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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Avoid These Estate Planning Mistakes

How can I help to ensure my estate plan is error-free?

Your estate plan will be a lasting part of your legacy.  A good estate plan will allow your assets to pass with minimal tax consequences to your named heirs, while a poor estate plan, or a lack of an estate plan all together, may leave your assets in the control of the courts and subject to extreme taxation.  Our Tampa estate planning lawyers discuss some estate planning errors you should avoid in order to preserve your assets and legacy.

Using Only a Will

Wills are perhaps the most basic estate planning tool.  While wills are essential, most Floridians should not stop with a will alone.  Wills can ensure your assets go to the heirs you intend, but your assets will still be subject to probate and tax penalties.  Your estate planning lawyer will review your assets to develop a comprehensive estate plan that protects your assets and heirs to the fullest extent.  

Missing Schedules

Schedules should be attached to your trust document and will contain critical details about the trust.  Most trusts have a schedule that provides an inventory sheet of the trust, naming what assets have been transferred into the trust.  It is important for you to make sure your trust schedule is accurate and complete so as to assist in the passing of your assets to the named trustee.  Your attorney will help you to prepare the schedule and ensure all of your desired assets have been correctly transferred into the trust.  

Lack of a See-through Provision

Your trust should contain a see-through provision that meets all legal requirements if it is the beneficiary of an IRA.  A see-through provision within the trust will allow the IRS to essentially peer through the trust and apply the same tax rate to the trust as it would the IRA’s direct beneficiaries.   Without the see-through provision, the trust could be taxed at a much higher rate, costing beneficiaries greatly.  

These are just a few estate planning errors that could negatively impact your heirs.  Contact a knowledgeable Florida estate planning lawyer for assistance with creating your ideal estate plan.  


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