Say you want to do what most estate planners in Florida want to do: leave your assets to your chosen heirs and beneficiaries with as little tax liability and probate friction as possible. Unfortunately, what happens in many cases is that unforeseen incidents in beneficiaries' lives result in the quick draining of inheritances.
A bill recently passed by a Florida Senate committee would give unmarried couples, including gay couples, the right to register as domestic partners. In terms of estate planning, the bill, if eventually signed into law, could have a major effect on unmarried couples' decisions regarding real estate, long-term care, funeral arrangements and inheritance.
For people with assets to protect, planning out a method to transfer those assets after death is vital to prevent unnecessary devaluation and ensuring that the assets are given to the proper heirs. Creating a last will and testament is one method of making sure that the estate owner's wishes are eventually met. Using wills and other estate planning instruments, owners can effectively preserve properties or businesses, as was seen in the recent transfer of one Florida business.
Legal instruments such as trusts and wills specify the distribution of someone's personal property to the estate's beneficiaries. Trust administration is typically an orderly process when it is handled properly. The following story shows how trust administration can be greatly complicated by an administrator's alleged illegal acts.
Estate planning is a helpful legal method for specifying how personal assets will be distributed in the event of death. The actual execution of a last will and testament, however, can be hindered by complicated family dynamics or disagreements with the prearranged terms. When the benefactor's death is related to the injurious actions of a potential beneficiary, further legal evaluation may be necessary to determine who is eligible to inherit the estate.
Modern families often involve complex relationships, and sometimes this complexity can make decisions difficult during the estate planning process. Individuals creating wills may need to consider stepchildren, divorces, adoptions and other nontraditional family structures. With these issues in mind, our Orlando readers might be interested to hear that benefactors are beginning to use personal values to divide property in their wills.
Many Floridians struggle every year with the often-difficult process of planning their estates to ensure that their families and loved ones are covered for the future. Estate planning is a major event in the lives of many people. And a well-crafted plan will cover a wide variety of contingencies and eventualities. Those who are ready to start the process of crafting their plan through the use of such tools as trusts or wills should do so with the help of an attorney so they fully understand the many laws and regulations that are a part of successful estate planning.