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

The importance of estate planning

Georgia residents may be surprised to learn that more than half of Americans admitted to not having a will, according to a 2016 Gallup survey. While state laws typically designate people's belongings to their spouses or children in the event they die without a will, the matter can be complex for those who are not married and have no children. Even married couples who have no children can face difficulties if one dies without a will.

Traffic deaths rise 6 percent from 2015

According to the National Safety Council, there were 40,200 roadside fatalities in 2016. This was a 6 percent increase from 2015 and a 14 percent increase from 2014. One reason for the increase is the fact that there are more drivers on roads throughout the country. Overall, there was a 3 percent increase in miles driven from 2015 to 2016. Lower gas prices in Florida and nationwide and a better economy help to explain this increase.

Behavior of millennial drivers is dangerous

Millennials in Florida and throughout the country tend to engage in risky driving behavior according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The organization released a report on Feb. 15 that found almost 90 percent of millennials surveyed reported behavior in the previous 30 days that included texting while driving, running red lights and speeding.

Best practices for gifting to children

Florida parents may be able to gift parts of their estate to their children while they are still alive, but they should try to do so in a way that avoids paying additional taxes or creates other complications. For example, it is better to give assets that have not appreciated much as gifts because the child will not pay as much in future capital gains taxes when it is sold. Highly appreciated assets are best bequeathed after a person's death, as the basis is stepped up to the fair market value as of the date of death.

Study ranks states for traffic safety laws

A report from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety named Florida as one of the worst-performing states in terms of traffic safety laws. Other states named as performing poorly included North Dakota, Vermont and Iowa with South Dakota the worst-performing. Rhode Island received the highest score. Some high-performing states were Louisiana, Washington and Delaware.

Audi announces the recall of 576,921 vehicles

Florida residents who drive an Audi A5 coupe or convertible or Q5 SUV may soon receive recall notifications in the mail. The German car maker has announced that 576,921 vehicles are being recalled due to overheating engines and leaky sunroofs. The recalls, which are expected to begin on Feb. 20, were prompted by reports made to the NHTSA about smoldering engines and airbags that deployed unexpectedly.

VanNess & VanNess, P.A.