Estate planning in Florida can seem like a daunting task, but it’s an important step in ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone. Whether you’re leaving a substantial inheritance or merely want your assets distributed according to your desires, there are numerous gift-giving techniques available to optimize your estate plan. In this blog, we’ll explore four effective gift-giving strategies for estate planning in Florida.
4 Gift-Giving Strategies to Use When Estate Planning in Florida
Know and Meet the Yearly Exclusion Limit
It’s possible to give multiple gifts without paying gift taxes, as long as each person receives less than the yearly exclusion limit. In 2021, the yearly exclusion limit was $15,000. The exclusion “resets” each year (and often, the exclusion amount adjusts for inflation from year to year) so that you could give someone $15,000 in 2021 and the same person another $16,000 in 2022. If you’re married, each spouse is entitled to the limit, meaning a married couple could gift assets worth up to $30,000 to each recipient of their choice in 2021 and up to $32,000 in 2022.
Using the yearly exclusion limit effectively transfers wealth to your loved ones while avoiding gift taxes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that gifts above the exclusion limit will count towards your lifetime exemption.
Use Your Lifetime Exemption
When it comes to estate planning, utilizing your lifetime exemption is a highly effective approach for transferring wealth to your loved ones. For 2021, this exemption was set at an astounding $11.7 million, allowing you to make gifts above the yearly exclusion limit without incurring gift taxes.
Each gift exceeding the annual exclusion limit counts toward the gift tax. Nonetheless, you can apply these gifts toward your lifetime exemption, meaning you won’t be required to pay gift taxes on them. This is a critical tool for individuals who aim to pass on substantial assets to their heirs since it can minimize the amount of taxes due.
It’s important to note that using your lifetime exemption will reduce the amount of your estate exempt from estate taxes upon your death. Consequently, you must consider the trade-offs between utilizing your lifetime exemption and carefully preserving your estate for your heirs.
Prepare Assets for the Medicaid Lookback Period
A trust that provides irrevocable asset protection can be extremely beneficial in various ways, such as safeguarding your beneficiaries’ assets while shielding them from being utilized to pay for nursing home care. In addition, creating trust at an earlier stage increases the likelihood of immediate entry into a nursing home without waiting for the entire five-year lookback period.
To qualify for Medicaid coverage of long-term care costs, it is necessary to undergo a five-year Medicaid lookback period. During this time, your financial transactions are scrutinized by Medicaid to determine whether you transferred any assets for less than their fair market value. If such transfers are identified, Medicaid may impose a penalty period during which you won’t be eligible for coverage of long-term care expenses.
Talk to Your Estate Planning Attorney about Your Trust Options
Consulting an estate planning attorney is crucial in determining the optimal trust options that align with your specific circumstances and objectives. At Casal & Moreno, we understand that there is no universal approach to estate planning and that each individual’s needs are unique.
Our seasoned attorneys have extensive experience assisting clients with their estate planning requirements, and we can provide you with the guidance and expertise necessary to make informed decisions. We will work with you to assess your options and help you choose the gifting strategy that best protects your assets and benefits the people you cherish.
Starting The Process Of Estate Planning In Florida? Casal & Moreno Is Here To Help.
Estate planning in Florida is a crucial part of securing your assets and ensuring your loved ones are taken care of. At Casal & Moreno, we understand that every individual has unique needs when it comes to estate planning, which is why we offer personalized and comprehensive services tailored to your specific requirements. Our team of experienced attorneys is well-versed in Florida estate planning laws and can guide you through the entire process with compassion and expertise. From drafting a will to setting up a trust, we can help you create a solid estate plan that protects your assets, minimizes tax liabilities, and ensures your beneficiaries receive their fair share. Contact us today at 305-476-5080 to schedule a consultation.