“Phantom income” is a term sometimes applied to taxable income you did not know you had, or no one reminded you that you had.
Despite a surviving spouse’s right to elect 50% of an inherited homestead when the homestead was not in joint names, instead of the traditional “life estate,” there are still a lot of life estates in Florida. A life estate is a type of real property ownership for a period of time, measured by the life of the “life tenant.” The life estate ends automatically when the owner dies.
Have you inherited a vacant lot in Florida, only to find out that Florida probate is necessary? Here's our first question...
Clients are constantly asking us if their inheritances are subject to federal income tax, and with certain exceptions such as IRAs with deferred tax portions, the answer is usually no. Neither Florida nor the federal government will impose a tax on you for inheriting money or property.
Rarely is Probate Needed for Florida Property when one spouse dies.
The best thing a nominated Trustee can do is decline to serve (I’m only kidding…or perhaps not). The second best thing is to hire an attorney. It's no secret among those who regularly practice in trusts and estates that living trusts have been oversold for the past 15 years.
When it comes to death and real estate transactions, not all are created equal. Probate law creates a separate set of rules depending on which party dies. Learn more here.
In some counties the probate process has become even slower with electronic filing.
In ancient days, 25 years ago, many title insurance underwriters believed that an executor (personal representative) needed to get past the creditor period (3 months) before he or she could validly sell real property owned by a decedent. Those days are gone, and for non-homestead property, all an executor needs is either an order approving the sale or the express power to sell stated in the Last Will.
A very common misconception is that if Mom or Dad has a Will, no probate will be needed when they pass away. That is wrong. There are some steps people can take to avoid a probate administration when they die, but signing a Will is not one.