Many Florida residents who are planning for the distribution of their assets when then die may be concerned about future tax liabilities, but the federal estate tax exemption is actually fairly high. For those who still do not qualify for the exemption, there are other measures that can be taken to reduce or eliminate the tax.
The federal exemption for 2015 is $5,430,000. This number takes all assets into account including property and cash. While this exemption includes taxable gifts that an individual gives while alive along with the estate that is left to heirs after the individual’s death, there are ways around having gifts included in the total….
Some Florida residents have the misconception that writing a will is unnecessary unless they are wealthy. This is in most cases not true, and people may benefit from having one in place no matter the size of their estates. Having a valid will can ensure that the testator’s assets are distributed to the intended beneficiaries instead of being subject to the state’s law of intestacy, which in some cases may produce a far different result than the one the testator had wanted….
There are several common mistakes that Florida residents make regarding wills. Some people fail to write one in the first place, either because they consider doing so is an arbiter of their death or they simply put it off, thinking it is something to do when they are elderly. Others write wills and then forget about them, failing to update them or review them despite having major life changes.
Making common errors with wills can lead to a long probate process and can risk how and to whom the person’s assets will be distributed….
While many parents wish to spread their estates equally among any adult children, this is often easier said than done. If one child earns more, it may be tempting to provide the other children with more money to protect their financial future. However, an unequal payout could lead to animosity between the surviving children.
Ideally, any estate plan will try to ensure that the children are treated fairly. For instance, if the family agrees that providing one child with a down payment for a home is warranted, there may be no reason to compensate the other children similarly….