J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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February 2017 Archives

What happens if someone doesn't leave a valid will?

Many people know that estate planning is an important issue that needs to be addressed, but they still ignore it. Many people don't realize that even if they continue to avoid the need to create a will, state law will step in to fill the void. And they may not like the result.

An overview of testamentary trusts

Of the many different estate planning tools that Florida residents can consider, trusts are becoming a very popular choice. While there is nothing wrong with setting up an estate plan in which a will is the bedrock document, there are some people who find that establishing a trust is a better option. But, as those among our readers who are familiar with previous posts here know, there is a wide variety of trusts to consider. One popular option is known as a "testamentary trust."

Personal representatives getting help with estate administration

Although many people will go through a range of personal issues after a loved one dies, there will be legal issues that need to be addressed as well; namely carrying out the provisions detailed in a will or other estate planning documents. In many estate plans, a "personal representative" will be appointed - otherwise known as the executor of the estate. It is this person's job to initiate the probate process, among other duties.

Taking the right steps after creating a trust

Nowadays there are many people in Florida who are realizing that establishing a trust might be a preferable option when it comes to estate planning. Most people know that, for the most part, establishing a trust is a great way to avoid the probate process when it comes to the distribution of assets upon death. There are many different types of trusts to consider, from revocable to irrevocable trusts, as well as charitable trusts and testamentary trusts, just to name a few. However, many of our readers may not realize that just the act of setting up a trust isn't enough to get things done. It is important to take the right steps in the immediate aftermath.

Creating a will in accordance with Florida law

Most Florida residents know that a will is one of the cornerstones of a good, comprehensive estate plan. However, there are still many people who neglect to create a will because they might think that the task is too complicated. Fortunately, the reality is that the actual procedure of making a will can be easy to follow; it is the choices that have to be made in the process that can be difficult.

Did you consider taxes when you did your estate planning?

If not, you should take the time to reevaluate your estate plan. The passing of numerous celebrities (think about Prince) illustrates the need for estate planning that considers the tax ramifications to heirs and beneficiaries. You spend your life accumulating wealth to provide for your family both during your life and after your death. Why would you give a large chunk of it to the IRS?

Protecting inheritances with a will

Florida residents typically have a variety of reasons to start thinking about estate planning. For some, the decision is made early on as they go about getting married, buying a home and starting families. For others, the decision to have an estate plan crafted occurs later in life, and they want to ensure that the estate and assets they leave behind are a positive inheritance for heirs.