The suspense is killing you; we understand. What else could they possibly come up with now? Leave it to the legislature to never take their thinking hats off. Florida passed several new laws in 2022 affecting retirement and estate planning. Nothing new there, but how about this for a surprise? Not only did the Florida Legislature pass laws to protect owners of Wills and Trusts, but there isn’t a single tax or fee with any of them. One new law even increases a financial benefit.
New laws that will not cost you anything? Yes, you read that right.
With their usual dry, technical legal language, the newest additions to the Florida Statutes are not exactly page-turners, but they could make great bedtime reading – if you have trouble getting to sleep. No worries, we translated it into easy to understand plain English with some slang thrown in for good measure. Here are the 6 sexy legal finalists, which took effect in the summer of 2022 and January 2023.
1. Private Parts: Public Records/Trust Proceedings (Florida Senate Bill 1304)
Who wants strangers peeking at their estate documents? The new law creates a public records exemption for court records in a trust law case where one of the parties is a family, trust company or a foreign- or U.S.-licensed family trust company. The general public cannot look at them, but a settlor (aka grantor or creator of the documents), a fiduciary or a beneficiary and their attorney can.
2. Keeping You Interested: Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities (Florida Statute § 689.225)
This very complex law has to do with perpetuities – a most hated topic for many law students. We will skip the history of perpetuities and just let you know that the legislation extended the existing 360-year statutory rule for trusts to 1000 years. Meaning that, for trusts created on or after July 1, 2022, the trust is valid for 1000 years.
3. You Get a Gift: Gifts & Assets Transfer (Florida Senate Bill 1502)
This bill has many moving parts, one of which protects gifts from being taken by a creditor after they have been transferred to an irrevocable Trust. But do not attempt this at home! Such transfers should only be done with the scrupulous supervision of an estate planning attorney.
4. Breaking Up Is Not So Hard to Do: Individual Retirement Account Transfers (Florida Senate Bill 968)
If your ex-spouse transfers a retirement account to you in a divorce, the account is protected from any creditor claims after the transfer is complete. Again, please consult with a family law attorney to learn the nuances of such a transfer.
5. Gone to Pieces: Protection for Living Organ Donors (Florida House Bill 1099)
Have you given someone a vital organ, like one of your kidneys? Now you are protected against discrimination for your kindness. The new law prohibits your insurance company from declining or limiting coverage solely because you are a living organ donor. Finally – a good deed that gets rewarded.
6. More Money: Homestead Exemption (Florida House Bill 7071)
This law is good news for widows, widowers, blind individuals, and anyone who is totally or permanently disabled. They had received an extra $500 exemption each year to deduct from the taxable property value of their primary residence, on top of the Homestead exemption all Florida homeowners receive. Their special exemption has been increased to a more generous $5,000.
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The estate and retirement planning process are a maze of rules and regulations, and we love sorting it all out for our clients. To get started with a free consultation, call us at (954) 251-0332, email email@example.com or use the contact form on the homepage of this website. Our attorneys are fluent in English, Spanish and Russian, not to mention Legalese.