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VanNess & VanNess, P.A.
Toll Free: 866-697-6221 Local: 352-436-4333 Over 100 years of combined experience

Common estate planning errors

Celebrities are just as likely to make the same estate planning mistakes as people who are less famous. In April, reports surfaced in Florida media that Prince did not have a will when he died suddenly. This was also true in the death of singer Amy Winehouse. As a result, it was impossible to know whether she might have wanted to leave something to her brother or ex-husband, and Winehouse's parents got her entire estate.

Takata air bag inflator recall may widen

On April 13, the U.S. government announced that if Takata cannot prove that the 85 million air bag inflators it manufactured that remain in vehicles are safe, they will all need to be recalled. More than 28 million have already been recalled. Some areas, including Florida, are targeted in particular for recall because high humidity is one of the causes of the deterioration of the ammonium nitrate used in the air bags.

When people want to leave their children different percentages

In some Florida families, an aging parent will have a strained relationship with one child and a close relationship with another child. The parent may want to leave a larger percentage of his or her estate to the child with whom he or she is closer and a lesser amount to the other child.

Preventing distracted driving in Florida

April has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the National Safety Council in an effort to highlight how dangerous inattentiveness may be. These days, it is possible to make calls, update social media accounts and send emails while driving to work or other destinations. While it may seem safer to perform these tasks without the use of a driver's hands, it is just as distracting.

Independent executors may help with estate planning

Parents who want to leave property behind to care for their children after they die could benefit from setting explicit terms for how their estates ought to be distributed. Although some parents want to keep these affairs in the family, siblings in Florida and other states may be less inclined to work things out after their parents are gone and their own livelihoods depend on the assets they receive.

The use of trusts in retirement planning

Florida residents often wish to leave as much as they can to their loved ones, and investing retirement funds prudently could play an important role in achieving this goal. Trusts have always been useful investment and estate planning tools, but a 2003 change to the laws governing IRAs made them even more beneficial. The legal change allowed the age of non-spouse beneficiaries to be taken into account, which meant that distributions could begin earlier and last longer. The same sort of provision was added for corporate retirement accounts in 2006, but a great many 401(k) accounts require all funds to be distributed within a year of the account holder's death.

VanNess & VanNess, P.A.