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August 2013 Archives

Florida estate planning doesn't have to be overwhelming

Most Florida residents understand that writing a will is a good idea if they want to direct the way their assets will be distributed after they pass away. What many may not understand that a will is just one factor they should take into account when planning their estate.

Writing a will that can withstand a legal battle

About 99 percent of wills go through Florida's probate courts without any serious issues. However, there are cases in which someone submits a legal challenge to a will. This is called a will contest, and it can be put forward by anyone with an interest in the outcome. When these challenges occur, Florida courts typically try to avoid invalidating a will, but they will do so if it failed to meet the formal requirements or was otherwise improperly executed.

Court: IRS can tax estate of man who died 13 years ago

Florida residents often set up a trust in order to pass on their estate to their heirs without going through the cumbersome and expensive probate process. What's more, Florida has no estate tax, and the federal estate tax currently applies only to the wealthiest estates, so many Florida residents may presume that estate taxes won't be a problem at all. However, a recent case shows that even carefully planned estates sometimes run into tax issues.

Sports team owners in tax dispute over transfer to new generation

When Florida residents set up a plan to pass on their assets to the next generation, they typically want their heirs to get as much as they possibly can, without losing large sums in taxes. There are many ways to reduce tax burdens, but all of them should be considered carefully.

Leaving relatives out of a will can lead to big conflicts

When they begin to plan their estates, most Florida residents want to create a will that will provide for their relatives and treat everyone as fairly as possible. However, there are times when people might want to leave a relative out of a will. Sometimes there's a good reason for this decision, and sometimes not. It's important for people to think carefully before they attempt to leave someone out.