If you’re considering putting together an estate plan, that’s a good thing. It means you are taking wise steps to ensure that your financial legacy remains under your control. A major part of building a strong strategy is estate tax planning.
An estate plan is a way to make sure that your wishes are carried out regarding how your money and personal property are transferred. Patriot Legal Group in Orlando, FL, will help you put together a plan that accomplishes your goals and protects your financial legacy.
An important consideration for any estate plan is how to ensure that the intended recipients of your wealth get as much as they can. But estate taxes can take a large portion of that money if you don’t carefully plan for them.
If you have a high net worth, you may owe federal estate taxes. These taxes can reach up to 40 percent of your estate. Florida does not have a separate estate tax, but if you own property in other states, you could be subject to estate taxes there as well.
Orlando Estate Tax Planning Options
Our experienced estate planning attorneys at Patriot Legal Group can help you plan for taxes. Time is of the essence because the changing political climate could reduce opportunities to use estate planning to your advantage.
There are things you can do now in your estate planning to help protect your money. These include:
- Utilize a life insurance policy to pay at least part of your estate tax
- Give money away while you are still living
- Set up a trust
- Set up a family limited partnership
By thinking ahead, you can prevent your money from being taxed heavily, and you can ensure that more of it gets into the hands of your desired recipients.
Using a Life Insurance Policy to Offset Taxes
If structured properly, death benefits are paid to your beneficiary tax-free. If not constructed properly, they could become part of your estate and be subject to estate taxation. It’s possible to buy a life insurance policy and structure it in a way that the proceeds paid out upon your death cover a good portion of the estate taxes you will pay.
Our experienced estate planners will help you make sure your life insurance policy works to your benefit.
Give Money Away Now For Better Estate Tax Planning
Another option available to high net-worth individuals who are seeking to shelter their money from taxes is to give away money while they are living. There is more than one way to do this.
You can give away up to $16,000 per individual per year without filing a gift tax return. For example, if you have three married children and eight grandchildren, you can give a total of $224,000 from your estate without having to file a gift tax return.
Another way in which you can decrease the size of your taxable estate is to pay medical or educational costs. These expenses can be tax-exempt if they are paid directly to the providers. In our example, if each of your eight grandchildren attends a private school with a $20,000 annual tuition, you could reduce your tax consequences by $160,000 per year.
Set Up a Trust in Orlando
Trusts are used as a means to transfer assets to other people. These can hold all sorts of assets such as money, real estate, and even cars. A trust can prevent your estate from having to go through probate when you die. They can also protect your estate from certain taxes when structured properly.
Other advantages to setting up a trust include:
You set the terms of asset transfer
Since your assets won’t go through probate, the transfers are not public record
Probate can take several months; trusts distribute assets much faster
Certain kinds of trusts can lower your estate taxes
A downside of setting up trusts is that it can cost money to ensure they’re set up properly. However, given the potential savings, the money you invest in setting up your trust could be well worth the expense.
A Family Limited Partnership
A family limited partnership is an arrangement where money is pooled together to run a business project. Through the partnership, wealth can be transferred to the partners in the form of shares or interests in the company. If organized properly, these transfers are free from tax consequences.
Another benefit is that the generations to follow could benefit from interest, dividends, or profits made from the partnership, and these would be excluded from estate taxes.
Call Patriot Legal Group for Help with Estate Planning in Orlando
Lawyers at Patriot Legal Group are skilled in estate planning and are prepared to help you through the complexities of estate taxes. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your assets and your goals to transfer your estate. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you make sure your money ends up where you want it to go. Give us a call today or fill out our easy contact form.