Animal lovers know what it means to say that their pets are part of the family. There is a special bond that is formed between animals and their owners. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dog, a cat, or even a snake. The reality is that these pets are special to their masters and so it should come as no great surprise if accommodations are made for them through proper trust planning.
As we’ve noted before on this blog, despite the humor some may find in the practice, creating trusts for pets happens more these days than ever, especially in Florida, with its growing elder population….
When it comes to estate planning in contemplation of that journey everyone must take, it is as important to think about estate administration which will occur after you have gone. Determining where your assets will go and on what terms is not the only consideration that needs to be made. Especially for wealthier individuals, the estate does not simply get divided after your death. Estates often continue earning profit for the advantage of the beneficiaries, and that requires management….
A recent story of an abandoned property may underscore for Florida readers what can happen if estate planning is avoided. A woman lived in her small 1100-square-foot home for many years. She shared the place with her husband until his death. The woman’s health declined over the ensuing years, and dementia set in. without any estate planning measures in place. She was well liked, but her health issues turned her ornery, and she refused to see a doctor….
Estate planning is not a Herculean task, but then again, it’s not so easy, either. There are many ways to get tripped up, from drafting a confusing will to inadvertently paying more than your fair share of taxes.
Here are four areas to which people in Port St. Lucie will want to pay attention, as well as suggestions for how to avoid any possible mistakes….
Clean house in terms of assets: Having many assets hidden in scattered pockets is going to make it very hard for whomever has to metaphorically clean house after you pass on.
A recent court decision in another state underscores why it is important for Florida residents to engage in careful estate planning, including the necessity of periodically checking to ensure that existing plans still meet the needs of the parties involved.
In the case, an estate named an executor and alternative executor, along with a two irrevocable trusts. When all was said and done, an appeals court decided a lower court had gotten involved where it was not necessary, and simply directed the judge to follow what the deceased person had originally planned….
The importance of estate planning is too often realized after the death of a family member. Even in Palm Beach, Florida, there are many cases of heirs getting the surprise of their lives and wishing they had persuaded their loved one to look into proper estate planning before it became too late.
The two main downsides of not doing so are the possibility of a long delay in receiving one’s inheritance or the much worse consequence of inheriting debts….
People may chuckle whenever they read a headline about a multibillionaire deciding to leave their entire estate to their beloved dog or cat. But the truth is, trust planning for pets is becoming more and more common; particularly in Florida, where there is a significant elder population that enjoys the companionship that a pet can provide.
Trust planning for pets may be the last thing on anybody’s mind in this tough economy. It is often difficult enough to handle proper estate planning for human heirs….
Recently, the Internal Revenue Service has begun cracking down on gifts among family members that have not been reported. People who live in Florida and elsewhere are required to report such gifts on a Form 709. This form is known as a United States Gift Tax Return. It must be filed for transfers of property valuing more than $13,000, in spite of the current law that states that the lifetime gift tax exemption limit is $5 million.
According to an IRS document reported on in the Wall Street Journal, 323 taxpayers have been investigated for failing to report real estate gifts since 2009….
Estate tax planning is important for Florida residents, but it is also just as important for persons who own U.S. assets but are not U.S. citizens. The rules concerning non-resident asset taxation can be complicated, and they may only get more complicated over the next few years. Under current law, not only can the federal government levy estate taxes on property, but some states may also demand a probate tax at the time of death on property owned by non-residents….
Readers in Palm Beach Gardens may be interested in a recent court ruling touching on the issue of guardianship where Alzheimer’s disease may be a factor. While the court decision comes from Guam and has no formal legal precedent in the United States, its reasoning may be of some import to judges in this country considering similar issues. A wealthy husband and wife in Guam were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007. The husband has since died, though the wife remains alive….