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Three Florida Trends Affecting Estate Plans

Posted on: February 26th, 2015
Florida estate plansFlorida residents enjoy several asset protection and tax benefits which are helpful when structuring estate plans. However, the Sunshine State is currently experiencing changes that could alter how individuals approach their estates:
  1. Relocations. For the past few years, local news sources and DMV Florida have estimated that approximately 1,000 people move to Florida daily. Knowing this, it was not surprising when Florida’s population outpaced New York’s in 2014. Moving to a new state should prompt immediate review of one’s entire estate plan as wills and trusts, as well as powers of attorney and health care directives, will likely need to be modified to address the laws of the individual’s new jurisdiction.
  2. Economy. Metropolitan areas in Florida are experiencing increases in construction and business activity. The Miami Herald reported “rapid growth” in South Florida real estate in January 2015, with realtors citing larger down payments and more cash from buyers than in the past as contributing to metropolitan growth. If you own property in Florida, learn about the Homestead Exemption, which can help protect your primary residence from creditor claims. Florida business owners might want to create or update their succession plans to address economic changes.
  3. Same-sex marriages. As of January 1, 2015, a Florida judge clarified an earlier ruling that declared the ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional. LGBT couples now enjoy the right to marry in all Florida counties and have same-sex marriages entered into in other jurisdictions recognized in Florida. Engaged couples, regardless of gender, can learn more about prenuptial agreements in Florida here.
Whether you are a new Florida resident or a life-long native, check with an estate planning attorney to ensure your estate plan is current and suits your needs. A proper estate plan can help avoid probate, minimize taxes, and protect assets from creditors. 
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