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wills & trusts Archives

Estate plan includes personal protections

People who do estate planning may be the kind who place the well-being of their families before their own good. Creating an estate plan means providing security and reducing the burden on loved ones. However, without meaning to, many in Florida overlook some crucial elements without which their families may face heart-wrenching decisions.

Tax law changes and potential changes to an existing estate plan

There is a tax reform plan on the table that could, if passed, bring changes to what is known as the death tax. If this measure passes, it will eliminate this particular tax, yet some people may think that this eliminates the need for a strong estate plan. Regardless of what happens in Congress and to federal tax laws, Florida readers know that good estate planning still makes good sense. 

Figuring divorce into an estate plan

When most people think of estate planning, divorce is not a part of the picture. For most people, the estate planning phase is when they try to ensure that their spouse will get most of their assets. In some cases, however, it is necessary to try to keep the spouse from getting them. In Florida, as in other states, special care should be taken when divorce figures into an estate plan.

A pound of prevention is critical in estate planning

For most, the thought of making financial plans for the future is a terrifying one. For others, estate planning consists of buying life insurance, and hoping it is enough to get their loved ones through the financial difficulties could come when they are deceased. The truth is, neither of these is true. For those in Florida who are facing the daunting task of planning their financial futures, the most overlooked step is anticipating risks and working to prevent them.

The differences between wills and trusts in estate planning

For those who are planning their estates, it can be confusing to understand the terminology. For example, many are uncertain of the distinction between wills and trusts in estate planning. In Florida, as in other states, it is helpful to know the benefits of each.

The responsibility of power of attorney

Many have heard the term, but some may not be aware of just what it means and the responsibility that comes with it. Power of attorney is given to someone so that he or she the right to make legal and or health care decisions for someone else. Although Florida, like other states, may have its own laws for creating one, the guidelines for power of attorney are basically the same throughout the country. 

What is a health care directive, and why have one?

Many times, when a Florida resident goes to the doctor's office or has to be admitted to a hospital, he or she will be asked whether they have formally created plan for their health care. While over 90 percent of those asked believe that it is important to have a health care directive, only about 30 percent can answer that question positively. Perhaps that is because many people do not fully understand what a heath care directive is and why they need one. 

Estate planning in a second marriage

In the United States, having been married more than one time is not at all uncommon. When planning a second marriage, however, many Florida residents never consider the ramifications that it could have on their estate planning. When families blend, the income and assets also intermingle, causing finances to become a bit complicated in some cases. Because of this, there are a few things to keep in mind when getting married for the second time.

The need for a health care directive in one's estate plans

When it comes to end-of-life and estate planning, there are many aspects to consider. The need for a health care directive, for example, is often a question in the minds of those who are consulting with their attorney on such matters. There are many reasons that one may wonder why he or she would need to document his or her wishes for health care. For those in Florida, it is important to have someone who understands the state's laws on the subject.

Unfunded trusts in estate planning

Most people who have a trust are made aware that it needs to be funded in order for it to work as it should. In fact, most estate planning attorneys stress the importance of funding the trust several times throughout the process of setting it up. There are still some people, however, who -- for whatever reason -- forget to fund the trust once the trust document is in place. What can someone in Florida or another jurisdiction do with an unfunded trust?

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