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February 2014 Archives

Martin Luther King heirs in dispute over Bible, Nobel Peace Prize

Orlando residents have probably heard about the family of Martin Luther King Jr. engaging in legal battles over his estate. The latest battle concerns King's Bible and the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded in 1964. King's daughter, Bernice King, says she thought about placing those items on loan but never considered selling them. According to her, selling those items would be sacrilegious and would breach her obligations as a trustee and steward of her father's legacy.

Deciding on a will or a trust depends on one's unique situation

Florida retirees may be wondering whether a will or a trust is a more appropriate estate planning tool. According to experts, either could be appropriate, depending on the retiree's situation. A trust is a legal tool that holds assets for the benefit of an individual. A will is a legal document that directs which assets should go to whom after an individual's death. Both serve unique legal purposes. Deciding which one is most appropriate depends on the unique estate planning goals and needs of an individual's situation.

Estate planning and new tax laws

Federal tax law changes that went into effect in Florida and across the nation in 2013 have caused upheaval in the way people navigate through the maze of estate planning. While people traditionally used a bypass trust in order pass their wealth to beneficiaries, they may no longer need to be concerned about the estate tax. The new law permanently exempted estate and gift taxes and increased tax rates for capital gains. Another tax of 3.8 percent on investment income was enacted to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. Capital gains rates increased by nearly 9 percentage points in some cases or from 15 percent in 2012 to 23.8 percent in 2014.

Walker's $25 million to go to daughter

Florida viewers of the "Fast & Furious" move franchise mourned actor Paul Walker's death in November 2013. However, the media has now reported that Walker's $25 million estate will go to his teenage daughter, according to estate administration papers that were recently filed in the case. Walker was not married, and his sole beneficiary was his teen daughter.

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