Florida residents who have large estates are likely aware that over the last decade, there have been changes to federal estate tax exemptions and capital gains rates that may change how they want to approach their estate planning. Capital gains tax rates have gone up from 15 percent to 24 percent, while the federal estate tax exemption rose from $1.5 million to $5.43 million between 2004 and 2015.
Naming a trust as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy can be a wise decision in some situations. Although many people name a person as the beneficiary of their life insurance policy, using a trust instead can be helpful for Florida families with large estates, financially irresponsible heirs or special needs children.
Florida residents who have online accounts may be interested in how those accounts are treated after their death. Depending on the service provider, it may be difficult for family members to gain access to those accounts and the information contained within them.
While most people think about wills or trusts when planning their estates, it is important for them to also plan for the possibility that they may suffer an illness or injury that will leave them unable to make decisions while they are still living. There are several different ways people can plan for incapacity so that someone else can take care of certain matters on their behalf.
Some Floridians might wrongly believe that wills and estate plans are only required for people who are rich. However, all people, regardless of their income level, may benefit by having a will in place. Without a will, the person's estate will have to go through the probate process in order for their assets to pass, and their assets may pass in a manner that the person would not have wanted.
Experts caution that Florida baby boomers must not neglect estate planning as part of their retirement planning. However, people of this age group are not the only ones who tend to avoid these matters. While planning for what happens to one's assets after one's death may not be a pleasant topic, doing so is important for loved ones.
As many Florida residents may know, setting up an estate plan may be way for an individual to direct asset allocation after they die. With changes in estate tax limits, individuals are able to create an estate plan that is broader, incorporates beneficiaries who are not family members and charities that are important during the grantor's life.
Individuals in Florida who are estate planning should keep in mind that how they prepare their loved ones is as important as how they prepare the documents related to their estate. Family members may be unwilling to discuss estate plans, bad at organization or uninformed about finances. All of these qualities may contribute to difficulty in carrying out an individual's wishes, even when the will and other documents are correctly prepared.
Based on the results of a nationwide survey, many Florida business owners may not have estate plans. The survey, which asked questions of more than 500 business owners, revealed that only about 70 percent have an estate plan in place. Of those who do not, around 30 percent said they did not think it was necessary and around half said they avoided it because they found the topic unpleasant. Many of the business owners had outdated estate plans. Only 12 percent were less than two years old while more than half were more than five years old.
When an individual or a group of individuals are granted power of attorney, they are given the authority to manage an individual's affairs. In some cases, the power is limited to a certain action or set of actions. For instance, another person may be granted the ability to oversee the closing of a real estate transaction. In other cases, a broad authority may be granted to manage an individual's affairs.