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Aventura Corporate Center
20801 Biscayne Boulevard
Suite 400
Miami, FL 33180

305-932-2293 Miami-Dade County
954-760-7077 Broward County

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Estate Planning Archives

Estate planning tools: Using the GRAT as a tax shelter

An accidental loophole in American estate planning legislation could help the nation's richest citizens avoid billions of dollars in taxes. Billionaires in Florida are often required to pay outrageous 40 percent estate or gift taxes on their assets. Now, though, a newly popular type of trust is providing a critical tax shield that could have preserved about $100 billion in wealth since the year 2000. This important estate planning tool has been called a "mockery of the tax code," but it is benefiting scores of wealthy Americans who are committed to smart estate planning.

Quick tips for building your Florida estate plan

If you are one of the scores of Floridians who has put off creating your estate plan, you are not alone. In fact, scores of other baby boomers like yourself have waited to draft these important documents, sometimes with dire consequences. It is never too early to think about estate planning, which can make a noticeable difference in facilitating a smooth transition after your death. Many financial experts even view estate planning as an act of love - you would not want your beneficiaries to end up paying extra taxes, for example. Today, we bring some tips on building a proper estate plan, no matter your life stage.

Develop Florida estate plan early for best results

Do you think that estate planning is only for the wealthy? Think again. Almost all Florida residents could benefit from the expertise provided by an estate planning professional who can help you understand the implications of local law when it comes to your assets. No matter how many assets you have, you need to have a plan for their distribution after your death. Without this critical forethought, your family members could be left with an estate in disarray, causing them endless stress and anxiety.

Avoiding common estate missteps

Many Florida residents may have put off estate planning because they find it intimidating or overwhelming. Although crafting an estate plan can be a rather dry activity, it is absolutely essential for those who anticipate leaving assets to loved ones or other parties. Probate attorneys throughout the state have seen scores of individuals make serious mistakes with their estate plans; you do not have to be one of them. Today, we will discuss common misconceptions and errors that occur within estate plans, providing you with the information you need to craft the best document for your situation.

Handling second marriages in your estate plan

Older Floridians with palatial homes understand the importance of estate planning for their beneficiaries who stand to inherit property. Still, when the family home is up for grabs, especially after a second marriage, family squabbles can turn into full-on legal battles if the estate plan is not airtight. For those Floridians who own large homes that could become a contested asset, a comprehensive plan can prevent these financial nightmares.

Keep beneficiary lists up to date - or else!

Legislative reforms have raised the ceiling for the federal estate tax to $5.25 million for individuals and $10.5 million for businesses. With these changes, many Florida residents have been able to limit the scope and reach of their estate plans; after all, not many Americans keep so much in the bank or other assets. Even though you might not need to worry about the federal estate tax during your personal estate planning, you definitely need to be concerned about beneficiary designations. Without this critical information, your will cannot be properly processed after your death, which could lead to significant legal problems.

Estate planning: Not just about taxes

Even though we are well into 2013, many Florida residents may still not be aware of tax code changes from earlier this year that could affect their estate planning strategies. The tax deals, which were handed down in late 2012 and early 2013, are sure to affect estate planning and administration strategies for scores of Americans. Many of the rules loosened regulations for estate taxation, but Floridians should not ignore plans for their future. Instead, they may be required to take a broader view of the estate planning process.

Impairment impedes estate planning process

Florida residents are continuing to live longer and accumulate more wealth. As our nation ages, though, an increasing number of even affluent investors say they are more concerned about estate planning than any other part of their portfolio. In fact, about one in three affluent Americans are concerned about their estate plan.

Planning for taxes after death

If you are a Florida resident considering drafting or revising your estate planning documents, you probably want to make sure your heirs are able to avoid unnecessary state and federal taxes. Even though the process may seem daunting, there are many options for avoiding the so-called "double taxation" that devastates the value of many Floridians' estates.