Taxes are confusing to most folks. We are often asked by executors and heirs, “Do I need to worry about taxes?”
Probate is a court process, which varies from state to state. People use it to transfer ownership of assets (land, houses, stocks, money) from people who died (decedents) to the people who under the law inherited those assets (heirs or beneficiaries). Sounds simple?
Probate is the name of a court process for transferring ownership of property after the owner’s death to the persons who have inherited that property. Probate happens whether or not the person now deceased left a Last Will. A Last Will never avoids probate. On the contrary, the Last Will is a set of instructions to the probate court as to who should be given the assets.
Sometimes it is not practical to use a summary administration even if it is an option.
Florida has very detailed “default” rules outlining who inherits in probate estates where there is no Will.
There is a type of deed called a “quit claim deed,” the name of which comes from an archaic verb that actually says the person signing the deed “quitclaims” the title to the other person. Literally, it means “I will not make any claim to the title after I record this deed.”
“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.