Make your List and keep it current

Most of our clients understand that we handle estate and corporate planning matters. For personal planning, we work towards forming an orderly plan to dispose of assets at the time of death. For corporate planning, our work varies – sometimes we advise clients regarding the type of entity to use; assist in contract review, negotiation and preparation; and business succession planning.

What is not as well known is the depth of our estate administration (a.k.a. probate) practice. We routinely advise clients’ loved ones on how to carry out the plans that were made for their benefit. A reoccurring issue that comes up in our meetings is trying to find information.

In the absence of keeping information organized, your loved ones will have a heck of a time locating and gathering information about your assets and bills. That’s not to say that they won’t be able to do it; however, it can certainly take a long time. This is made even worse when you think about how many statements you receive through your email account.

In the “old” days (and yes, I feel really old saying that), we would advise clients’ families to collect their loved one’s bills for a few months. Once those items are collected, a good list of assets and bills could be assembled. Unfortunately, while we still need to do that, we find that this approach is simply not enough.

Please make it a part of your estate planning to make a list of your assets. In this list, include bank names and account numbers. Don’t forget to add usernames and passwords for all online accounts, including your email addresses. Because this will change frequently, I encourage you to update your list once a year – perhaps when you are gathering your tax materials for your accountant.

When you make your list, print it out and keep it in a place where your designated representative(s) can locate it without difficulty. You can also upload it into The DocSafe, but if your family does not know that you use this service, the list won’t do you much good.

Interested in saving $400?

This is our last reminder to those of you who procrastinate!  If you own a company or are responsible for filing your company’s Florida Annual Report, you have until May 1, 2014 to file.  The penalty for filing late is significant – $400.

Information on filing an Annual Report can be obtained at www.sunbiz.org.  You can submit your Annual Report and pay the filing fee online. To do this, you will need the document number assigned to the business by the State.  This number is located in an email that you should have received from the State in January.  If you do not receive an email (or you did not retain it), you can locate the number by searching the Sunbiz website for your business record.  Feel free to give our office a call if you would like us to walk you through the filing process FREE OF CHARGE.   We will gladly help you with this process!

The filing fees are as follows:

Filed by May 1      Filed after May 1

·         For profit corporation:               $150.00                   $550.00

·         Limited partnership:                   $500.00                  $900.00

·         Limited liability company:            $138.75                  $538.75

Also, do not forget that the act of filing your Annual Report does not negate the responsibility of businesses from following all statutory requirements to maintain those businesses, such as holding annual shareholder and board meetings (e.g., for corporations).

2014 Annual Reports are due!

If you are a business owner, then this Alert is for you.  If you are not, please forward this to your friends who are business owners. Failing to take the following action will result in a late fee assessed against the business by the State of Florida that cannot be waived.

During January each year, the State sends emails to business entities registered in the State that reminds them to file annual reports by May 1st of that year (unless the business is a not-for-profit).  Unfortunately, some email addresses change over time or are invalid, which means that many businesses will not receive this reminder.

Failing to file an annual report on a timely basis will result in a business being administratively dissolved by the State, or at a minimum, require the payments of expensive reinstatement and/or late fees.  With the annual report, a filing fee must be submitted.

The filing fees are as follows:

Filed by May 1      Filed after May 1
·         For profit corporation:               $150.00                   $550.00

·         Limited partnership:                   $500.00                  $900.00

·         Limited liability company:            $138.75                  $538.75

Information on filing an annual report can be obtained at www.sunbiz.org.  In fact, you can submit the annual report and pay the filing fee on-line. To do this, you will need the document number assigned to the business by the State.  This number is located in the State’s email, or if you do not receive an email, you can locate the number by searching the sunbiz website for your business record.  Feel free to give our office a call if you would like us to walk you through the filing process FREE OF CHARGE.

Also, do not forget that the act of filing an annual report does not negate the responsibility of businesses from following all statutory requirements to maintain those businesses, such as holding annual shareholder and board meetings (for corporations).

Finally, for profit companies send out emails about the annual report requirement.  They collect email addresses from the State’s website and is soliciting businesses.  These are THIRD party solicitations not associated with the State – you can file your report on-line without going through any of these companies.