As the new year begins, and rather than wait for a life event to happen when you wish you had looked at your estate plan, now is a great time to review your current financial and estate plans. Even your plan that is just a few years old may be outdated, and so it may be time for an update.
For example, you may start planning for any gifts you wish to make in 2019. An individual now can give up to $15,000 to each recipient, without any limit on number of gifts;…
While the holiday season may be the busiest time of year, it’s a great time to take a look at your financial and estate planning.
As the year comes to an end, consider making gifts to lower your tax liability, and start planning for any gifts you might want to make during the next calendar year. In 2018, individuals can give up to $15,000 to each recipient, with no limit on the number of gifts. Married couples can combine their gifts, allowing them to give up to $30,000 to each individual….
Several states and foreign jurisdictions recognize the concept of “community property.” Community property generally consists of any property purchased during a marriage, as well as any income received or debts incurred. However, it generally does not include assets or debts acquired before the marriage, or inheritances or gifts received by one spouse during the marriage. When a spouse dies, the survivor is entitled to half of any assets falling within the community property guidelines.
Florida is not a community property state, but state law provides that assets qualifying as community property in other jurisdictions be recognized as such when a spouse passes away….
When constructing an estate plan, it is important to consider any art and collectibles. As anyone who’s watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow has seen, these items don’t have to be original Picassos to be monetarily valuable. Many people are unaware of the true worth of their pieces, over- or undervaluing them based on sentiment, family lore, or just plain lack of information.
The IRS defines collectibles as works of art, rugs, antiques, metals, gems, stamps coins, alcoholic beverages, or “other tangible personal property the IRS determines is a collectible.” In other words, a collectible could be anything from a sculpture to a comic book to a bottle of wine….
It’s a commonly known fact that about half of marriages will end in divorce. Certain matters are easily overlooked during this stressful process, but updating estate planning documents should not be one of them.
Under current Florida law, upon dissolution of marriage, any inheritances that would have gone to an ex-spouse will be nullified. This is true of documents such as wills and trusts, and also of certain “non-probate assets.” Non-probate assets pass to a named individual upon the grantor’s death, and may consist of property such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts and pay-on-death accounts….
The State of Florida allows residents to possess certain firearms and accessories that are regulated under Title II, Class 3, of the National Firearms Act. These items include, for example, machine guns, silencers, and short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles. Historically, gun trusts were used as a way to avoid the process of applying to the for an owner’s permit. These applications had to be certified and submitted to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) by a city or county Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO), some of whom were reluctant to do so….
Roughly sixty-eight percent of American households own a pet. Since most pet lifespans are shorter than the average human, many people will own several pets during their lifetime. So when it comes to estate planning, who’s going to take care of the cat may be the last thing on a person’s mind. However, providing for the care of animals is an important step when planning for the future.
Florida law provides for the creation of pet trusts. Previously, some owners would use a will to leave their pets to a friend or family member, and possibly designate funds for the pets’ care….
The possibility of being unable to care for one’s own children is difficult to envision, but it should be addressed during the estate planning process. Selecting personal guardians who will assume responsibility for the upbringing of children is a decision that must be carefully considered.
A personal guardian should, of course, be a trusted friend or family member. Often the first people who come to mind are grandparents. While grandparents often step in to care for grandchildren if parents are unable to do so, naming them as guardians may not be advisable….
Over the years, the likelihood of remarriage has risen among older adults. In a recent study of Americans who’ve been previously married, 67 percent of those ages 55 to 64, and 50 percent of those 65 and older had remarried. These unions come with unique estate planning considerations.
Older adults are more likely to have previous estate plans, and these should be reviewed prior to remarriage. The parties often have their own families, complete with adult children and grandchildren, who may have been provided for through a previously executed will or trust….
When parents create trusts, they often consider appointing one or more of their children as trustees. On the surface, it may seem like the best way to protect their legacy is to keep trust management within the family. However, this plan may backfire due to practicality or family dynamics.
Appointing two or more siblings as co-trustees could create logistical problems. Co-trustees may need to co-sign documents, or make other joint actions or decisions, which could be difficult if the siblings reside more than a few hours apart….