Life is unpredictable. That's why a lot of people here in Florida actively make sure that they have all of their ducks in a row while they still can. This oftentimes means saving early, drafting an estate plan around or prior to retirement age, and making difficult estate planning decisions most people would rather put off until they absolutely have to.
As so many of our Florida readers know, before making these decisions though, a lot of things have to be taken into consideration. One such thing, which is perhaps the most important thing to consider, is your estate. On top of figuring out who gets what, you also have to consider how much as well. This typically raises a lot of questions as well, such as the one we ask in this week's post title:
Do I need to pay estate taxes here in Florida?
Thanks to changes to federal law, the answer to this question is no.
Prior to January 1, 2015, any Florida estate that met the "minimum federal estate tax filing threshold" would be subject to a pick up tax. This meant that Florida could "pick up" a portion of the tax that was supposed to go to the IRS, instead collecting that portion for the state. But because of changes made to the federal death tax, this pick up tax is no longer allowed in our state.
According to the Florida Department of Revenue though, forms may still need to be signed by the personal representative of an estate in order to lift the automatic estate tax lien. It's also important to note that although the changes to federal law eliminated our state's estate tax, it did not eliminate the federal estate tax, which still applies to estates over a certain amount.
If you're confused about how these changes could affect your estate, then you should promptly speak to a skilled estate planning attorney as soon as possible. Because as we said above, life is unpredictable, and you'll want to make sure you have everything in order before you are unable to down the road.