Estate Planning Attorneys in Sarasota

Comprehensive Counsel throughout Southwest Florida

When you are considering establishing a plan for the distribution of your assets at death, it can be easy to become confused by all the different estate planning options available. You want a lawyer who will take the time to understand the unique aspects of your situation and will help you make informed decisions that are in your best interests.

At the law offices of Gibson, Kohl & Wolff, P.L., we work closely with individuals who need to establish and implement comprehensive plans for the distribution of assets and the care of minor children upon death. We understand how difficult it can be to think about the eventuality of death. We listen carefully to your concerns and provide highly personalized advice that helps you meet your objectives. Contact our offices to set up a consultation.

When you hire us to help you plan your estate, we start by asking questions and by listening, so that we can learn as much as possible about your financial situation, your assets and obligations, and any special needs or concerns related to the distribution of your estate. Next, we will thoroughly explain the different estate planning strategies available to you, how they are affected by the tax laws, and whether they require that your assets go through the probate process.

Once you have decided the best approach to meet your goals, we will prepare and execute all the documents necessary to implement your estate plan, including:

  • Wills: A will is a legally valid instrument that instructs your executor to distribute certain property to certain people. As a general rule, a will must go through probate.
  • Trusts: When you create a trust, you establish a separate legal entity (the trust) and transfer certain property to the trust before or upon death. When you die, the property remains in the trust. Generally, property held in trust is not subject to probate.
  • Powers of attorney: A power of attorney gives a third party the right to make legal decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to do so. Powers of attorney can be for specific purposes, such as medical or financial decisions, or can apply to all decisions.
  • Advance medical directives: An advance medical directive, sometimes known as a living will, provides instruction regarding the use of life-sustaining medical devices or medications.

We also help clients create family limited partnerships and LLCs to accomplish estate planning objectives.

New 2015 Estate & Gift Tax Exclusions/Exemption

The new estate and gift tax exclusion/exemption amounts have been promulgated by the Internal Revenue Service for calendar year 2015. Please note the following:

  1. The annual gift tax exclusion remains at $14,000.00 per donee;
  2. The exclusion for gift tax purposes for a gift to a non-resident spouse who is not a U. S. citizen will be increased to $147,000.00;
  3. The Federal estate tax exemption is increased to $5,430,000.00 from $5,340,000.00 for calendar year 2014. The exemption also applies to the Federal gift tax and the generation skipping tax.

Contact us to learn how we may assist you. Our offices are open from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. We have three convenient locations to better serve you.