Estate planning encompasses several aspects.

Estate planning includes much more than creating a will or trust. It includes making decisions about who will take care of your minor children should something happen to you and who will handle your affairs should you become incapacitated. It is the responsible choice for those who want to protect their loved ones from the delay and the expense of settling their estate through probate. Comprehensive estate planning will take into consideration other issues, listed at the end of this discussion.

Bob Carlson has extensive experience in the area of estate planning. Estate planning includes:

  • Wills
  • Living trusts
  • Powers of attorney
  • Advance directives/living wills
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • LadyBird deeds

For estate planning, there is no charge to our clients for a 30-minute initial consultation. At this consultation, we will discuss your specific concerns and estate planning needs, and decide together what your best options are to protect your family and secure the maximum amount of your estate for your heirs.

Do you know how to protect your home and assets before applying for nursing home care under Medicaid?

Are you aware of the advantages of having a will and a trust?

Can you protect your family’s inheritance from probate costs, divorces, illegitimate children or lawsuits?

Do you need a safe way to provide for your children or grandchildren who may have special needs or alcohol or drug addictions?

If you are planning to apply for Medicaid benefits, be careful not to make gifts of money, securities or other property to children. These will have to reported when making an application for Medicaid and will be considered assets that could have been used to pay for your care if you still had these assets. The value will be calculated and you will not be eligible for governmental benefits until the end of the spend-down period for the total value of these gifts.

There is no estate, inheritance or income tax in Florida. For most families the estate will not be subject to the Federal estate tax because the value of the estate must exceed the applicable exclusion amount. For people who pass away in 2023 the exemption amount is $12 million and for a married couple, the combined exemption is $25.84 million. A proposed Federal tax law to take effect after 2025 would return reduce the federal gift and estate tax exemption from the current million exemption to an estimated $6.2 million, after adjusting for inflation. Under current law, the existing $10 million exemption would revert back to the $5 million exemption amount on January 1, 2026.

For wealthier taxpayers, making lifetime gifts now to take advantage of the increased exemption amounts will not only remove your assets from estate taxation, but also avoids any appreciation on these assets. So if you gift less than $6.2 million before 2026, your estate will receive no additional exemption amount over the current exemption upon your death. The current increased exemption is a use it or lose it benefit if you have a large estate and live past the 2025 sunset.

I don’t charge clients for an initial 30- minute consultation. At this meeting we will discuss the client’s specific concerns and decide together the best course of action to accomplish the client’s goals.

You can reach me at (904) 944-1704 or Click Here to contact me.

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