Wills and trusts are the parts of the typical estate plan that deal with what to do with your property after you pass away. But a well-crafted estate plan does not have to focus solely on this important matter. We also have the power to tell our doctors and loved ones how we wish to be cared for, if we are ever too ill or incapacitated to do so ourselves.
We encourage everyone to set up an estate plan, so that they will know their assets will be distributed they way they want after they die. This is especially true for married people and parents, even if they are still young. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
Divorce may signal the end of the financial relationship between you and your ex-spouse, but life goes on, and you have to devise a way to make your new earnings work for you. Indeed, there are some divorces where a spouse enjoys a financial windfall; but if you do not fall into that category, you will have to take some important steps to ensure your financial viability.
Regardless of whether you see divorce as a Godsend or are ambivalent about whether you should split up, approaching the divorce process with the right mindset is critically important. Why is this, you may ask? Because countless couples begin the process in emotionally defensive positions, vowing to litigate everything and ceding no ground, only to be disappointed with the results they end up with.
Estate administration isn't always a simple matter of the distribution of assets to the heirs. Anyone who has ever served as an executor in Florida is familiar with the numerous steps in between the time the will is created and the actual execution after the testator's death. Even with a small estate and a very clearly written will, unforeseen probate issues and expenses can arise.
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.
The three trustees of the estate of a deceased Florida artist are now pursuing nearly $60 million in trustee fees. The trustees were friends of late pop artist Robert Rauschenberg, who died in 2008 and left a $600 million estate to a trust which would primarily benefit the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. The foundation's mission is to manage Mr. Rauschenberg's art and support charitable endeavors and other artists. The three friends were enlisted by Mr. Rauschenberg to administer and manage the trust.
Orlando families working out how their patriarchs and matriarchs will pass on assets after death may want to hear what one respected financial adviser has to say on the matter. To start, avoiding errors caused by the process's complexity is the first step to successful estate planning. After that, making sure the correct paperwork is filed and updated to reflect any changes in circumstances should be at the top of a family's estate administration tasks.
Estate planning is not a comfortable topic for a lot of Florida residents. Only 43 percent of Americans have a will although most people understand that a beneficiary must be designated or default state regulations, such as probate court, come into play. Some people don't understand the value of assets they have, such as insurance policies, and have people designated as beneficiaries people with whom they were once close, but are no longer.
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.