Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law E Newsletter  
December  2015
Message from our Attorneys

As we wrap up another year we thank you for your continuing confidence. We consider it a pleasure and a privilege to serve you.  Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful holiday season. 
All the best,  
Joseph S. Karp
Joseph S. Karp
Genny Bernstein
Ge nny Bernstein
Adele S. Harris
Adele S. Harris
Brad Henry
Rachel G. Zetouni
Chad Steskal

In This Issue
Senior Survival Workshops
Have you resolved to stop procrastinating and get your planning done? You don't have to wait for next year to turn over a new leaf. Our last "Senior Survival Workshop" of 2015 is next week. Attend this free session and learn how to protect yourself, your family and your assets. This may be the best holiday gift you can give your family.
2016 estate tax limits
The federal lifetime estate tax exemption, tied to inflation, will increase slightly in 2016.

Congratulations to Chad Steskal, Brad Henry
Congratulations to Attorney Chad Steskal  and his wife Latha, who welcomed a son, Skylar, on September 12. Congratulations of a different sort are in order for Attorney Brad Henry, who has been accepted into the prestigious Florida Fellows Institute, an invitation-only association of estate planning lawyers.
Social Security: File & Suspend no longer possible
Well, it was great while it lasted. The new federal budget eliminates two strategies that married couples have relied on to leverage Social Security benefits.

New flu vaccine for people 65+
The Federal and Drug Administration has approved a new flu vaccine. Fluad has been shown to improve immunity in those over age 65. It becomes available next year.

Attorney Karp in Brazil
Attorney Joseph Karp and his wife Debbie recently spent a week in Brazil. Some of Debbie's photos are on our website. Nature lovers will enjoy them! 
Is there common law marriage in Florida?
However longstanding your relationship with your live-in partner, the arrangement probably doesn't qualify as a common law marriage in Florida. For devoted partners, this presents both planning opportunities and challenges.

Replace your old Sunpass
If you have an old, battery-operated Sun Pass device, it won't work after December 31 and must be replaced with a newer model. There is no charge to switch transponders.

Finally, some common sense
The furor over "death panels" has finally, well, died down. With overwhelming support from the public and physicians' groups, Medicare will now cover counseling sessions for patients who wish to discuss end-of-life care choices with their doctor. 

How NOT to disinherit someone
With the exception of your spouse and minor children, and obligations to your creditors, you're not legally required to leave anything to anyone. Here's a story about a grandmother so determined to cut out her relatives that she cut up her assets - literally.

Do this when you're home for the holidays
Visiting an elderly relative for the holidays? Take a look around their house for tripping hazards. Falls can put an otherwise independent older person on a downward spiral. Here are some inexpensive fixes that can make the home a safer place.

'Tis the season
The Karp Law Firm has been going on all its charitable cylinders.  We helped sponsor the Safari Night at the Palm Beach Count Zoo to raise money for Alzheimer's Research...  Collected over 400 pounds of food for needy families for Thanksgiving through the Food for Families Project ... Provided toys for 10 children through the Angel Tree Project.
More protection for elderly wards
Recent reports of elder abuse in Florida's public guardianship system seem to have been a wake-up call for legislators, who are taking steps to better protect vulnerable seniors. 

Thank you for your referrrals!
We can't think of a nicer compliment than your referral of family and friends to our office. Please encourage your referrals to mention your name. We want to personally thank you for your confidence!