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estate planning Archives

Stan Lee's messy estate shows the importance of planning

Superhero co-creator Stan Lee has many fans in Florida. The 95-year-old Lee, who was the creator behind Spider-Man and the former chairman of Marvel Comics, passed away in November 2018. However, like a number of celebrities who left behind significant estates, his financial planning left much to be desired. If he does not have a will, there could be many challenges in probate court. Other celebrity estates, including those of Prince and Aretha Franklin, face ongoing disputes between heirs.

Making a plan to pass on family heirlooms

In the course of preparing their estate plans, some Florida residents may wonder how to deal with assets that may be more difficult to properly evaluate or divide between multiple beneficiaries. While assets like bank accounts or investment funds are easy to divide, some items may have emotional resonance as well as financial value. By thinking ahead about how to deal with specific assets, people can help to avoid family strife before it takes place and protect the assets that they want to pass on to their family.

Possible ways to set up an educational trust

Some people in Florida who can afford to do so wish to set aside part of their estate to provide education-related funds for children or grandchildren. There is no one "right way" to achieve this goal. However, there are several options available for individuals looking to give future generations a chance to pursue and achieve their preferred higher learning goals. Possibilities include setting up a trust all designated beneficiaries can dip into and establishing separate trusts for each child or grandchild that's a beneficiary.

Important follow-up after drafting an estate plan

When people in Florida complete their initial estate planning documents, they may think that they've already taken care of everything they need to do to ensure their assets are properly directed. However, some key follow-up steps can help to ensure that the estate plan will work as directed.

Charitable donations build legacy and deliver tax advantages

Multiple factors could motivate a Florida resident to include charitable donations in their estate plans. In addition to offering substantial tax savings, giving can support social progress. An estate owner might even create a philanthropic plan that forms a legacy across generations. To achieve the desired outcome, one needs to consider both their personal goals and the missions and capabilities of the recipients.

Estate planning with a timeshare

Florida is a popular area for timeshare resorts. A timeshare is a piece of property where the owners can vacation for a set period of time during the year in exchange for annual fees. Since the ownership can last in perpetuity, many owners want to make sure that their heirs are not stuck paying the fees for unwanted timeshares.

Unrecorded deeds in an estate plan

When people in Florida think about how to plan for the future, some may consider the use of unrecorded deeds in order to transfer property. For example, parents may give their child the deed to their home and agree to not have it recorded until the parents pass away. There is no time limit that prevents a deed being recorded, even years after it was issued. However, while this technique was used in the past as a way to transfer property and make an estate plan, there are modern options that can help people plan their estates without the uncertainties introduced by unrecorded deeds.

Surviving spouses and estate planning

Handling estate planning issues may be the least concern of grieving widows or widowers. However, there are certain steps they have to take as soon as possible. Surviving spouses should review and update existing legal documents to ensure that they will be protected during their lifetime and to address what will occur after they die.

Balancing charity and family in an estate plan

When creating an estate plan, Florida residents should think about how much an asset is worth after accounting for taxes. Doing so may result in the government getting less and loved ones getting more of an estate's money. It can also help determine how assets are allocated or how they are distributed after a person passes. Let's say that a parent wanted to leave money for charity.

Kramer A. Litvak, P.A.
226 East Government Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

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