New statistics show that more grandkids than ever before are living with their grandparents. In a state such as Florida, which boasts a high population of elderly residents, this trend could have troubling consequences for estate planning among all demographics. Grandparents may assume the role of guardians for a number of reasons, including health concerns, social problems or military deployments. How they financially respond to this responsibility, however, relates directly to their ability to plan for the future.
New research shows that even though Uncle Sam has chosen to increase tax rates among wealthy Floridians, few intend to willingly pay more estate taxes than they had previously planned for. Experts in the field of estate planning are providing a variety of strategies to help avoid unfair taxation during the administration of a will. If you are looking to protect your assets after your death -- and even while you are still living -- consider these helpful estate planning techniques.
So-called "snowbirds" - people who winter in the warmer climates of Florida to avoid the freezing temperatures in the North - should consider whether they want to establish Florida as their official domicile. Tax budget cuts have pushed many states to seek further revenue from estate taxes and other fees, a situation that could convince some snowbirds to think about making changes. This estate planning decision could have important tax and wealth distribution implications, particularly for those with multiple homes. Before you formally change your domicile to Florida, though, you must evaluate several aspects of your estate.
As the United States narrowly avoided plunging from the fiscal cliff at the beginning of the year, additional estate planning provisions were instituted on a federal level to protect probate worries. Even though individuals can now hand down a whopping $5.25 million without federal taxes, state taxes still persist. These state-specific taxes could end up costing your estate thousands if you fail to anticipate their effect on your probate process. Luckily, Florida is one of three states that do not impose either inheritance or estate taxes.
Are you considering using a trust in your estate planning documents? If so, there are a few things you should know before you finalize your will and other estate administration directions in Florida. Even though trusts are excellent options for many people, they must be handled with care to ensure their proper execution.
Blended families -- those that consist of parents that come into a marriage with children already -- can face a unique set of financial barriers and estate planning obstacles. This is important to note, because blended families are now more prevalent than traditional families.
Documents like a living will and medical directive are staples of a solid estate plan. This information dictates how a man or woman will be cared for medically in the event they are incapacitated. However, even these estate planning tools prove flimsy in certain situations.
Many Florida residents already have excellent estate planning documents to provide for their human heirs, but what about their pets? Experts say that poor planning for your furry friends could cause them to be sent to a shelter, or, even worse, euthanized. Some families watch, horrified, as the decedent's children simply set the pets loose into the wild because they are unwilling to care for the animals. Setting aside financial resources for the care of your animals after your death is an important consideration for every pet owner.
While living wills are certainly a staple of proper estate planning, some men and women worry if the document will spark arguments amongst family members after they have passed away. Families that generally get along with one another can be blinded by big bucks and argue over who gets what, while other families simply do not get along period.
While it might not be the most romantic view on marriage, spouses who are getting set to enter into matrimony with a partner should treat the union as somewhat of a business partnership. Spouses need to understand how estate planning as a couple will affect their current plans as an individual.