VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

July 2018 Archives

Estate planning for single and independent seniors

More elderly people in Florida are easing into their golden years by themselves. According to recent figures published by the Census Bureau, 28 percent of all American adults are unmarried and live by themselves. Moreover, nearly 20 million of these single individuals are 65 and older. Senior citizens living by themselves is a big part of the demographics in the 21st century, which brings to mind the issue of estate planning strategies.

Study: driver-assist systems could lead to fewer accidents

One of the selling points for electronic driver-assist systems has always been that they would eventually make the roads across Florida and the rest of the United States safer. There has been anecdotal evidence about fatal accidents caused by these self-driving cars, but in general, the question remains whether these systems reduce accidents or not. According to a new study, they have indeed made the roads safer.

Planning and disclosure could head off squabbles over inheritance

A poll of 109 estate planning professionals gathered at the 52nd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning that took place in Florida revealed how family dynamics and disputes can affect estate plans. Although taxes often concern people who want to transfer wealth, 44 percent of the professionals said that family conflicts caused the most problems.

Bourdain's estate plan includes gift of airline miles

Floridians who are fans of the late Anthony Bourdain might be interested to know how his estate plan was designed to reflect the most important things in his life. The world traveler and television personality was thorough in creating a plan that passes the bulk of his estate to his only child. His daughter will not get the whole estate, however, as Bourdain left his accumulated frequent flyer miles to his estranged wife with the instruction that she should dispose of them in accordance to what she thinks would be his wishes.

The benefits of a spendthrift trust

Florida residents often include trusts in their estate plans to avoid the probate process, have more control over how their assets are distributed, reduce estate taxes and protect against creditors. Spendthrift trusts can be particularly useful when heirs have unpaid debts or testators are worried about how they will spend their inheritances. Assets placed in a spendthrift trust are shielded from creditors and distributed at the discretion of the trustee in accordance with the trust agreement.

Selecting the right trustee for a family trust fund

Trusts have an important role to play in the future financial and estate planning of many people in Florida. A trust fund is one way to set aside and protect a specific group of assets that a person wants to use to support another person. Trust funds can be set up with a range of different beneficiaries, including children, grandchildren, friends or other family members. The trust will be administered by a trustee, which is a person or institution named by the creator of the trust to make decisions about how the funds are used. Choosing the right trustee can be very important in helping to ensure that the assets of the trust are properly maintained.

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