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Protecting Your Legacy
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October 2013 Archives

Estate plans to protect loved ones

Florida residents who do not want to rely on the rules of intestacy may decide to complete a comprehensive estate plan. Wills help individuals determine to whom to leave their material possessions. Without them, the decedent's assets will be distributed in accordance with state intestacy laws. Very often spouses receive all or most of the estate under those laws. This result may not be desired in all cases, such as when a person is newly married and has children from a previous relationship that he or she wants to provide for. If there is no spouse, children may inherit, followed by descendants and then other relatives.

Downside of windfalls

If someone in Orlando hears they are coming into an unexpected windfall in the form of a substantial inheritance, it may present a significant shock to that individual. An unexpected surprise of this nature may negatively affect someone. However, by planning appropriately, individuals can help the windfall augment their life in a positive way.

Should parents leave an inheritance to their children?

Many Florida parents may be wondering if they should leave an inheritance to their children. Whether parents are wealthy or not, the decision is always a personal one that reflects their financial situations, family values and other factors. There is no right or wrong answer. However, several survey results reflect a similar trend; that is, parents and their children may not agree to expectations and ideas, which could cause problems in the future.

DOMA ruling affects estate planning for same-sex couples

According to a senior financial planner at Wilmington Trust, when the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, it created many benefits for same-sex couples. Because of the Supreme Court ruling, the federal government is required to recognize same-sex marriages for those who reside in states where such marriages are legal and provide the same benefits, which Florida is not one of. This means that same-sex married couples can derive benefits from many estate planning and tax strategies previously available for married couples of the opposite sex.

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