Cash to administer the estate. Having insufficient cash to administer the expenses of the estate while it is in probate or otherwise being settled may mean having to sell or borrow against assets, which diminishes the inheritance.
Taxes. With the current estate tax exemption at $5.43 million for 2015, not many people will need to worry about the federal estate tax. And since Florida does not have a state estate tax, you will not have to worry about that either (unless you own property in another state that does have an estate tax — CT, ME, MD, MA, MN,NJ, NY, OR, RI, WA). However, there may be a tax bill for the estate’s earnings income.
Asset inventory. Leaving a comprehensive list of assets for the estate executor will save time and money that might otherwise have to be spent locating all assets.
Beneficiary designations. When creating your estate planning inventory list, be sure to include information on beneficiaries for each of your bank and investment accounts, insurance policies and retirement accounts. Review that list to ensure the beneficiaries you may have named several years ago are still valid.
Creditors. Providing a comprehensive list of creditors in estate plan documents will help to verify or refute any creditor claims.
Asset valuation. Assets that may be hard to value should be annotated with a value estimate and details on how that figure was derived.
Gifts. If an asset with current paper losses is given, the recipient cannot deduct the loss. It is more advisable to sell the asset and deduct the loss.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Romy Jurado
Romy Jurado is one of the founders of Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. a business, real estate and immigration law firm. She focuses her practice on business law, including corporate and transactional matters with an emphasis on corporate formation, stock and asset sales, contract drafting, and business immigration. Romy is originally from Peru and moved to the USA with the dream of becoming an attorney and entrepreneur. Romy is actively involved in the community through her work as a Score certified mentor, and speaking at conferences to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.