Category: Estate Planning

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

Americans Leave Smaller Inheritances Than Others

Even though America is a land of economic prosperity, our aging population lags behind elders in other countries when it comes to inheritances. Most Americans intend to leave behind about $177,000 for beneficiaries and others who would inherit property; compared to several other nations, that is a pittance. In fact, Floridians might marvel at the idea that most Australians plan to leave $502,000 to their heirs. So, what is the difference between us and them? Experts say that a variety of social factors could be leading to lower inheritances. Those factors include estate tax and the growing cost of medical care in the United States.

Residents of five countries were more likely to leave high [..]

Keep Paperwork in Order to Distribute Estate Assets Properly

Many Florida residents do not think they are old enough to worry about estate planning. Surprisingly, nearly 80 percent of aging Americans do not even consider themselves “old” until they reach age 80. Although we are living longer, more fulfilling and more exuberant lives, it is important to remember that you must have a plan to distribute estate assets as you reach your later years. Although you may have a very basic estate plan that includes a will, additional measures may be needed to ensure that your property is properly distributed after your death.

Different types of accounts require different paperwork to be included in an estate plan. Everyone who holds a traditional non-pension taxable [..]