Estate Planning

Estate Planning Attorneys in Jacksonville, Fl.

We believe the proper definition of estate planning is to control your assets while you are alive, protect your assets for the benefit of your family and loved ones, provide for the management of your assets and your own personal care in the event of an incapacity, and to see that upon death your assets pass to the people you want to receive them, in the manner that you want, at the time you want, with the least possible cost for Federal or Florida estate taxes and professional fees for probate attorneys and lawyers, and other professionals. The mission of the Jacksonville estate planning attorneys at The Coleman Law Firm when planning an estate is to strive for our clients to achieve their estate planning goals and objectives consistent with that definition of estate planning.
We implement that mission when planning an estate by engaging our clients in comprehensive estate planning where our first objective is to gain a full understanding of your needs, desires, goals, and objectives, as well as your fears and concerns, as it relates to your family, your estate planning – whether you need a will or a complex trust, Federal and Florida estate tax laws, so that we can assist you as your estate planning attorneys in determining what legal documents, last wills and testament, revocable living trusts in Florida, durable powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents will be needed to achieve your estate planning objectives.
Our focus is not exclusively on the passage of wealth at death as provided by Florida law, but when planning an estate we include consideration of lifetime gifting (and the Federal gift tax), estate planning needs and concerns to plan for incapacity, elder law concerns for long term care and Medicaid planning, for special needs planning, and for protecting assets during your lifetime, as well as end of life decisions involving living wills and other advance directives, so the value of your assets and the wealth you have accumulated in your estate will be available for your benefit and the benefit of your family and loved ones.  As your estate planning attorney, we are focused on your needs currently, as well as long term.
As experienced Florida estate planning attorneys, we initiate our professional attorney-client relationship with our estate planning clients by seeking to understand your individual circumstances, your family members and relationships, and your goals and objectives as they relate to the estate planning process, as well as your fears and concerns about wills, trusts and probate, the laws of probate, incapacity, Florida guardianship law, long term care planning, Medicaid planning, VA pension benefits, estate taxes, and other related matters. We want to know and understand your individual family members, their strengths, their weaknesses, their talents, their needs and their desires. Only by truly understanding the dynamics of your family can we then identify and help you understand the various options under the applicable estate planning laws that are appropriate and available to deal with the specific estate planning circumstances that are unique to you and your family members.
After we have gained an understanding of your needs and desires, and you have learned about the advantages and disadvantages of the various estate planning tools and techniques to avoid probate, why you need a will, or why you need a trust, how living trusts work in Florida, and other options that are available under Florida estate planning law for you to achieve your estate planning goals and objectives, and deal with your fears and concerns, we then, as your estate planning attorneys together with you, design an estate plan that is specifically tailored to help you accomplish the purposes for which you initiated the estate planning process.Our process for planning an estate begins with an examination of your needs for advance directives that are appropriate for your circumstances. Advance directives include Florida durable powers of attorney, designations of health care powers (health care power of attorney), declaration of preneed guardians, and Florida living wills. We’ll explain the difference between a living will and a living trust and the differences between a basic will, a complex will with testamentary trusts, or a living trust, as the basis for planning your estate. From there we proceed to evaluate your potential needs for incapacity planning with advance directives, and for long term care planning, issues dealing with elder law, and whether your objectives can best be met with irrevocable trusts, revocable living trusts, life estate deeds, enhanced life estate deeds (lady bird deeds), or other appropriate planning techniques that work for you within the estate planning laws in Florida.We. as your estate planning attorneys, examine federal and Florida estate tax issues, as well as income tax planning issues. We then develop a blueprint for the Florida wills and trusts, and other appropriate ancillary estate planning documents, such as a power of attorney, that will be needed to accomplish the efficient transfer of wealth at death through avoiding probate, the protection of your assets during your lifetime, and the care and the management of your assets in the event of your disability or incapacity.
If you have a family member or loved one who has special needs as a result of mental, emotional or physical disabilities, we will help you understand the benefits, and requirements, of special needs trusts so that you can help provide meaningful support for that family member without losing any of the public benefits to which they are or may be entitled. We will then prepare for you special needs trusts documents that will effectively provide the support you want for your loved one, without causing a loss of the public benefits. We also will provide guidance and instruction on the proper administration of such trusts, or help you find the appropriate institutional trustee for the special needs trusts.
At each stage of the estate planning process we always take into consideration the income tax implications, avoiding the estate tax, in every will and trust, and for every aspect of your estate plan, as well as the asset protection and wealth preservation elements of every plan. There is little benefit to having a great estate plan, if all of your assets can be lost to creditors because your assets were not properly titled or structured to legally protect them against creditor claims. We help you evaluate the opportunities for long term asset protection planning for the next generation, or successive generations, as well as generational planning to minimize taxes through successive generations. We also help you identify strategies for life insurance and more complex estate planning where that is appropriate.
We help our clients evaluate options for charitable planning from the perspective of income tax savings, as well as major philanthropy through private foundations, charitable trusts, donor advised funds, or supporting organizations.Our estate planning documents, the last will and testament or living trust, are designed to achieve all of the estate planning, asset protection, special needs, or other objectives that have been incorporated into each client’s estate plan. Each Florida legal document, whether basic will, complex will, revocable or irrevocable trust, is tailored to meet the specific requirements of your unique circumstances. The Florida wills and trusts documents that we prepare for you are so unique and specific to you and your estate planning goals and objectives, that we copyright each one of them.If you need legal advice to plan for your potential incapacity, for long term care, for asset protection, for income and estate tax savings, for wills and irrevocable or revocable trusts, or for someone in your family who has special needs planning, please contact the Jacksonville estate planning, probate, elder law, guardianship and asset protection lawyers and attorneys at The Coleman Law Firm so that we can put our 30+ years of experience to work to help you design and implement a plan that meets your unique needs and helps you avoid probate and avoid estate taxes (avoiding the death tax).

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