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Estate Administration Archives

No estate rights despite acquittal

Orlando residents may be interested in a New York judge's November ruling that barred a woman who was acquitted of murdering her three children from sharing in their $350,000 estate. This estate planning case set precedent, addressing the state's Son of Sam legislation, which prohibits criminals from profiting off of their crimes. The judge decreed that a successful insanity defense is irrelevant when establishing if the defendant will inherit the victims' assets.

Estate planning and state taxes

Currently 19 states and the District of Columbia have no state estate taxes. As a result, many states such as Florida that have no state income or estate taxes attract people with large estates who live in other jurisdictions as they plan for the future. Although you might not worry simply because you don't live in an applicable state, you should think twice before you become too complacent. If you move, you could find yourself living in a state that has an estate tax, or your state could decide to implement such a tax with an eye towards the revenue it could bring in. For this reason, estate planning is more important than ever.

Why draw up a will

Florida residents of all ages should be sure that they have a will in place. While many people assume that creating a will or dealing with estate planning is something that will need to be dealt with when they are older, both are actually essential to ensuring that someone's property is handled appropriately once they pass on. Since no one knows when this will occur, it is a good idea for these documents to be in place well ahead of time.

Bypass trusts as an estate planning tool

Estate planners in Florida and elsewhere have long used bypass trusts as an effective estate planning tool for married couples with children. This vehicle contemplates the transfer of a couple's assets to such a trust upon the death of the first spouse, leaving the remaining assets outright to the survivor. After the death of the surviving spouse the trust's assets would pass directly to the children, bypassing the survivor's estate and saving estate taxes.

Estate and gift tax changes

Florida residents may be interested in learning that several changes to federal estate and gift tax laws go into effect starting in 2014. Some of these changes will allow more money to be passed on to family members and others before federal taxes are imposed.

Handling someone's digital legacy

Florida residents who think about estate planning often focus on drawing up a will or deciding who will get their assets when they pass on. While these are all important parts of estate planning, people should also think about their digital legacy. Due to the fact that there are a number of individuals who do not plan for how their digital content will be handled upon their passing, many online accounts simply go into limbo when someone dies.

Many terminal patients in Florida not getting their dying wishes

A recent study indicates that while many senior citizens with terminal illnesses would prefer to enjoy their last days in hospices or in the comfort of their own homes with those they love, an alarming number of them spend their last days in the hospital. Florida residents may be interested in learning that researchers at the Dartmouth Atlas Group uncovered an interesting fact: Geography may play an important role as far as what happens to people during their final days is concerned.

Michael Jackson's estate, IRS, clash over valuation

A dispute one year in the making has found its way to federal court. Representatives for the estate of deceased pop legend Michael Jackson have filed challenges to the IRS' levies on the value of Jackson's likeness and image. The penalties associated with the IRS' request also apply to properties formerly owned by him, including the LLC that owns Neverland Ranch. 

Supreme Court strikes DOMA provision against gay couples

The United States supreme Court recently issued a ruling on U.S. v. Windsor, the estate tax case that pitted 84-year-old Edie Windsor against the Internal Revenue Service over taxes imposed when her long-time spouse, Thea Spyer, left Windsor her estate when she died in 2009.

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