Purchasing Real Estate in Florida: Will it Affect Your Estate Plan?

Purchasing Real Estate in Florida: Will it Affect Your Estate Plan?

Buying real estate of any kind, in any location, requires due diligence and attention to details. Is the location right for you? Is the property being bought for personal use or to generate an income? Adding real property to your portfolio may increase the value of your portfolio. Increasing or decreasing the value of your assets can affect your estate plan in big ways.

Effect on Value of Estate.

Increasing your estate’s value may do any of the following things:

  • Increase estate taxes due. The new tax bill, however, doubled the exemption to $11 million for a single taxpayer and $22 million for a married taxpayer.
  • Change estate planning strategies. For example, you may need to consider using one or more trusts if your estate value has increased.

Titling the Real Estate.

How the property is owned or titled may make a difference in your estate planning strategies.

Joint Ownership. If the property is owned jointly with a spouse or with another individual, the property may be titled as joint tenants or tenants in common.

Ownership of some properties may increase your risk. If purchasing property that will make you more likely to get sued, consult with an attorney about asset protection.

Location, Location, Location.

Owning property in more than one state can cause probate nightmares. Generally, a probate court does not have jurisdiction over property located in another state. Talk to your attorney about ways to structure your estate to avoid any problems.

If you are purchasing a second home, you may need to choose which state will be considered your domicile for legal purposes. You may wish to compare laws and taxation to see which state is best.

Learn More About Real Estate Holdings and Your Estate Plan.

When consulting with an attorney, make sure you disclose all of the real estate you own. Know how it is titled and what you want to happen to the property after your death. This information will make a difference in the options your attorney presents to you.

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