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Estate Planning Archives

How not to inherit timeshares from parents

Not all parents in Florida prefer to pass everything down to their heirs. This is especially true of timeshare properties that have contracts attached along with an assortment of responsibilities. Annual maintenance fees, for instance, can easily exceed $1,000 for higher-end properties. Plus, owners may have to foot some of the bill if a property sustains damage from a natural disaster. One way to avoid passing ownership onto heirs is to create a trust to hold timeshare interests.

Estate planning can help avert family feuds

When people in Florida consider their wishes for the future, they may hope to see their loved ones living well and enjoying life, including with the support of any inheritance left behind. However, for far too many families, conflicts can arise after the passing of a loved one that lead to long-running disputes over an estate. People making plans for their property can keep several key issues in mind in order to minimize the likelihood of conflict and maximize their potential to fulfill their wishes for their estate.

In many cases, estate taxes can be reduced with planning

With proper planning, Florida residents who have sizable assets can lower the effect of estate taxes. The most common strategies include making annual gifts and contributing funds to charities or charitable lead trusts. In some cases, it may be advisable to use an irrevocable trust to lower estate taxes, and insurance policies can also play a role.

Top reasons to create an estate plan

Those who live in Florida and other states are encouraged to create an estate plan as it can bestow a variety of benefits. For instance, it can help a person retain greater control over his or her assets while alive but incapacitated. This is accomplished by designating a medical and financial power of attorney who can make decisions according to the incapacitated individual's prior instructions. An estate plan will also make it easier for someone to control where his or her assets go after death.

Avoiding common mistakes in estate planning

A mistake during the estate planning process can negatively impact the economic future of family members and other loved ones in unforeseen ways. One of the most common mistakes is to list charities as part of trusts or wills. This is a mistake for many families in Florida because there are more tax-efficient ways to pass on money to charity and other recipients. Since charities don't pay most taxes, it's not necessary to use a will or trust as an instrument for giving.

Deceased celebrities without wills expose estates to disputes

The recent death of Aretha Franklin, known as the Queen of Soul, reveals the problems that can arise when someone in Florida dies without preparing a will or placing assets in a trust. After dying of pancreatic cancer, she left an estate with a value of approximately $80 million. Her assets include the rights to some of her famous songs. Her four sons have filed court papers as interested parties in the estate that now must be processed by a probate court. Franklin reportedly had an estate lawyer, but that person has not made any comments to the media.

Understanding how Bitcoin fits into estate planning

In 2018, Florida investors who participate in the world of cryptocurrency trading are holding tight for what could be the next major Bitcoin rally. The market corrections experienced this year could pave the way for a gradual recovery as digital currencies continue to mature and become more mainstream.

Estate planning for parents with children

While most Florida residents understand that it's important to create a will and handle other estate planning activities, many delay taking action. However, the urge to be prepared often arises when estate owners have children. If both parents' lives were to end suddenly or unexpectedly, the child will need to be cared for. Estate planning offers many tools that can be helpful in this goal. Furthermore, the process can actually be accessible for families of all means.

Alzheimer's planning can be key for the future

While many people in Florida think of estate planning to cover the distribution of their assets after they pass away, this kind of planning process can be just as vital to address incapacity during a person's lifetime. In the United States, someone develops Alzheimer's disease every 65 seconds, and there are 5.7 million Americans with Alzheimer's, a number that is on the rise. Alzheimer's is the most expensive disease to treat, with a lifetime cost of care that tops $341,000.

Consult Our Florida Lawyer for Veterans Aid & Attendance

Feel free to contact us and schedule an initial consultation where we can review your circumstances in an intimate setting and discuss how our Brevard County Elder lawyer can help you. Simply call Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A., locally at 321-426-1848 or toll free at 800-495-9153. We look forward to meeting you.

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