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Category Archives: Estate Planning

Category Archives: Estate Planning

Estate Planning and Beloved Pets

Many people consider pets to be members of their family. They want to ensure that their pets are cared for after their death. A direct gift of money or other property to an animal is not recognized, however, since a pet is considered property under the law. Thus, a deceased individual’s attempt to make a […]

Estate Planning 101

Proper estate planning is crucial to ensuring a deceased individual’s financial goals are met after death. Ideally, an estate plan determines a multitude of issues. These may include the inheritance of assets, tax liability, and the appointment of someone to handle an individual’s financial and medical affairs if the person becomes incapacitated. There are countless […]

Inheriting IRAs: The Importance of Beneficiary Forms

For many people, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is one of their largest assets. It is important to note that the beneficiary form on file with the custodian of an IRA, not a will, controls who inherits it. Therefore, it is crucial to file the beneficiary form and keep the designated beneficiary current. Often an […]

Identify Your Assets to Develop an Ideal Estate Plan

Preparing for an estate planning discussion with your attorney by diligently inventorying all of your assets beforehand can greatly improve the estate planning experience and make the process more efficient. CNN Money advises a list of actions that should be taken as an individual enters the estate planning process: List all your assets. These include […]

Planning for Distribution of Tangible Personal Property

Individuals involved in planning their estate often focus on assets such as real estate, bank and retirement accounts and stocks. Frequently overlooked are the unique tangible personal property items that have been amassed over a lifetime. These items may hold sentimental value for family members and cannot be equally divided like other assets. This can […]

Florida Law Nullifies Beneficiary Interests of Ex-Spouses

For of the disposition of certain assets, Florida estate law now treats a divorced spouse the same as a predeceased spouse as soon as the divorce decree is final. Many states have implemented similar rules applicable to wills. However, the new Florida law extends to non-probate interests, such as insurance, annuities, employee benefit plans, IRAs […]

Advantages of a Living Trust

A living trust is substantially more complicated than a typical will. Consequently, it is also more expensive to set up and may require a higher degree of oversight during the settlor’s lifetime. But for some individuals and couples, especially those with larger estates, a living trust can offer numerous benefits. These include avoidance of probate, […]

High-Asset Estate Planning

Estate planning for an individual or couple with a large estate is substantially more complicated than the average estate planning process. Part of this is simply because there are more assets to account for and distribute. But a major reason for the added complexity of high asset estate planning is the implications of the Federal […]

How to Avoid Probate in Florida

Probate is the court supervised process of transferring the property of a deceased individual — held by a legal entity called an estate — to the legal heirs of that person. The process is designed to be simple and streamlined. But as a practical matter, probate administration can be both lengthy and costly. This can […]