Estate Planning is all about dealing with property management in the most appropriate manner so that asset distribution, when the inevitable time comes, will be done well. This should prioritize the care of your loved ones and ensure that consequences or possible costs are minimal.
How a Will is Made
A will is a legal document which will ensure that your property will be distributed properly upon your death, based on your decision.
You will be called intestate if you die without it. Here, the state will be the one to appoint someone who will dispense these assets – even if that is not what you intended. Family quarrels and possible payment of taxes could arise from this as well.
A will should have the following:
- An inventory of your valuables
- The manner in which the property will be distributed
- Provisions for young ones which will involves the name of your chosen guardian
- The executor of your estate
- Any plans you have for your own funeral
Probate is basically the process under the law which involves the transfer of your properties to whom the state believes is your rightful heir. This also includes certifying the will’s validity, settling all claims made on your estate, paying creditors, and figuring tax liabilities.
In the state of Florida, probate usually takes a minimum of six months although some factors can lengthen this period.
It is very hard to avoid probate, particularly when the estate is large. However, you can make arrangements to dispose of everything while you are still alive.
This is a legal document which places your assets into a trust. This can be used while you are still alive then transferred to your successor trustee, a representative of your choice if you are incapacitated or when you die.
This basically means that the property is shared between you and a partner. If you die, the other owner will have the right over it.
Accounts With Named Beneficiaries
Properties and titles including bank accounts, vehicles, real property, IRAs and other retirement accounts may already have beneficiaries. These people can choose to get the distributions over several years, lowering tax costs.
In Florida, a $75,000 exemption is provided for small estates. This allows immediate administration if a will was made. Those estates exceeding $75,000 are let off from probate if you, the decedent, have been gone for over two years.
Durable Power of Attorney
This document basically appoints another to handle your affairs in case of incapacitation. This must take effect ASAP in Florida or else family and friends won’t get to decide for you.
Called the ‘health care directive’, this legal document ensures that your wishes, especially in medical procedures which will prolong your life, will be done when you get incapacitated.
Power of Attorney for Health Care
With this, you can assign someone to make decisions for your health care needs when you can’t.
Everyone should have any of the documents mentioned above for Estate Planning. But take note of the following:
- Those with estates priced at $5.25 million in 2013 should pay estate taxes
- Life Insurance bought early in life is valuable. Pensions, large IRAs and / or grouped life insurance are not really that necessary.
- Entrepreneurs should ascertain that business interests are distributed well to partners and their family to lessen arguments and taxes.
Consult an Estate Planning Lawyer in Coral Springs now
Laws governing estate planning are not just confusing; they change very quickly too. So it is a must that you talk to a legal expert now to protect your assets and to minimize tax payables.