Archives for: Barbara Buxton

Four Important Changes That Could Affect Your Estate Plan

1. The New Elective Share. A surviving spouse of a person who dies domiciled in Florida has the right to 30% of the decedent spouse’s elective estate.

The elective estate includes: the decedent’s probate estate, revocable trust estate, ownership interest in accounts or securities registered in “Pay On Death (POD)” “Transfer On Death (TOD),” “In Trust For (ITF),” joint accounts with right of survivorship, and more. The old elective share law only applied to the decedent’s probate estate.

Typically in second marriages, spouses want to pass their assets to the children of the first marriage. Prior to the “New Elective Share” if a spouse was successful in avoiding a probate administration at his or her [..]

Ten Common Estate Planning Mistakes

1. Procrastination.

2. Not creating more than a Will in your estate plan. (You don’t create a Revocable Trust because you believe only people with large estate need a Trust.)

3. Holding assets jointly with children (both for children’s easy access to the money and for an “inexpensive” estate plan to avoid probate.)

4. Leaving your assets to someone with the “understanding” that it will be used for the benefit of another, your child or dependent parent, for example.

5. Not appointing a pre-need guardian for minors; or not creating a Special Needs Trust for disabled children.

6. Not considering asset preservation strategies for leaving your assets to loved ones.

7. Not appointing competent Personal [..]

Reasons for You to Create an Estate Plan

A Will is an essential part of a comprehensive estate plan because it allows you to bequeath your estate to loved ones. Unfortunately, this document alone is not always enough to protect your family and your assets:

Did you know:

    A Will does not avoid probate. To probate a Will costs 3% to 8% of your estate, and may take 9 to 12 months! A Will becomes a public document when it is filed with the Court- Anyone can read it! A Will does not necessarily determine who will receive your assets. Multiple probates could be required if real estate is owned in another state. The Court controls when beneficiaries under your Will receive their

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.

Politicians have been attempting to close the loophole since 2009, but they have not succeeded. The wealthy Americans are using provisions [..]

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 $11.58 million or less, and couples’ estates that are valued at less than $23.16 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.

This new estate administration tool is known as the grantor retained annuity trust. This particular [..]