From time to time, I get emails from people seeking answers to Florida legal questions. While responding to one, I suddenly thought that I should put together a couple of blog posts to highlight a few of the more common questions. Although the situation might be slightly different from individual to individual, I felt these Florida law questions pertained to most people in one way or another.
Florida Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Law Question
I’m a single person and make more than $43,000 yearly gross income. I have been told that I cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because I make too much money. Is this true?
This depends on your individual expenses. You are slightly over the Florida income level of $40,766 per year for one person to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The good news is that there are certain monthly expenses which may be subtracted from your total income, and these deductions may bring you under the maximum state level in order to qualify for bankruptcy. It’s very important that you have an experienced bankruptcy attorney look over your income and expenses to accurately determine if and how you may file for bankruptcy.
Florida Estate Planning Law Question
In my will, I leave everything to my sister, but my brother is the beneficiary on my two bank CDs. Who would be entitled to the CD money?
Kevin, as you have named your brother as a beneficiary, it must be a “payable on death account.” This is a good vehicle to use to transfer assets and avoid probate. The beneficiary cannot touch the account until the death of the principal. This makes it very different from a joint account. Make sure the CD is not, in fact, held jointly as this would defeat the purpose of having your brother receive the entire balance upon your death. All your brother has to do is present a certificate of death to the bank, and he gets to withdraw the funds regardless of what your will says. Make sure you gave the bank his full legal name and social security number, so the bank will not hesitate in identifying him as the person you designated as the beneficiary.