Spiro J. Verras Blog

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Estate Planning: Is My Will Enough?

You took the plunge and created a will.  Now you may find yourself asking, is your will sufficient to protect your assets and heirs after your death?  The answer varies depending on your finances, your familial situation, and your ultimate desires as to your legacy. Making a will is an important first step for many. While it will represent the end of the estate planning journey for some, others use their will as a launching point to create a more Read more . . .

Monday, February 19, 2018

Creating an Educational Trust

What are the benefits of an educational trust?

College education prices are rising each year.  Parents can expect to pay anywhere between $9,000 and $34,000 in tuition and fees annually, depending on whether your child attends a public or private university.  In addition to tuition costs, parents must anticipate the costs of housing expenses, food, books, and other supplies.  To help provide for your child’s future educational needs, you may wish to consider setting up an educational trust.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

The Costs of Probate in Florida

How can I reduce the expense of probate?

If you pass away in the state of Florida, your assets will likely need to go through probate.  Probate is the court-administered process through which the validity of a will is established, assets are located, expenses settled, and the remaining proceeds distributed to the heirs.  The value of the estate will determine, in part, the costs of probate in Florida.

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Estate Planning for Business Owners

Why is it important for small business owners to have an estate plan?

Creating a comprehensive estate plan is one of the most important steps that you as a business owner can take to safeguard your assets and protect your loved ones.  Without an estate plan in place, your loved ones and your business may flounder if you died unexpectedly.  Your heirs could even be forced to enact a quick sale of your business to satisfy probate related tax obligations.

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Making Your Advance Directive in Florida

What is an advance directive?

An Advance Health Care Directive or Advance Directive is a legal document that states your preferences for medical actions that you want or do not want to be taken if you are critically ill or injured.  An Advance Directive should be included in all estate plans as it provides doctors and loved ones with clear guidance on how you want to be treated if you reach the end of your life.  Each state has its own unique Advance Directive form.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Make Estate Planning Part of Your New Year’s Resolution

What will happen if I die without an estate plan?

The New Year is rapidly approaching, which means now is the time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolution.  Most of consider setting our goals as getting in shape or making better financial decisions.  Estate planning may not be something that many consider, but you should.  Fewer than half of all Americans have even a basic will in place.  Without an estate plan, your assets could be heavily taxed, go to unwanted individuals, and potentially even become the property of the state.
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Friday, December 15, 2017

Celebrity Estate Planning Fails

How can I make a foolproof estate plan?

Many of us would assume that most celebrities have comprehensive estate plans.  After all, wealthy celebrities have access to professional managers and experienced attorneys.  Despite their wealth, at least three mega-celebrities passed away in recent years without an adequate estate plan in place, leaving their loved ones broken hearted and grappling with substantial estate taxes.
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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Make Your Estate Plan Before You Retire

Why is estate planning an important part of planning for my retirement?

As you approach your retirement years, you will likely be inundated by financial planning.  Retirement planning involves putting in place the investments and health insurance you will need to maintain your financialwellbeing during retirement.  Estate planning, on the other hand, involves having a plan in place that will help your heirs to retain as much as your assets as possible upon your death. While the two concepts are different, they are also interrelated.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Estate Planning and Your Retirement Account

Do retirement accounts need to go through probate?

When it comes to estate planning, retirement accounts are often overlooked.  Usually, a retirement account will pass directly to the named beneficiary without passing through probate.  However, it is still critical to include your retirement accounts in your estate plan so that you can reduce the often burdensome federal and state estate tax.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Advantages of a Trust vs. a Will

How can I avoid probate in Florida?

Wills and trusts both allow you to name beneficiaries who will receive your assets in the event of your death.  While wills and trusts share some of the same functions, there are several advantages of a trust as opposed to a will.  If you are setting out creating your estate plan, it is important that you carefully consider the potential estate planning tools available to you.
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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Exploring Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs)

What is a family limited partnership?

Family limited partnerships or FLPs (also know as family limited liability limited partnerships or FLLLPs) are a type of partnership designed to protect your family business and assets for future generations. FLPs can be used to reduce your overall estate taxes and gift taxes, which under current law are owed on estate assets in excess of $5.49 million per individual. For families that wish to preserve their business for grandchildren, an FLP can form a central part of your estate plan.  If your family may face estate taxes, or if you are looking for a way to shield your family's assets from creditors, our

Tampa family limited partnerships lawyer at Verras Law, P.A., can explore the details of FLPs with you and explain further how they may help to ensure your valued family business survives to future generations.
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