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Estate Administration Archives

New type of trust protects assets for Florida heirs

Even though the federal estate tax is affecting a smaller percentage of people every year, those with larger amounts of assets are more likely to suffer the ill effects of this particular fee. New federal estate tax rules protect individuals estates that are valued at $5.2 5 million or less, and couples' estates that are valued at less than $10.5 million. However, when estates passed those threshold, the estate tax rises to an overwhelming 40 percent. Now, a new type of legal protection has become available for those with large estates, allowing for additional shielding from the massive 40 percent tax.

What's the problem with probate?

The word "probate" generally strikes fear into the hearts of estate executors and planners alike - but have you ever thought about why probate makes you nervous? This useful process can actually have its place in an estate plan, even though it has a bad reputation among many experts in the field. Be sure you understand probate and its implications before making estate plan decisions.

Is probate really that bad?

You have heard the horror stories about probate. Maybe your friends have shared about the nightmares they have gone through while attempting to administer a will, or you have seen your relatives struggle through the same process. Did you know that probate does not have to be a "dirty word" in today's legal lingo? Even though most of us want to structure our estate plan to avoid probate, many people's estates benefit from the process. In fact, it's possible that probate will not be that bad, at all. The probate process can actually be beneficial, depending on the needs of your specific estate.

Debate: Was Gandolfini's will good enough?

James Gandolfini, one of the most iconic American actors, died while on vacation in June. Although this tragic incident has had its twists and turns, one of the most surprising developments in the story is the focus on Gandolfini's estate administration plan. That is, his will is currently under scrutiny. Experts in the field say the man failed to properly structure his estate plan, a situation that could lead to lawsuits and other legal maneuvers from unruly family members. In addition, news reports allege that poor planning led to the estate handing over about $30 million of the man's $70 million fortune, largely because the plan ignored tax restrictions.

Naming retirement account beneficiaries

During your estate planning process, you have probably thought about how to structure trusts and probate documents to best suit your heirs' needs. You may have overlooked one important type of account during this estate administration preparation, however: Have you named your beneficiaries for your IRA or 401(k)?

What's the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

Basic estate planning brings up a lot of questions. Most beginners are not aware that there is a difference between a will and a living trust. Each of these estate administration options provides its own special benefits; today's blog post will help you decide which you should include in your probate plan.

Beneficiaries could finally see money from insurers

A life insurance policy is a great way for men and women to leave behind money for their loved ones after death. However, a life insurance policy is rendered meaningless when that money is never delivered to the beneficiary.

Why you need someone to speak for you, when you can't

Needing someone to speak and make decisions on your behalf while you are still living might seem like a long shot. But, these situations are more common than you might have thought. Tragic accidents like the recent highway tragedy in Florida or other incidents can incapacitate us to the point we can't vocalize our decisions. This can also happen via a debilitating illness, like dementia.