The Benefits of Holding Rental Property in an LLC

Posted by on Aug 4, 2017 in asset protection, Limited Liability Company |

It is that time of year in which people are just realizing that their leases are expiring and are searching for a new place with the best rate, location, and amenities available.  This means for you, rental property owners, that your doors are about to be flooded with people looking for the best deal they can find.  However, before you accept any new leases, it is very important to make sure that all your assets are protected.

Asset protection is simply risk management planning that tries to prevent a lawsuit before it happens.  A comprehensive asset protection plan will be structured with the thought in mind that someday the plan may be laid out in front of a judge or a creditor who wants to attack the plan.  Even though there is no perfect strategy that will protect all of your assets all the time, there are ways, as a rental property owner, you can protect yourself from future liability, like creating your business as a limited liability company (LLC).

An LLC limits personal vulnerability to potential lawsuits related to the property. For example, if a lessee has a party and someone happens to get hurt, it would prevent the victim from going after your personal assets.

Also, as the owner of the rental property, you can enjoy the benefits of pass-through taxation. Since the IRS classifies a real estate holding company with one owner as they would a sole proprietorship.  The LLC is disregarded for federal tax purposes and income and capital gains from the LLC pass through directly to you.  Therefore, you are able to avoid double taxation, while still enjoying the protections offered by the LLC.  However, if you happen to have several owners, you not only get the benefit of pass-through taxation, but you also enjoy more flexibility than either a corporation or a partnership because you can have owners or third-party managers manage your rental property.

Essentially, as a property owner, it is important to protect yourself from future lawsuits and potential creditors.  Therefore, by setting up your business as an LLC, not only do you avoid personal liability, but you also get some extra tax benefits.

For more information on Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and Probate administration visit our website at www.wfplaw.com

It’s A Wild World. Are Your Protected?

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The Future Awaits…Are You Protected?

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in asset protection, estate planning, Probate, Special Needs Trust, tax, Trusts, Wills |

It’s that time of year: graduation season. Four years of hard work have finally paid off. This is the time that seniors have anxiously awaited for, and dreaded, to come. It is time for seniors to grab their cap and gowns and wave goodbye to all the crazy parties, all-nighters at the library and three am pizza runs.Although this is such a big transition for students, this is also a big change for parents who’s student loans may be kicking in or may have a student moving back home in order to figure our his or her next steps.
 
Whatever your situation may be, it may be a good time to take a second look at your estate plan to make sure everything is in order. A properly executed estate plan will allow you to control what happens to your assets in case anything were to happen.  By executing some necessary documents, you can remain assured that everything you worked so hard for is left in the right hands. Some important documents to consider are:
 
Revocable living trust: this trust will act as a roadmap for your loved ones, in case you were to fall ill or pass away. These trusts will help your loved ones avoid probate, which can save them money from getting to avoid going to court and fighting over what was left.
 
Pour over will: upon your death, this will leaves any property not transferred to your trust before your death to your trust. This trust functions as a safety net to insure that your trustees as ultimately manage property owned in your individual name rather than in the name of your trust provided in your revocable living trust.
 
Irrevocable trust: this trust may not be changed or revoked when made. The purpose of this trust is to produce certain tax or asset protection results.
 
Last will and testament: this trust communicates a person’s final wishes in regards to possessions and dependents. This trust instructs the court what to do with all assets in case anything was to happen. However, unlike in the revocable living trust, your loved ones still have to go through probate proceedings, which can be costly.
 
Durable power of attorney: in case you are not able to handle specific health, legal and financial responsibilities yourself, nominate someone, like a trusted friend or relative to handle it.
 
Living will: gives you some control, in case you are to become ill. This document allows you to express your wishes to doctors in case you become incapacitated.
 
For more information on Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and Probate administration visit our website at www.wfplaw.com
 
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TAX DAY BE DAMNED: GIVE OR IT SHALL BE TAKEN

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in asset protection, estate planning, tax |

billing, bureaucracy, cop

TAX DAY BE DAMNED: GIVE OR IT SHALL BE TAKEN

Tax day just passed and you may have made a commitment that you will make better tax decisions for 2016; just like you promised for 2015. The time has come to introduce this resolution to your inner humanitarian, as you can make donations to a good cause, while reducing your tax liability. This year, be sure to find an organization that is qualified by the IRS, so you can make an itemized deduction on your tax return. Use the following tips to ensure that you can receive a deduction for your charitable donation.

1. Itemized Deduction: First of all, you cannot make a qualified charitable deduction under the “standard deduction,” as they can only be reported through itemized deductions.

2. Determine whether your donation is qualified for a deduction: To receive a deduction for your donation, it must be made to a “qualified organization.” The “Exempt Organizations Select Check” is an online tool provided by the IRS to help you determine whether your donation was made to a qualified organization. If you don’t want to do the research, you can always count on larger charitable organizations like Red Cross.

3. Keep a record: When you make a charitable donation to a qualified organization, you must maintain a record in the form of a bank record or a written communication from the qualified organization containing name of the organization, the date and amount of the contribution. If your contribution has a value of $250 or more, you must get a contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the qualified organization indicating the amount of the cash, a description of any property contributed, and whether your received a benefit in return (if so, it must include the estimated value of the benefit received).

4. Submit a Form 8283: If your charitable donation deductions exceed $500, you must submit a Form 8283 with your return. It’s a Wild World, are you protected?

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Keep Calm and Prepare for April Fools. 

