Florida estate planning is a process that involves making plans for what should happen towards the end of your life, especially in the event of incapacity. It is also about making plans for what should happen when you pass away. Your estate plan helps you to establish your legacy. Learn more here about what Florida estate planning is.
When you create a last will and testament, you need to name someone who can act as the executor of your estate. This person should be a competent adult who you can trust to manage your assets during the probate process and who you are confident will have the ability to follow the formal steps of probate in the state of Florida. Learn more here about selecting someone who can act as the executor of your estate.
A will is one of the basic components of an estate plan, but creating a will often isn’t sufficient to provide protection for your assets or for your chosen beneficiaries. There are a wide variety of different estate planning tools that you may wish to use in order to accomplish various goals that you have. You can find out more here about some of the estate planning steps you may wish to take in addition to the creation of a will.
A revocable living trust can provide some protection for assets, but it does not protect against certain things like spending down assets if you need nursing home care or estate tax being charged on the items held within the trust. A living trust does protect assets by allowing for their transfer outside of probate and by making certain that a trustee is named to manage the assets in the event of incapacity. Find out more about whether a revocable living trust will provide asset protection.
A power of attorney is commonly used to provide protection in case of incapacity. When you create a power of attorney, this gives you the ability to name a person who acts on your behalf in case something happens which prevents you from managing assets or making and communicating decisions. Find out more about why you need a power of attorney so you can decide if creating a POA is right for you.
It may be possible to give away money and property during the course of your life in order to avoid having to pay estate taxes. However, you need to make sure that the gifts do not trigger gift taxes. Find out more about what to do if you wish to give gifts to avoid estate taxes.
Probate is not always necessary after a Florida death; however, probate in some form will almost always happen unless you have taken steps to avoid it. You may wish to try to avoid probate in order to allow assets to transfer more quickly to heirs, and in order to take advantage of other benefits such as a lower cost for settling your estate. Find out more here about whether probate is necessary and about options for avoiding the probate process.
In Florida, there is no inheritance tax. However, if an estate is large enough, estate taxes may be assessed. You can learn about when an estate is taxed and about how payments are made by watching this informative slide show on inheritance and estate taxes.
There are a few key questions you want to ask an estate planning attorney in order to make certain that you have made informed choices about the entire estate planning process. Some of the questions to ask include questions about taxes on the estate you leave behind, and questions about when trusts are useful. Find out six key questions to ask an estate planning attorney so you will be informed about the questions that it makes sense for you to ask.