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What can I do to lower taxes on my estate?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2019 | Estate Planning

You may think that once you die, it is over, and there is nothing more to do, but that is not entirely true. Your estate lives on and the tax man wants his cut one way or the other. While many people in Florida do not have a large enough estate to incur federal estate taxes, there are still other taxes your estate may have to pay, such as on property. With careful planning, you can limit your liability for any property-related taxes.

Fox News explains that regardless of your estate value, if you own property, you need to plan ahead to avoid a large tax bill that your heirs will have to deal with. It is best if you can title the property in a way that it transfers immediately upon your death without having to go through probate. It is during probate that taxation often occurs, so avoiding it can help you avoid taxes associated with the transfer of property.

You can add someone else as an owner on the deed. For example, if you want to leave your home to your son, then you can add him to the deed as a joint owner. When you die, he automatically gets full ownership with no need for a legal process to navigate the change.

A trust in another option. You can put the property in a trust, name the owner and then it will pass on to that person upon your death. Trusts usually will protect against transfer taxes.

Finally, if you have a spouse, then you do not have to do anything. The rule is that upon your death, assets immediately transfer to your spouse. So, there is no need for probate. Your wife or husband will simply become the new owner. This information is for education and is not legal advice.