Did you know that Florida is one of seven states with no state income tax?

There is no question that year-round warm weather, no income taxes, and a lack of estate and inheritance taxes makes Florida an attractive destination for retirees. Planning where to spend the rest of your life, however, can be particularly overwhelming, which is why we want to share with you a few of the benefits to planning to die in Florida.

First, what are estate and inheritance taxes? Aptly grouped as “death taxes,” estate and inheritance taxes can apply at the death, depending on how large the estate is. While the two are frequently used interchangeably, there can be a distinct difference between the two. Notably, state estate taxes are paid by the estate itself, while inheritance taxes could be owed by individual heirs. It is possible, however, for inheritance taxes to be paid from the assets of the estate and planning for them should be discussed with your estate planning attorney.

In Florida, unlike many jurisdictions, state estate and inheritance taxes are not imposed.

This is not a tax guarantee, however, as qualifying Florida estates may still be subject to federal estate taxes.

Second, planning ahead is key to avoiding probate.

One of the primary benefits of setting up an estate plan is the privacy and protection for your assets it provides. Unfortunately, if you pass without leaving any planning protections in place, your estate will be subject to probate proceedings. As a result, information about your assets will be considered a matter of Florida public record and anyone who would like to access that specific information can easily obtain it.

Above all, do not wait to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced Florida estate planning attorney when you are considering where to spend the rest of your life. He or she can help guide you through each step of the planning process and can help you evaluate the best planning options for you and your family. Further, there is no equivalent to understanding the specific laws of Florida than to speak with an experienced, local estate planning attorney.

These are just a few of the benefits for planning to die in Florida. We know this can be an overwhelming topic to discuss, which is why we wanted to share with you an overview of how the benefits and how they may affect you. If you have questions about anything raised in this article, do not wait to contact our office to set up an appointment.