Florida is famously a place where many individuals and couples relocate in their golden years to enjoy warm, inviting weather and plenty of sunshine. However, many aging individuals neglect to keep their loved ones safe by failing to take simple preventative measures when they relocate. If you have recently moved to Florida, or intend to do so soon, make sure that you have properly updated your will.
One of the most frustrating things about trying to spread around your good fortune to the ones you love is the relatively low ceiling on non-taxable giving. If you've been a little too generous before, you know just how infuriating this can be. You just want to give something good to someone you love, and end up giving them a bit of a double edged sword — a generous gift with a tax burden waiting on the other end. Fortunately, with little bit of planning, you significantly expand your ability to give without creating a ta dilemma.
Many young people believe that they simply do not need to make an estate plan, or that estate planning is for older people. The truth of the matter is that estate planning can be helpful for anyone who wishes to dictate how their assets are distributed after their death, or simply create a plan for you can make end-of-life decisions if the unthinkable happens. While many young do not often think that they may die before reaching old age, nearly everyone knows one or two individuals who passed away before their time.
Often, those who are young or do not have many material possessions fall prey to the incorrect assumption that they do no t need a will. However, this is a faulty approach to will-creation. Not only does a will govern how your estate will be distributed (however modest it may be), it also can declare your wishes for a number of very personal decisions.
These days, it is common for a person to have children from more than one marriage. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this, it can present some practical estate planning difficulties that should be addressed proactively to avoid leaving your loved ones an inheritance of conflict when you pass away.
You are ready to write your will. Some of the decisions you have made were more difficult than others. In fact, perhaps even now you are second guessing your choices. It may be easier to divide your assets evenly among your children, but you want to be fair.
Florida is a unique state in many ways, often leading to peculiar legal issues that residents in other states do not often encounter. Among other things, Florida has a much higher percentage of residents who choose to live in condominiums than many other states. Condominiums present interesting legal challenges because they often do not operate in the same way that more traditional homes might. Also, many condominiums operate with a super-localized form of informal government in their board. A condominium's board makes many decisions about day-to-day operations in the community, and how various fees will be assessed and used.
Wills and trusts take care of your family, and powers of attorney take care of you. Powers of attorney allow someone to make decisions on your behalf if you end up incapacitated due to an injury or illness. Your "agent" or "attorney-in-fact" should be someone you trust. This person also needs to understand your wishes when it comes to your health and your finances.
As we attempt to anticipate some of the changes that may come into effect as President-Elect Donald Trump takes office, the implications of his proposed tax plan may mean that it is time to revisit your estate plan to ensure that you are making the most of various tax guidelines. Under the proposed plan, the new system would eliminate many estate taxes and gift taxes altogether, as well as the transfer tax. In general terms, if these changes do take effect, they will shift the focus of estate planning from minimizing tax burdens on transfers to minimizing capital gain taxation.
It is always wise to have an estate plan, even if you don't have a large estate. Just about everyone can benefit from an estate plan, not only to protect their property, but also to protect themselves and their loved ones in case of unexpected hardship.