Palm Beach Estate Planning Attorney
The True Costs of Probate
The estate and gift tax laws were amended in December of 2013. This amendment changed the amount that any individual can transfer estate and/or gift tax free to as much as $5,000,000.00 with an periodic increase due to inflation. Proper planning can increase that to in excess of $10,000,000.00.
However, even if the estate tax is eliminated, or more likely reduced, the time and expense of probate will not go away. Too many people are still failing to make use of the revocable living trust to avoid the financial and time burdens of probating an estate for their loved ones.
This is especially true in the case where the decedent owns real estate in more than one state since that will necessitate a probate in each of those states. The time delay in distributing the assets is significantly longer in a probate situation than it is in the revocable living trust.
There is an additional benefit to the use of a revocable living trust which is that the trust can take care of your financial needs should you become disabled and are unable to take care of financial affairs yourself. The overall estate plan will also take into account your healthcare needs as well as any desires that you have regarding terminal illnesses, etc.
Transfers of Florida Real Estate Upon Death
In order to transfer Florida real estate after an owner has died the transferor has to take steps to eliminate the estate tax lien that attaches to the real estate upon the death of that owner.
In a situation where there is a taxable estate you have to file a form with the State of Florida and request the appropriate release. The form of the release depends upon whether or not the required federal Form 706 has been submitted and accepted by the I.R.S.
If the estate is a non-taxable estate, you can complete an affidavit that is recorded along with the deed that will eliminate the need to contact the State of Florida.
Palm Beach Probate Attorney
Jeffrey Zane, the president of Jeffrey P. Zane, P.A., is a member of both the Florida Bar Association and the New York Bar Association. The firm spends most of its time in various areas of transactional law. These areas include real estate, estate planing & probate, corporate & business law, and tax law. Mr. Zane serves in various committees of the Florida Bar Association and has spoken to many groups on estate planning and real estate issues. Mr. Zane serves as the President of the Attorneys’ Real Estate Council of Palm Beach County, Inc. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Temple Beth David.