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in asset protection, estate planning, Probate, Special Needs Trust, tax, Trusts, Wills |

April Fools is one week away and for some this means it’s time to brace yourself.  Maybe you have children that scheme all year or perhaps you are married to the ultimate prankster – whatever your situation may be, it’s time to prepare for a possible heart attack and get your estate plan in place today.

A properly executed estate plan will allow you to remain in control, to some degree, either during times of incapacity or even after you’re long gone.  By executing some important documents, you can rest easy knowing who will raise your children, how your children’s inheritance will be managed and where everything will be going.  Some important documents to consider include:

  • Revocable Living Trust – Whatever assets held in trust will avoid probate, saving your loved ones the money and hassle.  The trust will also direct the trustee to manage and distribute your assets according to your terms.
  • Last Will & Testament –  Nominate your Personal Representative, choose a Guardian for any minor child, and add any burial or cremation requests.
  • Durable Power of Attorney – Nominate an individual to make financial decisions on your behalf or qualify you for public benefits, should you not be able to do so yourself.
  • Living Will – Advanced directive or “pull the plug” document.  Allows your healthcare surrogate to give the doctor the “ok” to pull the plug if you are being kept alive by artificial means.
  • Designation of Healthcare Surrogate & HIPAA Release – Designate the individual of your choosing to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf, in the event you cannot do so yourself.

Don’t just prepare for the anticipated pranks coming next week – prepare for your future and family today!  Call (954) 944-2855 for your free consultation.

For more information on Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and Probate Administration visit our website at www.wfplaw.com.

It’s A Wild World. Are You Protected?

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Do It For Your Heart.

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in asset protection, estate planning, Misc., Probate, Trusts, Wills |

February is American Heart Health Month.  A full month dedicated to spreading awareness about heart disease, which happens to be the leading cause of death among men and in women in the United States.  This is a scary reality for most Americans who love their pizza, hot dogs and beer but the good news is that this disease is preventable.  You can decrease your chances of suffering from heart disease by making healthier choices, such as exercising more, choosing healthier foods and creating an estate plan!  Well, maybe an estate plan can’t prevent heart disease but it will ensure that your family is taken care should anything happen to you.

Estate planning is important for individuals of all ages, from all backgrounds – no matter if you’re married or single.  By planning today, you eliminate any possible arguments about who gets what, can plan for your children’s future, and even provide for your grandchildren!  A solid estate plan should include the following:

The Revocable Living Trust is a great option for those who wish to avoid probate and provide asset protection for their beneficiaries.  The trust can keep your beneficiaries’ inheritance safe against unsecured creditors and allow them to receive what’s held in trust free of probate.  This is a real advantage since Florida’s probate system is both time consuming and costly.  In addition to probate avoidance, the living trust allows the Grantor to retain control during their life.  They may amend as many times as they wish or revoke entirely.  As life changes, so should your estate plan!

The Last Will and Testament will be included in your plan.  In your will, you will appoint minors on behalf of your children, nominate a personal representative on behalf of your estate and specify your wishes regarding cremation or burial.

The Durable Power of Attorney is a powerful document that is only valid for the duration of your life.  Once signed it will allow the designated individual to make important financial decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so yourself.

The Healthcare Surrogate will allow the designated individual to speak with medical staff and assist in making important medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated and unable to do so yourself.  The HIPPA release is included as well to allow for your healthcare surrogate to review medical documents and receive information on your behalf.

You may have the healthiest heart around but that shouldn’t stop you from creating an estate plan.  Call the South Florida Office of Wild, Felice & Partners today at (954) 944-2855 for your free consultation and prepare yourself for the unforeseen.

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LIFE IS TOUGH. SEEK SOME INSURANCE.

Posted by on Jan 11, 2017 in asset protection, estate planning, Probate, tax, Trusts, Wills |

Let’s face it – life requires insurance.  Cars crash, homes get flooded and people pass away. As morbid as this topic may seem it’s purely realistic and the best way to deal with it is to be prepared.  Most Americans fail to realize the importance of life insurance.  Once a loved one passes, they are likely to leave behind a variation of expenses such as a funeral bill, business expenses, or an unpaid mortgage.  These expenses can cause the surviving family to deal with an unnecessary financial burden and experience a great deal of stress.  Have no fear, life insurance is a great way to alleviate this stress!  Once your policy is coupled with the right estate planning technique you can walk away with peace of mind knowing that the family will be fully protected.

An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) is an estate planning tool that is commonly used.  The ILIT will allow your family to continue to benefit from the life insurance policy without the hassle of a possible tax issue.  Great news, right?!  Here is how it works:  The ILIT transfers the benefit into the trust while you relinquish all control over the policy.  This relinquishment of control is required by the IRS to avoid possible estate taxes.  Doing this removes the life insurance policy from your estate and decreases any potential taxation the family may have faced.  Now, all that remains is an increase in overall asset protection for the family!

Considering creating an ILIT?  Be sure to first consider who you will designate as Trustee, the individual who will distribute the assets, as well as who you wish to designate as a beneficiary (can be a spouse, child or any other individual you deem appropriate).  The terms of the trust are up to you – you can choose how you wish the assets to be distributed but be certain you are happy with how it’s created because once in place the terms of the ILIT cannot be changed.

This estate planning technique offers tax free protection for the family.  Alleviate the potential financial burden your family could face by calling an experienced estate planning attorney today!

For more information on successful Florida estate planning and asset protection techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners at 954-944-2855 to schedule your free consultation.

It’s a Wild World.  Are You Protected?

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