Our firm frequently advises on clients on matters of Estate Planning. One of the most important questions is whether a client needs a Simple Will, a Will with a Support Trust, or a Revocable Living Trust.
Since the Supreme Court's recent landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation, Florida residents in same-sex relationships may want to consider some important estate planning factors. Doing so can help couples to take advantage of some of the benefits to which they are now entitled, allowing for the easy passing of their estates to the surviving spouse.
Retirees flock to Florida to get away from cold climates in their golden years, but eventually most will have to cope with a decline in health. An estate plan can be an essential part of financial planning for the elderly and address much more than who inherits assets. Financial experts recommend that estate plans address how assets will be used for long-term care. Additionally, a medical directive should be prepared that assigns someone to make health care decisions if a person becomes incapacitated.
As Florida residents may know, having a current will in place is an important part of estate planning. However, some individuals may not realize that certain tasks must be completed to ensure that a will does not cause problems for beneficiaries in the future.
Florida residents establish their digital footprint when they create social media profiles, purchase items online and post entries on a blog. However, not accounting for these digital assets can potentially cause issues after a person's death.
Most people in Florida who are contemplating the preparation of their will know that part of the task is to appoint an executor to carry out the will's provisions. Many legal and financial professionals believe that the spouse of the testator can be an ideal choice, for a variety of reasons.
Florida residents who would like to avoid federal taxes on their estate may want to consider giving regular gifts to their loved ones. For people with large estates, strategic gifting can be an important part of an estate plan. Wealthy individuals may be able to use the annual gift tax exclusion to reduce the size of their estate before they die.
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.