The Top Estate Planning Tips for Retirees Moving To Florida

If you are moving to the Sunshine State, you are probably aware that there are numerous tax benefits you should take advantage of. For example, Florida is one of a handful of states in the country that does not have a state income tax. This means that regardless of where you live, including Orlando, you should not have to worry about paying state income taxes. At the same time, you should consider working with an estate planning attorney in Florida, particularly Orlando, if you want to find other ways to protect and preserve your wealth. What are a few estate planning tips you need to take advantage of if you move to Florida?

Take Advantage of the Homestead Exemption

One of the biggest benefits of living in Florida is that you can take advantage of the homestead exemption. Many people who live in Florida are eligible for the Homestead Property Tax exemption. This means that your property taxes should be significantly reduced. Furthermore, there is a strict limit on just how much the taxable value of your home can go up every year. If you want to learn more about how to use the Homestead exemption in Florida to your advantage, you should reach out to an estate planning attorney who can assist you. 

Establish a Trust and Last Will

If you do not already have one, you need to establish a trust and last will. If you are moving from another state, you need to reach out to an estate planning lawyer who can make sure that your trust and last will are valid and enforceable in the State of Florida. In particular, Florida does not impose an income tax on trusts. If you want to avoid paying income taxes on a trust, you should consider working with an attorney who can help you change the situation regarding the trust, particularly if you are coming from a state that imposes an income tax on trusts. You may also need to change the personal representative of your trust, as the State of Florida typically requires the representative to be a resident of Florida or a blood relative. Work with an attorney who can make sure you avoid these obstacles. 

Have a Power of Attorney in Place

You should also make sure that you have a power of attorney in place. Typically, if you have a power of attorney in another state, Florida will recognize that same attorney; however, there are some unique requirements that Florida has for powers of attorney related to estates. There may also be limits on what your power of attorney can decide, and these limits might be different from other states. For these reasons, reach out to an attorney who can assist you. 

Have a Healthcare Surrogate in Place

You should also make sure that you have a medical surrogate in place. This is also called a healthcare power of attorney, and it is a trusted individual who will make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are incapacitated and unable to do so. Florida generally recognizes a health care power of attorney that has been put into place by another state. That being said, you may still need to sign medical directives in Florida to specify what you want to happen in certain situations. An estate planning attorney can help you with this as well.

Consider Creating a Revocable Living Trust

If you are concerned about the state taxes taking a chunk of your assets when you die, you need to work with an attorney who can help you avoid these potential taxes. If you do not already have one in place, you should consider setting up a revocable living trust. This is a convenient way for you to designate who receives what assets when you pass away, and you can prevent your estate from ending up in probate court. This can protect the privacy of your loved ones and reduce the legal fees you might have to pay.

Take Advantage of These Estate Planning Tips in Florida

Ultimately, these are just a few of the most important tips you need to follow if you want to protect your estate in Florida. Even though Florida has a lot of advantages, you might not be aware of just what you need to do to preserve as much of your wealth as possible. You have worked hard to build up your wealth, and you probably want to pass down as much of it as possible to your descendants. The best way to protect your wealth is to reach out to an estate planning attorney who can walk you through the process. The sooner you start this process, the easier it will be for you to protect your inheritance.