Florida Estate Planning: The value of a second opinion

Florida Estate Planning Lawyers often build a Florida estate plan around two basic strategies: The first takes advantage of the unified credit. (This credit eliminates the estate tax on the first $2 million, 2007 and 2008, this credit rises to $3.5 million in 2009. There is no estate tax in 2010 (But there are taxes in the increase in basis – watch out for highly appreciated assets). In 2011, the estate tax credit falls to $1 million.) By using an A/B or two- trust arrangement (often called A/B Trust, or a marital trust and family trust), a Husband and Wife can each avoid taxes on their estate tax credit based upon the year of their death. Next, the Husband and Wife plans usually take advantage of the marital deduction, which means zero estate taxes when one of them passes on.

The traditional estate plan that we see in every state. If you have a plan it is probably similar to what is described above. The problem with this plan is that in some cases it only delays the IRS from collecting their money until the death of the second spouse.

Often by looking at a complete financial picture of the Husband and Wife as well as their family tree and desires, a custom estate plan can be created that will potentially eliminate one’s estate taxes (depending on the current law and future changes).

Before jumping into an estate plan with an A/B trust be sure to get a second opinion.

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