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March 2016 Archives

What estate tax benefits are available to same-sex couples?

Until recently, same-sex couples could not take advantage of the same tax benefits that heterosexual couples could. That changed on June 25, 2015, with the Supreme Court's ruling on the legality of gay marriage. However, that historic decision did more than just grant same-sex couples the right marry. It also granted them the right to several different kinds of tax breaks. But, what main type of benefit is now available to same-sex couples?

Updating an estate plan now can help prevent problems later

There aren't many people who like to work on estate planning documents. It constantly reminds them of their own mortality and can be tedious. However, failing to take the time to update an estate plan can lead to major disaster later on. If a testator doesn't update the beneficiaries to their estate after a major life event, then the possibility exists that the beneficiaries may not be the individuals the testator wants. So, here are three simple estate planning steps that can help prevent problems down the road.

Typical IRA mistakes that can hurt your estate planning

An IRA can be the cornerstone of an effective estate plan. It can guarantee income to one's beneficiaries as well as protect the testator's assets from excessive taxes. But, far too often, people make mistakes when initially filling out their IRA forms. These mistakes can then be forgotten until the testator's assets go through probate. So, here are some common mistakes people make when filling out their IRA forms.

Are there trusts that can help someone who has special needs?

Most Florida residents only want the best for their loved ones and they will always try to provide for them even after they are gone by including them as estate beneficiaries. However, some of these family members may have special physical, mental or emotional needs and they may be receiving benefits from government programs such as Medicaid and Social Security. Inheriting assets from an estate could jeopardize their ability to continue to receive these government benefits. So, is there a way to pass assets on to a special needs family member without them losing their benefits?

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