Estate Planning and Probate

Estate Planning and Probate

Estate Planning and Planning for Death Taxes in the State of Your Residence

Estate planning involves exploring many avenues and strategies to maximize protection, minimize costs, and reduce the government’s involvement.

If you own property in Florida and spend a fair amount of time there, making Florida your state of residence could have great benefits. Florida, for instance, has very robust homestead laws. Under these laws, creditors often won’t be able to pursue your primary residence, certain contents of the home, and even some vehicles after you pass away. In addition to protection from creditors, the Florida homestead laws can exclude a significant portion of your primary residence’s value from property taxes. This tax advantage can result in serious savings over time.

Other advantages to being a Florida resident include no state income tax and no estate or inheritance tax, which are both common in many jurisdictions. When all these advantages are considered in crafting an estate plan, they can be harnessed to reduce your property taxes, to protect your assets, and to avoid unnecessary taxes and fees.

If you are a Pennsylvania or New Jersey resident or if you own property in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you need to be aware of the estate tax and inheritance tax rules in those states. Unlike Florida, Pennsylvania imposes an inheritance tax on property passing as a result of the death of the owner of the property, and New Jersey imposes both an inheritance tax and an estate tax on property transferred upon death of an individual. Depending on the size of the estate and the relationship to the deceased person, the tax rate can be as high as 37%. While this is a significant amount to be paid as death taxes, there are many tax-saving strategies that can be implemented during your lifetime to reduce the amount of taxes due at the time of your death.

Our attorneys can help you decide the most advantageous state of residence for you and help you plan your estate plan to minimize taxes upon your death.

To set up a free initial consultation to discuss how you can minimize taxes you’re your death, contact our office by e-mail or for assistance in Pennsylvania and New York call our office at 215-568-4968, for assistance in New Jersey call our office at 609-523-2222, and for assistance in Florida, call our