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Estate Planning

Estate planning is a term that is all too often misunderstood and this can lead to needless heartache and complications for families.

Some think that this type of legal planning is only for the wealthiest of Americans. Others underestimate this process in thinking that a simple Florida will is all they need.  However, planning for smaller estates in Florida is even more important in some ways then for larger estates.

Trust and Estate Planning in Florida

True estate planning in Florida is a process of assembling a number of important Florida estate planning documents in order to create a coherent holistic plan. 

At the Gibbs Law Office, we refer to this holistic estate planning as 360 degree planning.  

You may be asking yourself whether you need a Florida revocable living trust?”  Your answers will begin with facing some necessary questions.  What happens to you, your loved ones and your business or investments if you become disabled?  Do you have a plan for someone to take care of you or manage your legal and financial affairs?  Will that person have the necessary instructions backed by the appropriate legal documentation to do so?

Will your assets be properly titled so that your loved ones can help you?

This is a lot to think about.

The good news is that it does not have to be complicated to create a plan that makes sense for you and your loved ones.

Did you know that without a Florida Revocable Trust your estate will likely need to be settled through the Florida Probate Court system?

This process could cost 3% to 5% of your estate and may take as long as five years.  If you have property in various states, that cost will increase dramatically as your estate will have to be entered into probate in each state where assets are held.  With a revocable living trust in Florida, the administration of all of your estate assets can be made simple because your successor trustee can handle all these matters rather than the courts.

In preparing Florida wills, revocable living trusts and other estate planning documents, attorneys have the moral and ethical responsibility to ensure your desires will be carried out.  That’s why thorough Florida estate planning involves more than just filling out forms.

Whereas, a Florida revocable living trust may greatly benefit your estate by providing a means to avoid probate or plan for disability, other documents are extremely important components of your 360 degree estate plan.

Additionally, you may need an undated Florida durable power of attorney and a Florida health care directive.

The process of compiling the needed documents to complete your Florida estate plan often involves questions that include direction from accountants and other financial professionals.  Not every estate planning attorney in Florida will take a proactive course of action on your behalf to ensure that your goals are met.  We will partner with your financial advisers, at your specific direction, in order to create a team approach to your estate planning.

To continue as an intricate part of your team, we offer our plan which we entitle “Maintaining Your Future”.  Our annual program includes:

  • Annual updates:  You will receive an annual update to your trust and medical directives, if required by Statute or tax law changes.
  • Amendments:  We will amend your Wills and Trust Documents if you’ve experienced a change in circumstances.
  • Deeds:  We will transfer any new properties you may have purchased after your Trust was funded.
  • Discounts:  You will receive a 25% discount on our fees if you need amendments to your Wills and Trust Documents for reasons other than needed by Statute or tax law changes which are included in the program.
  • Annual Maintenance Workshop:  You will be invited to attend our annual workshop where we will discuss law changes and new programs which may be beneficial to your estate plan.

What type of Florida revocable trust is appropriate for you?

There are many types of trusts in addition to a Revocable Living Trust and we will educate you so that we can assist you in choosing the right type needed for your concerns.  One of our more progressive trusts we offer is our Dynasty Trust”.  This Trust is Multigenerational Planning and may be creditor proof and potentially estate tax free as long as assets are placed in the Florida Dynasty Trust.  Ask about this unique Estate Planning device.

Still undecided?  Take a moment and ask yourself, “Will my attorney keep my goals in mind?  Will my lawyer explain everything thoroughly?  Can I trust an on-line provider and is my peace of mind worth more than a $250 “canned” document.”

Contact us today to get started OR for a complimentary review of your current estate plan (subject to conditions).

The Gibbs Law Office is a Florida estate planning law firm that provides complete Estate Planning, Business Planning, Asset Protection, Elder and Medicaid Planning, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Administration legal services throughout the greater Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs and Naples geographic areas and most legal services are available statewide in Florida.

The Gibbs Law Office was founded in January 2009 upon the commitment to provide client-centered legal services.