Death and Taxes And the Florida Probate Process

Death and Taxes

Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes.

This is also true for the Florida probate process.

The purpose of the Florida probate process is to gather the assets and debts of the deceased, pay the debts off, and distribute the remaining assets to the heirs. The Florida personal representative is responsible for ensuring this process is properly completed with the assistance of an attorney.

During the Florida probate process, the Florida personal representative will also need to ensure that all Estate taxes as well as the individual taxes of the deceased have been filed and paid before the probate matter can be closed and the assets can be distributed to the heirs.

If you have been named as the personal representative of an estate in Florida, or where the deceased passed away owning assets in Florida, or if you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one and would like to be appointed as the Personal Representative for the estate, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today.

How Can I be Appointed as a Florida Personal Representative?

Florida Personal RepresentativePersonal representatives are required to hire an attorney in Florida.

A Florida personal representative may be appointed in the deceased’s will. If the deceased passed away without a will, then a beneficiary can petition to become the personal representative of the Estate. The Court will appoint a personal representative for the Estate in either instance.

The personal representative is in charge of the administration of the Estate and as such holds a fiduciary responsibility.

A Florida personal representative is required to hire an attorney to guide them through the process, but there are tasks required in the administration of many probates that the personal representative must perform. These may include the obtainment of a safe deposit box inventory, communication with other beneficiaries and heirs if the situation is amicable, and reviewing and signing documents to be submitted to the Court.

If you recently suffered the loss of a loved one and would like to be appointed as the personal representative of the Estate, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L.’s probate attorneys today.

Florida One of Top States for Low Tax Burden

According to a recent study by WalletHub, Florida is in the top 10 states for the lowest tax burden on “High Income” and “Middle Income” taxpayers.

It is also the only southeastern state in the top 10 states with a low tax burden, other than Alabama, which ranks lower on the results.

Miami Beach panorama

State “Low Income” Rank
(Tax Burden as a % of Income)
“Middle Income” Rank
(Tax Burden as a % of Income)
“High Income” Rank
(Tax Burden as a % of Income)
Alaska 1
(5.40%)
1
(4.50%)
1
(3.43%)
Wyoming 6
(7.68%)
5
(6.65%)
2
(3.98%)
Nevada 4
(7.00%)
3
(6.28%)
3
(4.71%)
Tennessee 16
(9.17%)
6
(7.02%)
4
(4.97%)
South Dakota 28
(9.80%)
7
(7.17%)
5
(5.17%)
New Hampshire 8
(7.99%)
8
(7.43%)
6
(5.36%)
Florida 17
(9.23%)
10
(7.67%)
7
(5.56%)
North Dakota 10
(8.37%)
12
(7.92%)
8
(5.70%)
Alabama 25
(9.61%)
20
(8.82%)
9
(6.03%)
Delaware 2
(5.43%)
2
(5.70%)
10
(6.14%)

 

In addition to the beach and sun, the tax benefits and low tax burden of living in Florida add to the list of reasons to live and do business in the Florida. If you are thinking about moving to Florida or if you are interested in starting a Florida business, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today.

If you are a foreign individual who already lives or does business in Florida, or if you are thinking about moving to or starting a business in Florida, then you should contact an attorney to assist you with tax planning for yourself, your business, and your estate.

Tax planning may include restructuring your company, creating estate planning documents such as trusts and power of attorneys, and much more.

 

Chart provided by: http://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-to-be-rich-poor-from-a-tax-perspective/11257/

Should You Include Passwords in Your Florida Will?

login with username and password in internet browserAs technology increases and increasingly changes, there are many things one must do to adapt to these changes. Drafting a will and estate plan in Florida is no exception.

In many cases, bank accounts and other assets are no longer simply on paper; many are kept electronically and password-protected. If your loved ones do not know the passwords you use to these accounts, then it could become an issue and delay in the probate process when you pass away.

If you keep most of your records electronically, then it may be a good idea to include those passwords in your Florida will or Florida estate plan, or at least include a provision in the will that will allow your loved ones access to this information during the probate process. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist you in the proper way to include this information so that your loved ones will have access to it after you pass away, but so that the information will still be kept secure while you are alive.

In addition, many individuals change their passwords often. If you currently have your passwords in your Florida will or included in your estate plan, but they have changed, then an experienced estate planning attorney will be able to direct you as to how to make this change properly.

Some states will allow for hand-written wills, referred to as holographic wills, but this is not the case in Florida. Although you may want to include something as a provision in your will, if it does not follow the requirements of the Court, then it may be deemed inadmissible and those wishes may not be adhered to during the probate process.

If you do not currently have a will, or if your current will needs to be updated, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s estate planning attorneys today.

Are Your Family Members Aware of Your Florida Estate Planning Documents?

Florida estate planning documentsRegardless of your age, it is important to have a properly drafted will and Florida estate planning documents to ensure that your wishes are met after you pass away. When you begin to draft a will and other documents for your estate plan, it is equally important to ensure that your family and other loved ones are aware of the fact that you have drafted these documents.

Even if you do not want your loved ones to be aware of the contents of your will or Florida estate planning documents, then it is still important that they know these documents exist.

Often when a loved one passes away, their relatives are under the belief that the deceased did not have a will or estate plan because the deceased relative did not tell them about their plans. If you write a will and it is not found, then the estate could potentially be subject to intestate administration, which is probate without a written will, in which case your last wishes may not be met.

You should not only notify the person whom you wish to act as the personal representative for your estate, but you should tell at least one or two other close friends or family members. This will make the Florida probate process easier for all involved, which can be a great relief during the difficult time of not only having to grieve over the loss of a loved one, but also having to deal with gathering documents and other aspects of the Florida probate process.

Although we at Boyer Law Firm, P.L. make every attempt to assist you through this process in the smoothest and most stress-free way possible, there are still certain requirements enacted by the Court that must be adhered to. Drafting a proper estate plan and ensuring that your loved ones are aware of the estate plan can aide in making this process go smoother for everyone involved.