset falls among these categories will determine what action must be taken to administer or dispose of that asset. The action which must be taken will in turn impact the time, expense and stress caused in administering and transferring each asset. If you do not mind significant time delays, paying lawyers and being stressed, then this blog entry is not for you.
As estate attorneys, we often have families come in after the death of a loved one and they have no idea where to start. What assets--accounts, investments, real estate, insurance, retirement accounts--did their loved on have? Where did their loved one have these assets? Who do they contact for assistance?