In a recent article published in the New York Times, Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop writes that Asians are paying more attention to inheritance planning. With a vast number of first generation wealthy Asians getting older, many heirs find themselves in court fighting over their parents’ estates. In the article, a Singaporean businessman explained that death was never talked about for sensitive and superstitious reasons. The second generation, having already experienced the uncertainty of estate court battles, is much more willing to talk about estate planning with their beneficiaries.
Due to the strong family values in Asia, individuals are planning because they feel obligated to do so. According to a study, people between the ages of 30 and 40 with a net worth of at least $1 million are more likely to do estate planning than Westerners of the same group. However, a similar survey showed that only 10% of first generation Asians with a net worth of at least $1 million had thought about inheritance planning. The same study found that Americans are more motivated to plan due to the high estate taxes that face wealthy estates. China and other Asian countries do not have a tax similar to the U.S. estate tax.
Increasing awareness of the importance of estate planning is essential, not only for Asian countries, but also here in the Florida. With the potential for a federal estate tax level not seen in years, more Floridians than ever before could be subject to the estate tax. Planning your estate with a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer can potentially avoid probate court and taxes.