Some Florida residents who are planning for the future of their assets might want to avoid having their estates go through probate. One way to do this is by making heirs the co-owners of assets. However, the disadvantage here is that the co-owner also has access to those assets while the estate owner is still alive.
Florida residents may remember that Aretha Franklin passed away in August 2018 from cancer. According to the IRS, her estate owes over $6.3 million in unpaid income taxes from 2012 to 2018. The organization is one of many interested parties listed in documents that the singer's sons filed in Oakland County Probate Court. Specifically, the government says that the singer owes an estimated $2.1 million from 2015 and roughly $500,000 from 2016 and 2017.
Florida residents have many different options as it relates to transferring assets. Assets that are in the name of the deceased person only will have to go through probate unless other arrangements are made. For example, a beneficiary designation could be made on a home, car or investment account. This would trump any language in a will, and it would also allow for the asset to be transferred to the beneficiary when the current owner of the asset passes away.
Following the death of George H.W. Bush just a few months after his wife's death, some Florida couples may have wondered how their estate plans would be affected if one died shortly after the after. Sometimes called "broken-heart syndrome," this is not an unusual occurrence when a couple has been together for a long time. There are steps people can take to help ensure that assets are still transferred smoothly even if this happens.
Country music fans in Florida remember the hits of singer and songwriter Glen Campbell fondly. His passing in 2017, however, resulted in three of his children contesting the validity of his will that excluded them from any inheritance. The children have now chosen to dismiss their bid for a portion of their father's estate. Their legal filings did not explain their reason for dropping the matter.
Probate is the process of administering, organizing and sorting a person's estate after he or she dies. In cases where the person leaves a will, he or she is said to have died testate; without a will, the decedent is intestate. Florida law governs the probate process either way, and the probate court will administer, supervise and distribute the estate. Typically, the executor of the estate is named in the will.
Florida residents who are thinking about their plans for the future may want to make sure that they have properly arranged to pass their belongings on to their loved ones. When writing a will, one of the most important decisions people can make is not about the distribution of their property but about who they select to serve as executor. While the task can require some complex legal and financial responsibilities, many select an executor for emotional or familial reasons rather than the person's ability to do the job. People may name their closest siblings or best friends as a way to honor the relationship.
Florida fans of Aretha Franklin may know that she died without an estate plan despite the fact that she had a special-needs son and her health was poor. Prince also died without a will, and his relatives have still not received any payments from the estate. While most people do not have to worry about estate tax with the federal exemption currently at $11.18 million, there are a number of other reasons to create an estate plan.
Attorneys in Florida are often asked about legal guardianship, why it is used and what the requirements are. As the name implies, a guardianship is a proceeding for the protection of those who cannot protect themselves.
Some people in Florida may find themselves in the role of estate executor after a loved one has died. The role carries with it a number of responsibilities, but an executor is allowed to consult professionals including an attorney.