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Miami, FL 33180

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Florida residents escape income, estate tax burdens

If you are a Florida resident working on your estate plan, you are probably already aware that careful maneuvering may be required to avoid a massive tax burden for your heirs. It is important to remember that state and federal tax differ not only based on how much you own, but it also relates to where you live. With that in mind, the experts at financial magazines have compiled a list of states where dying is radically more expensive than in other locations. Estate planners should remember that 19 states impose independent estate taxes on their residents. Even those who live in states without these taxes in place should tread with caution, as many of these regulations are subject to sudden changes.

In Florida, the primary deciding factor for determining estate tax eligibility is residency status. Florida, one of the few states without either income or state death taxes, is particularly desirable as a residence for a variety of reasons. However, some Florida residents have run into difficulties when attempting to execute an estate plan after a relative's death. In these cases, professional attorneys can help argue for residency in Florida, easing the state tax burden for affected relatives.

Take, for example, the woman who returned to a nursing home in her home state on the East Coast after she began to suffer from Alzheimer's. Even though she lived in a different state for a time, she was deemed mentally incapable of deciding her own domicile, a condition that caused her estate to default to its Florida provisions. As a result, even though the woman lived in another jurisdiction for several years - and even died there - she was still considered a resident of Florida.

Avoiding state estate taxes is a beneficial move for everyone involved in the distribution of individual assets. Florida attorneys can help families learn more about residency restrictions and rights, ensuring that clients are able to escape the undue burden placed by unfair state estate taxes in other jurisdictions.

Source: www.forbes.com, "Where not to die in 2014: The changing wealth tax landscape" Ashlea Ebeling, Nov. 01, 2013

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