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Estate planning below the federal estate tax threshold

Nov 17, 2017 | Estate Planning

At the end of life, the amount of wealth one has amassed has value to the individual, not only in terms of material wealth, but in terms of the hard work and persistence exerted to accrue it. Some individuals deeply care about where the wealth goes and how the money will be handled. It can be tempting to forgo estate planning, but even individuals whose net worth falls below federal minimums for estate tax may require a few legal protections to ensure that their hard-earned cash will be distributed as they see fit. In Florida, many individuals can potentially benefit from estate planning.

Estates that have over a $5.49 million worth, or $10.98 million for married couples, are subject to the federal estate tax. Any estate with a lower worth is not. However, in some states there are state-level estate taxes that may affect the estate. Also, gifts given outside of an existing will, such as a retirement plan or an insurance policy, may add to the value of an estate.

If a person owns property in several states, it may be helpful to consolidate the real estate into a trust to avoid complicated transfers. Some individuals also wish to create a trust so that they may impose qualifying circumstances on the beneficiary. The beneficiary would then have to adhere to the guidelines set out in the trust in order to receive the funds.”>Estate planning is so much more than how to pay the taxes. It can be a way to leave a final mark on the world, or to create a legacy. In Florida, estate planning attorneys are available to assist individuals who may be interested in creating a comprehensive plan.

Source:, “Estate planning for clients exempt from federal taxes“, Tobias Salinger, Oct. 24, 2017