Facts about Estate Planning, Probate and Buying Property.
Florida law authorizes an attorney to charge a 3% fee on a Probate Estate (up to the first million dollars, and then a declining percentage after that). This law is not mandatory, it is just a statement of what is presumed to be reasonable. The actual fee you pay is subject to your agreement with your lawyer, and in some cases court approval. A typical, routine, uncomplicated probate can be done for $5,000 or less. So while the statutory fee for a $1 Million Dollar Probate Estate is $30,000, in reality the fee should be much, much less. At Minerley Fein, P.A., we never charge a family a percentage fee, because we believe it is unfair to our clients. We will only charge a fee based on the amount of time we actually devote to the case, resulting in a much smaller, and fairer, fee for the client.
Legalzoom, Will Maker and lots of other sources can help you generate a Will document yourself at minimal cost. But the content of your Will is important. An attorney's value is not in just preparing some forms. It is in listening to you, analyzing your assets and wishes, pointing out potential problems, and then advising you on ways to structure your affairs so as to protect your loved ones. The paper is the easy part; it is the planning and guidance of an attorney that is the value-added by having a professional involved. At Minerley Fein, P.A., you will always work directly with an experienced attorney in making your estate plan.
Florida uses a system of title insurance to ensure that real estate is sold free and clear with marketable (clean) title. The rates for title insurance are set by state law, and are based solely on the sale price of the property. Attorneys can do everything that a title company does, while also protecting your legal interests. The party that pays for the title insurance (typically the Buyer, except in Palm Beach County or for New Construction), gets to choose the title agent. So why settle for a title company, when you can have an attorney for the same price? At Minerley Fein, P.A., we will not charge you an attorney's fee for a routine, residential closing, if we are providing the title insurance.
There are two types of Federal Tax to consider: Income Tax and Estate Tax.
Income Tax: An inheritance is a gift. It is not income, and not subject to income tax. Just remember that distributions from an IRA are taxed when the money is taken out of the account, regardless of who takes it out and when, but there is no extra tax because the IRA is inherited from a deceased owner.
Estate Tax: The Federal Estate Tax is a separate tax, apart from the Federal Income Tax. The Federal Estate Tax is a one-time tax imposed on the value of your assets as of your death. However, in 2014, the first $5,340,000 of an Estate passes tax free ($5,430,000 in 2015). So for over 99.99% of the population, whose assets are under this amount, there is simply no Estate Tax. In fact, in 2012, less than 4,000 estates nationwide paid any tax at all (less than 0.01% of the population). See http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/12estateonesheet.pdf
Florida does not have state income tax or state estate tax. At Minerley Fein, P.A., we can quickly analyze your tax situation, and let you know where you stand.
The proper terminology is a "Quit Claim" Deed, which is often erroneously called a "Quick" Deed. Every deed needs a correct legal description of the property, and correct names of the parties. Deeds must be notarized and witnessed. Every conveyance of property should be carefully evaluated for income tax consequences, documentary stamp tax liabilities, and any number of legal issues concerning title, liens, insurance and other consequences. A small error can lead to large expenses later to correct. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Do it right the first time with Minerley Fein, P.A.
Minerley Fein, P.A. represents clients in matters concerning commercial and business litigation, business and estate planning and real estate transactions in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Lighthouse Point, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Palm Beach County, Broward County and elsewhere in the State of Florida.