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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 at any age

According to a new survey from, nearly 80 percent of millennials do not have a will. It's also common for younger or childless and unmarried individuals in Florida to procrastinate or not see the importance of making estate plans. Part of the reason for this may be a desire not to face the unpleasant facts of life or make decisions at a time when it seems unnecessary to do so. However, dying intestate, a legal term meaning without a will, results in many distribution decisions being made by the courts.

Legacy planning can preserve wealth for the future

People in Florida thinking about the future may want to consider how they can improve their existing estate plan in order to protect generational wealth. There are a number of key documents that everyone should have in place, such as wills, health care proxies, advanced medical directives of living wills, revocable living trusts and other items. People can create an irrevocable trust to receive the proceeds of their life insurance policies in order to protect the beneficiaries of the policies from creditors or additional taxes. In addition, trusts can be an important way to handle transition in the family business.

Estate planning complicated by cryptocurrency, digital assets

The number of people in Florida who own digital assets is increasing rapidly, and so is the impact of such assets on estate planning. For people who own cryptocurrency or online contact lists, the question of whether and how to include these things in an estate plan can be difficult to answer. The most important step is to make sure the executor or other decision-maker has all the information necessary to properly distribute assets, be they digital or physical.

How to account for the cost of Alzheimer's

There are currently 5.7 million Americans who have Alzheimer's disease, and lifetime care costs for someone who has it are well over $300,000 on average. As an increasing portion of the population turns 65 or older, the number of people who experience this condition will grow as well. Florida residents who find out that a family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's should review that person's estate plan.

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.

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.

VanNess & VanNess, P.A.