J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Florida estate assets may be subject to federal estate taxes

It has been said that the only things one can be sure of are death and taxes, so it should not come as a surprise that the two sometimes can be found together. This is principally in the form of the estate tax that some estates owe. This blog post will briefly describe the kinds of taxation that an estate and assets in Lakeland may be subject to.

As many people already know, Florida has no inheritance tax or estate tax at the state level. Estates in Florida may still be subject to the federal estate tax, however. The good news is that most estates will not owe an estate tax. This is because estates that are valued at the basic exclusion amount do not have to pay an estate tax. For tax year 2017, the basic exclusion amount will be $5,490,000 per individual. This means that estates valued at this amount or less will not owe federal estate tax.

What about a married couple with more than $5,490,000 worth of assets? The basic exclusion amount applies to individuals, so a married couple's exclusion amount would be double the basic exclusion amount, in other words $10,980,000 in 2017. To maximize the chances of being able to take advantage of this, high-asset couples have the option of consulting with an estate planning attorney about having the proper estate planning documents to do this.

Individual estates worth more than $5,490,000 or married couples' estates worth more than $10,980,000 may be subject to federal estate taxation. There are a number of strategies for high-asset people to reduce their potential estate tax liability. Many people have successfully used such strategies to reduce the amount of taxation their assets were subject to at the time of their death.

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