If you have unique items or collectibles, you are faced with the decision as to how you are going to gift them to your children or other beneficiaries. There is also the question as to whether you should sell them before you die and then invest the cash in something else so you can add more to the value of your estate.

You probably will want to have your unique or collectible items appraised first to determine the value so you can decide if you want to gift some of them while you are alive to your children or other family members by taking advantage of the federal $14,000 annual tax free gift tax exemption. If you do opt for the annual federal gift tax exemption, then you will need to file a gift tax return with the I.R.S. even though there are no taxes due. It is a good idea to retain a copy of the return in case of future audits.

Sentimental Value Items

You may have a sentimental piece of jewelry or a vase or other personal item that has been passed down from one generation to another that has very little cash value, but means a lot to you. So instead of just allowing the executor of your estate to make a decision as to who to give it to and to avoid possible distribution disagreements amongst your beneficiaries, it might just be better to give it to one of your children and give the others some other mementos. Sometimes sitting down and talking with your children or beneficiaries and asking them their preferences makes the decision easier as well.

A Well Thought-Out Miami Estate Plan

Even if you don’t have a lot of assets or a huge estate, you should still think about having a will and/or trust, power of attorney and healthcare directives. Planning ahead also makes it less stressful for your family when faced with emergency or other long-term decisions regarding your health, or mental capacity or having to make financial decisions after you pass away.

Having a well thought out estate plan saves estate taxes and gives you the control of deciding how you want your assets distributed. It also gives your heirs the ability to inherit more of your estate and avoid having to spend extra time and legal fees going to court and establishing a probate proceeding with the Miami-Dade probate court. As an example, if you transfer assets to a trust for the benefit of your beneficiaries, those assets are exempt from probate as well as assets that are held jointly or have named beneficiaries such as life insurance policies.

Miami Estate Planning Attorney

It is recommended that you speak with a Miami estate planning attorney, who will be able to recommend the best estate planning strategies for your particular financial situation and your family’s needs.

If you wish to speak to a Miami estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.