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With New Tax Law, Is Estate Planning Dead?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 doubled the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping tax exemptions to $11.18 million per person, making many wonder if the heart had been cut out of estate planning. But estate planning is not just about taxes. There are several very important issues that creating an estate plan can help you address, including:

Avoidance of probate. Removing assets out of your name and into a revocable living trust allows your heirs to bypass probate -- which can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Any asset in the trust or payable to the trust upon death avoids probate, which means your heirs will have immediate access to those assets and will avoid court and legal fees.

Beneficiary issues. Beneficiaries have one thing in common: they’re human. And humans can have issues like special needs, mental illness, substance abuse, creditor problems or divorce. Your estate plan will not only determine who will get your assets, it can also determine when they will get them. Addressing these issues in your estate plan will protect your assets for beneficiaries.

Blended family. Many Americans are members of blended families that include stepparents, stepsiblings, half-siblings, etc. If one spouse dies and leaves all his or her assets to the surviving spouse, this can create issues for a blended family because a surviving spouse may decide to keep all the assets and cut out his or her stepchildren. This can be sidestepped by using trusts to guarantee that any children from prior marriages receive their inheritance as intended.

Sibling rivalry. Unfortunately, not all siblings get along, and this can create chaos when an inheritance is at stake. For example, if you leave real estate in equal shares to your children, some may want to keep it and some may want to sell. Everyone must agree to sell any real estate left as an inheritance, so ill feelings can arise if one or more of your children disagree over the disposition of the property. An estate plan will spell out which assets should be sold, who is in charge, and who gets what specifically.

An experienced Florida estate planning attorney can help you with proven strategies to protect your finances and your family. To learn more, contact our Florida law firm for a free consultation.

Categories: Estate Planning
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The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169
Website: http://www.dorceylaw.com
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