Already Have a Will? It Might Not Be Good Enough
If you have already drafted a last will and testament with the help of a lawyer, you’ve taken an important step toward ensuring your family’s protection after your death. However, changes in the economic climate within the past several years have made it necessary to revisit the estate planning process with some new factors in mind.
The most important thing to consider is that your asset values may have changed dramatically in recent years. For example, you might have designated your life insurance to pay your estate tax, but economic decline and an increase in the federal estate exclusion — the amount of money you are allowed to bequeath without paying taxes — to the amount of over $5 million may indicate that life insurance is no longer necessary to pay estate taxes.
When it comes to your will, you might want to consider leaving a trust fund, which provides ongoing support to the beneficiary rather than outright cash. A trust can help protect your assets from a beneficiary’s creditors or beneficiary disputes and can also make it possible for your beneficiaries to split income with the trust, providing extra tax savings.
For matters of property, make sure you have considered any special terms under which you want it to be held (in a trust, for example). You should also think about leaving extra money to cover the costs of future maintenance.
When you are ready to revisit and possibly revise your will, see an experienced estate law attorney for guidance. Contact a Florida estate planning attorney today to schedule a consultation.