If you do not have an estate plan, the State of Florida and the IRS will create one for you. Unfortunately, their plan will not be geared toward minimizing taxes or looking out for the best interests of you, your heirs and your legacy. This is what makes having your own estate plan so important—and having it created by a Florida trust attorney who focuses on estate planning and wealth preservation.

As an experienced estate planning law firm, we go well beyond “traditional” approaches, by using advanced legal techniques to help you take full advantage of changes in the law and better prepare for the life changes that will impact you and your family. So even if you already have an estate plan, chances are we can make it significantly better. After all, an outdated or inadequate plan is often worse than no estate plan at all.

At Joshua T. Keleske, P.L., we appreciate that planning for your families and businesses can be a difficult and emotional process. We are dedicated to providing efficient and prompt service while implementing personalized plans that can offer peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Tax Considerations

While we are tax planners, we do not believe that the primary focus of your estate plan should be on taxes. Of course, we recognize that most people have worked very hard for the success they have achieved and want to preserve as much of their hard-earned wealth as possible. Without tax planning in certain situations, one-half of your assets beyond your estate tax exemption could be lost to estate and income taxes at the time of death. Fortunately, by making use of a variety of tax planning techniques, we can defer, and in many cases reduce, the taxes you and your family pay, so more money is available for your personal enjoyment and your loved ones.

At Joshua T. Keleske, P.L., our tax planning philosophy is simple: tax planning can be very powerful, but only if it will not hurt your lifestyle. As a result, we often address tax concerns by (1) freezing and (2) fractionalizing. We can freeze the value of your estate so that as your assets appreciate, no estate taxes will be owed on that appreciation. Tools to accomplish this goal include installment sales and grantor retained annuity trusts. As for fractionalizing, we can explore split ownership interests in various assets, such as businesses or real estate, thereby allowing the overall value to be lowered for estate tax purposes. Techniques to accomplish fractionalizing include family limited partnerships and lifetime gifting programs.

Asset Protection

Having worked hard to accumulate your assets, why would you not want to take the steps necessary to protect them to potential creditors? If you lose your assets, you will harm your lifestyle and financial security. While some individuals think asset protection involves dishonest techniques, there are many legitimate ways to protect personal property, real estate and other assets.

At Joshua T. Keleske, P.L., we will educate you on the federal and state law exemptions of certain types of property from creditors’ claims and will employ numerous estate planning tools, including the family limited partnership and irrevocable trusts, which may be able to shield assets from future creditors and reduce or eliminate estate or income taxation.

The estate planning services we provide include:

  • Revocable Living Trust
  • Last Will
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Surrogate Designations
  • Living Will
  • Declarations Naming Preneed Guardian
  • Life Insurance Trust
  • Gifting Programs
  • Family Limited Partnership
  • Generation-Skipping Trust
  • Charitable Trust and Charitable Foundations
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Asset Protection

Estate Planning Questionnaire for married individuals

Estate Planning Questionnaire for unmarried individuals