You may have heard startling statistics about the number of people who have put off planning their estates. However, just as high may be the number of people who make the effort to establish an estate plan, then allow decades to pass without reviewing those decisions.
Anyone in the Lakeland area who has a substantial amount of assets has probably considered what will happen with his or her estate when he or she dies. Executing a will is the most conventional way for a person in this position to determine how any assets will be distributed upon his or her death.
April 15 is quickly approaching, and many people in the Lakeland area are undoubtedly scurrying to prepare their personal income taxes by that date. For some individuals, this could mean dealing with inheritance tax. Although most filers will never have to worry about inheritance taxes, the people who do should at least understand the basics of how it works.
As people accumulate wealth in their lifetimes, they are able to spend it however they see fit. But, people obviously cannot take this wealth with them when they pass. Therefore, people need to create a plan to deal with their assets following their death. For many people, their estate plan includes giving an inheritance to their children, grandchildren and other loved ones.
Estate plans are important for Florida residents as they plan for their future. Estate plans help people make their intentions clear when it comes to how they want to divide their property following their death. These plans often divide property between a person's spouse, children and grandchildren. It is meant to help a person's family after the person has passed. These estate plans can give inheritances that include real estate, cash, life insurance policies and other assets to a person's heirs.
When a person passes away, they leave all their belongings, assets and debt. Upon death, this property transfers to what is known as the estate. The amount that is left in the estate after debts and taxes have been paid is then distributed to the person's heirs according to the person's estate planning documents -- like a will -- or is distributed according to the laws of intestacy if the person died without a will. The amount that is distributed to the person's heirs is their inheritance.
For residents in Florida, there are several reasons why it is important to draft an estate plan. Our law firm understands that it can be challenging to think about death and how their assets will be treated in the event of their death, but it is important to think about inheritances. Drafting a will or a trust could help ensure that their property and assets are properly passed to their loved ones in the manner they choose. Furthermore, it could provide rights to their beneficiaries after their death.
A frequent and unfortunate situation that arises when dealing with a will is when the decedent chooses to remove a family member from the list entirely. In this type of scenario, the estate and assets are to be divided among the family members who the decedent wanted to receive them. There are various issues that arise in this kind of circumstance and they must be understood by both the person writing the will and those who stand to gain or lose because of it.
When planning an estate or inheriting assets there are many legal issues with which an individual must contend. Those who are in the midst of estate planning may be concerned about drafting an enforceable will that will leave property according to their wishes while those who inherit property may be concerned about tax implications. In fact, the estate tax can take a huge chunk out of one's estate. Therefore, it is important to know how the estate tax works so that Floridians can properly plan for it.
Many Florida residents have individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, which can accumulate a lot of money before the person retires and begins to draw on the funds. One of the big appeals of these accounts is that they gather interest tax-free, so long as the account holder doesn't withdraw any money from it until after retirement or other conditions are met. IRAs can be a great supplement to other retirement accounts, and they can be part of a person's estate and assets when they pass away. However, inheriting someone else's IRA can lead to a lot of confusion.