ESTATE PLANNING


Estates, or estate planning in Florida, refers to legal documents drafted to ensure that your property easily transfers to whomever you wish after you pass away by naming beneficiaries in a Will or by creating Trust instruments.

Your Florida estate is all the property you own or control. It can be held in your own name, in a partnership, in joint ownership, or in a Trust. With an estate plan, your assets pass to your heirs or beneficiaries according to whatever instruments have been created to manage the distribution of your property. These include Wills and Trusts.

Proper estate planning helps to avoid the costs of probate and can also be a great tool for asset protection.

Administration

Your estate is administered by whomever you designate in your Will or Trust. Your estate can receive a deduction for any income it distributes. Any estate valued at under $5.12 million, for 2012, need not file an estate tax return.

Tax Deductions

Any income, deductions, distributions, gains and losses of an estate are reported to the IRS. To reduce any estate tax liability, there are deductions such as the following:

  • Estate administration losses
  • Mortgages and debts
  • Charitable deduction (must be a qualifying charity)
  • Administration expenses
  • Marital deduction (property must pass outright to the surviving spouse)

Usually, an individual who does not property transfer their assets to an estate planning device, such a s a Trust, prior to there death will be subject to probate. Probate usually requires that a personal representtive carry out the intent of the decedent. If you die without a Will or Trust, meaning you died intestate, your assets pass according to Florida law and will go to your closest relatives. The state also appoints personal representative.

A Trust, however, does not go to probate; a trustee manages the estate after your death, and the distribution is not public record.

Estate planning is essential for individuals with assets who wish to see their property pass simply and easily to their heirs and beneficiaries that they designate and with limited tax liability or other costs.

Reduce your costs, taxes, and complicating issues by consulting with an estates attorney from the Morey Law Firm, P.A. Our estate lawyers in Orlando and the surrounding counties of Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Volusia, Polk, and Alachua, can assess your particular situation and advise you on the most appropriate estate plan according to your needs and intentions.

Call the Morey Law Firm, P.A. today at 407-426-7222.