I want to talk to you today about estate planning.

Now, most of you are probably thinking, “estate planning? I thought that limits were up around 11 and one half, $12 Million before I had to worry about paying any estate tax.”
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And you are correct. Those limits have gone up dramatically over the last 20 years. Twenty years or so is around $600,000, and now it’s up to around $11.5 million. So most people no longer have to worry about planning for estate taxes. But most people still need to worry about how their estate will be administered once they pass away.

At a minimum, everybody should have at least a Will done. That’s the minimum that you need to have done. Everybody needs to have a Will, so their wishes get carried out once they pass away, according to a document that determines how everything gets distributed. But for certain people that have maybe a little more net worth, they may have more or more complications with their estate. We always recommend a Trust. Trusts act like a Will because if all you have is a will, your assets have to go through probate or most of your assets have to go through probate.

We have a Trust; more importantly, you have all the assets in the name or title in the Trust. All your assets could pretty much all avoid probate.

What this does is gets your assets out to your beneficiaries right away. It saves you much money in probate costs, and many delays can happen in probate. So having everything in a Trust minimizes the cost of wrapping up your estate once you pass away and dramatically reduces the time.

So what we’ve seen over the last 20 years, as I mentioned, we’ve gone more from estate planning to where we’re trying to avoid estate tax to make sure that people are set up correctly and structured so that you can handle the estate quickly and easily upon their death.

So if you find yourself new to the area, Florida, do you think I haven’t looked at my estate planning documents in five, ten, or 15 years? I don’t have a will, and I don’t have Trust. So see us here at Suncoast, CPA groups. We can help you plan your estate. Upon your passing, your estate can be dissolved quickly and efficiently for the benefit of your heirs and family.

Estate Planning Tips