Florida residents may remember the Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead in February. Now, people with knowledge of his estate are suggesting that its structure may not have been the best possible one from a financial standpoint.
In an age when pensions have gone the way of cassette tapes and laser disks, many people are planning for retirement through the use of Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs. The advantage to these accounts is that, with a so-called simple IRA, money is placed into the account before being taxed, thus reducing the account holder's yearly taxable income by the amount saved. This money is generally invested and, hopefully, is worth much more than was originally put into it when the account holder is ready to retire. Then, the money is taxed when it is withdrawn from the account.
Many residents of Florida know that having an estate plan is an important part of making certain that one's loved ones are taken care of in the event one is no longer able to do so. Often, the people most at risk are those that are especially vulnerable and unable to care for themselves, such as very young children or children with special needs.
Millions of people around the world mourned the recent death of anti-Apartheid hero Nelson Mandela. Mandela's legacy of standing up to oppression, yet forgiving his enemies, and working to bring South Africans together will hopefully remain strong through the years. Some of the leader's relatives, though, are proving that families all over the world can act similarly when money is at stake.
When many people think of estate planning, they think of those documents needed to distribute their property, and possibly those that concern their own medical care. However for people with minor children, distribution of assets is not the only consideration, and probably not even the most important.
Haven Hospice presented a learning opportunity for residents of Florida's Central East Coast on a recent Wednesday. The lecture and lunch was held at the Palm Coast Community Center, and the event was free with pre-registration.
Many people live in Florida for part of the year, then go to north to another state for the rest of it. These so-called "snowbirds" are often older people who have retired and can make the journey without work-related constraints. Because of this, these are individuals who are more likely to be thinking of their estate planning needs than people in the middle of their work life.
Florida residents are likely aware that there are legal documents that can be executed to proclaim a person's desires with regard to end-of-life treatment. Among these are healthcare proxies and medical directives. It seems to go without saying that, for these documents to work, they must be respected and followed by the staff at nursing homes and hospitals.
Very few people like to think about their own deaths. Because of this, many Florida residents put off making plans for what will happen to their property. While estate planning may be an uncomfortable subject, it is one every adult should consider.