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2016 changes affect planning for estate taxes in Florida

When Florida residents create estate plans, many only think about the distribution of their assets. However, they need to also consider possible estate taxes during the planning process. To ensure estate taxes are considered, it is important to stay current on federal estate tax regulations.

In late 2015, the federal government announced the estate tax exemption would increase to $5.45 million in 2016. This amount, which is for an individual, includes an increase of $20,000 over the 2015 figure. For those in Florida with valuable assets, this increase may prove important.

Additionally, it is important to understand what is called "portability." This is the term used to refer to one spouse's ability to claim his or her deceased spouse's remaining exemption. To take advantage of portability, your intention must be indicated on your deceased spouse's estate return.

While the exemption increased in 2016, continued increases are not guaranteed. In fact, Bernie Sanders is expected to push for a decreased exemption should he be elected president. The fact that the topic is the subject of a presidential campaign further illustrates the ever-changing landscape of estate planning and reinforces the need to be familiar with current information on the topic.

If you want to ensure your loved ones are not burdened with estate taxes, you may find the advice of an estate-planning attorney helpful. A legal professional focused on this area of the law will be familiar with the latest decisions that affect Florida residents. Armed with current information, he or she will be able to help you build a plan that will not put unnecessary financial burdens on your family.

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