Author Archive

Advance Directives and Your Legal Authority For Missing Family Members – What Do You Do?

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Advance Directives and Your Legal Authority For Missing Family Members – What Do You Do?
Posted on: July 28th, 2014
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Acting as a Successor Trustee – Advance Directives and How They Affect You  

The news is full of speculation as to the whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  The March 8, 2014 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared.  No trace of the plane – or its 239 passengers and crew – has ...

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Estate Planning For Unmarried Couples

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Celebrity Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death shows us the obstacles that unmarried couples face according to Florida law. How do you take care of your loved ones if the law says they have no rights?

Estate Planning For Unmarried Couples
Posted on: March 13th, 2014
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Unexpected Death and the Lack of an Estate Plan

If you died and are unmarried, who would plan your funeral? What would happen to your estate?
Take the ...

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Navigating Guardianships of a Minor’s Estate

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Navigating Guardianships of a Minor’s Estate
Posted on: March 3rd, 2014
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Guardianship of a Minor’s Estate

This week we take a look at Paul Walker’s death and the legal guardianship of his daughter. TMZ has reported that the actor left his $25 million dollar fortune to his 15-year-old daughter, and asked that the probate court name Paul’s mother as the legal guardian of Paul’s daughter, as well as the legal conservator of the $25 million.  ...

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Estate Planning for Young Adults

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Estate Planning for Young Adults
Posted on: May 16th, 2013
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Teenagers, rejoice! At age 18, your government says you are an adult and your parents have no legal ability to make decisions for you. Just what you want, right? No more nagging about cleaning up after yourself, making something of your life, and sitting up straight.

Parents, beware! When your child turns age 18, your government says your child is an ...

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Attention Florida Residents: Change in Power of Attorney Law

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Attention Florida Residents: Change in Power of Attorney Law
Posted on: October 2nd, 2011
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Just when you thought you had your estate planning documents in order, there sneaks up a drastic change in the power of attorney law. A durable power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone the authority to act on your behalf. You are the principal and the person you appoint is the agent. Effective ...

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It (Still) Takes a Village for Special Needs Children

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It (Still) Takes a Village for Special Needs Children
Posted on: March 16th, 2011
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Back in 1996 Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book, “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us,” was published. No political figure can write anything without it stirring up partisan controversy, but this post isn’t being written for political purposes, so we’re going to set aside any conversation of her overt agenda in writing the book as well ...

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Grief Smells Like Orange Blossoms

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Grief Smells Like Orange Blossoms
Posted on: March 13th, 2011
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Smell invokes memory unlike any other sense. The treacly-sweet aroma of Florida springtime clobbers me with grief every March. Enveloped in the cloying perfume of citrus in bloom, I flash to my senior year of high school when Megan McCabe died. Megan was thoughtful and smart and funny and pretty, and a member of the rowing team with me. A group of us ...

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So You Want to Present a National Webinar?

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So You Want to Present a National Webinar? Here are some tips.
Posted on: January 6th, 2011
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Congratulations! You’ve been asked to present with a group of experts on a webinar that will have people from across the country listening? Here are some helpful hints that I learned from my recent experience.

I was invited by WealthCounsel™ to be a panelist with Lew Dymond, Peter Parenti, and Paul Bernstein to discuss the new ...

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Hey, what about a Living Will?

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Hey, what about a Living Will?
Posted on: October 22nd, 2010
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

Recently, I watched the season premiere of “Brothers and Sisters.” It was packed with legal issues, pertinent to the type law I practice. You know the show, the strong matriarch, Sally Fields, at the head of the whiny family known as the Walkers. It takes place one year after the horrible automobile accident that occurred at the cliffhanger last May.

Last season left ...

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Death Arbitrage: Should I Pull the Plug Today? There’s No Estate Tax.

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Death Arbitrage: Should I Pull the Plug Today? There’s No Estate Tax.
Posted on: January 10th, 2010
By: Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq. CPA MBA MSTax MSAcctg

I’m angry. I’m disheartened, dismayed, and disgusted. But mostly, I’m angry.

One of my peers today asked me if I am advising clients to remove life support from their loved ones – their RICH loved ones – quick, right now, before Congress acts to bring back the estate tax.

Because, depending on the nature of the ...

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