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VanNess & VanNess, P.A.
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How to make use of a Letter of Final Wishes

Florida residents may have a will as part of their estate plan. However, it may be necessary to include other documents, including a Letter of Final Wishes, with a plan. This letter may be the best place to include information that has no place in or is inappropriate to put into the will itself. For instance, it may include information as to where the estate holder wants to be buried or who should be notified of that person's passing.

Study looks at car crashes involving children

Florida residents might like to know how their state fares when it comes to children's safety during automobile accidents. In general, fatalities involving children below the age of 15 were most common in the South and least common in the Northeast. Common causes of fatalities were unused or improperly used restraints. Florida had one of the lowest percentages of child deaths with 12 percent.

Creating a spendthrift trust

Florida residents who are creating an estate plan may be concerned about leaving money to an adult child or another loved one who they believe may be financially irresponsible. One possible solution for this is a spendthrift thrust. This type of trust might also protect assets from third party creditors. For example, if a beneficiary files for bankruptcy, the money in a spendthrift trust may not be accessible to creditors unless it is distributed within 180 days after the bankruptcy filing.

The advantages of including trusts in estate plans

When Florida residents put an estate plan in place, they are often primarily concerned with ensuring that their assets will be passed to their heirs in accordance with their wishes. While this can be accomplished by drafting a last will and testament, adding trusts to an estate plan provides people with a number of important advantages. Trusts allow estates to avoid the time consuming and public probate process, they can prevent heirs from losing assets to their creditors and they can also reduce the amount of estate tax that must be paid.

How an estate tax repeal might change an estate plan

Some Florida residents might wonder how they should change their estate plan if the federal estate tax is repealed. People with large estates who anticipate having to pay some estate tax have most likely designed their plan with this in mind. Reviewing the documents and considering how removing the estate tax would change them means that a person can be ready to make those changes quickly and efficiently if the law changes.

Some duties of an executor

Florida residents who have been named as executor under a will may wonder what their duties are when the testator dies. As fiduciaries for the beneficiaries and the testator's estate, they must locate, value and secure all assets. This process will vary. Some assets may be accessed on producing a death certificate and a formal authorization from the court. A claim might be required to get insurance assets.

Keeping wealth in the family

Florida residents who are creating an estate plan might be concerned about keeping the wealth in the family and protecting it in case one of their children gets a divorce. The first step may be to simply to discuss the estate plan and the need to preserve wealth with family members. Children may want to get a prenuptial agreement before they marry that specifies that the inheritance is not marital property, but a prenup must be entered into freely.

VanNess & VanNess, P.A.