Tampa Estate Planning Attorney
Comprehensive Tax & Estate Planning for Individuals and Businesses
David Toback is an experienced Tampa estate planning attorney who concentrates his practice on estate planning and probate matters, with an emphasis on tax planning and asset protection, developing and implementing tax savings strategies for individuals and their related businesses. In addition to drafting wills, trusts and other estate planning documents, David Toback’s work involves the formation of business entities and the negotiation of business transactions, business succession planning, and the resolution of tax controversies.
David Toback has a great deal of experience developing and implementing tax savings strategies for high net worth individuals. He has conducted complex legal research involved in the drafting of a variety of legal documents, including wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, life insurance trusts, dynasty trusts, and family limited partnerships. He has formed business entities in the U.S. as well as other countries and has represented clients before the IRS, state departments of revenue, and city/county taxing authorities, negotiating reductions in tax, interest, and penalties. Regardless of the depth or breadth of your estate planning and tax issues, Tampa estate planning attorney David Toback has the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide you with sound advice, effective assistance and diligent representation.
Planning for the end of life can be an emotional and stressful process, but having an estate plan in place can minimize some of the uncertainty and stress, outlining instructions for your care in the event of your incapacity and avoiding familial fights upon your passing. From powers of attorney to buy-sell agreements to wills and trusts, there are many tools and many considerations to be taken into account when planning your Florida estate. An experienced Tampa estate planning attorney can help you determine how to best achieve your individual goals and purposes.
Wills & Trusts
Everyone over age 18 should have a comprehensive estate plan in place. An attorney can create a combination of wills and trusts to tailor your plan to your individual goals and needs.
In a will, a testator can dispose of assets, name a personal representative to administer the estate, and, if there are dependent children, specify who should take care of them after the testator’s death. In Florida, wills must be executed in accordance with certain formalities, including proper signing and witnessing. Additionally, for a will to be valid, the testator must be of sound mind. An attorney can ensure that your will includes the provisions you desire and that it is validly executed. Contact our Tampa estate planning, wills and trusts attorney today for more information.
A trust is a relationship between a settlor, a trustee, and a beneficiary. The settlor deposits assets into the trust. The trustee then manages the assets for the benefit of the beneficiary, in accordance with standards laid out in the trust. Depending on the type of trust, a trust can be used to:
- Minimize tax liability;
- Protect assets from creditors;
- Manage money for youthful, disabled, or irresponsible family members; and
- Avoid probate.
There are many different types of trust in Florida, including revocable and irrevocable trusts, inter vivos and testamentary trusts, life insurance trusts, marital trusts, charitable trusts, and special needs trusts. An attorney can help you select the type of trust that achieves your purposes and can draft the trust document to provide the maximum protection for your assets and your family members.
When a decedent’s property passes to beneficiaries through a will or under Florida’s rules of intestacy, it must first go through probate. Probate is a public process, conducted in the probate court, in which a personal representative ensures that a decedent’s debts and taxes are paid and that the decedent’s property is distributed to the right people. The personal representative has the duty to make sure that all beneficiaries receive clean title to the assets they inherit. Probate is a complex process, with many steps and requirements. A Tampa probate attorney can advise the personal representative of an estate on how to proceed in the probate process and can help to retitle assets and ensure clean title. Our Tampa probate attorneys can assist you.
Estate planning attorneys do not only deal with the disposition of a person’s assets after death. They can also handle elder care issues, which involve making the end of a person’s life comfortable and ensuring that a person’s affairs are managed in the event of incapacity. Powers of attorney and health care surrogates are important tools that a Tampa elder care attorney can employ to protect you in the event of disability or incapacity.
A power of attorney grants a person, known as the attorney-in-fact, authority to act on the behalf of another, known as the principal, in certain specified matters, whether medical, financial, or whatever else the principal states. Powers of attorney should explicitly state the specific powers granted to and limitations imposed on the attorney-in-fact. A durable power of attorney is designed to remain effective during a person’s incapacity, and so is useful for avoiding the appointment of a guardianship or conservatorship. A power of attorney may also include a statement of the grantor’s wishes, for example, regarding life-sustaining care or specific investment advice.
A health care surrogate is a designated person who has the authority to make medical decisions for an incapacitated person. The surrogate has the responsibility to comply with the incapacitated person’s wishes regarding health care decisions, or, if those wishes are not known, to act in that person’s best interest. An attorney can help you choose a trusted person to act as your health care surrogate, and can draft the appropriate documents to ensure that your interests are protected and your wishes known. Contact our Tampa estate planning attorneys now.
If you own a business, it is often the most valuable asset in your estate, so it is important to take extra care in disposing of it at your death. If your business planning is done ineffectively, you may end up owing significant amounts of estate taxes, which could mean selling other assets or even your business in order to cover the tax burden.
If you want your business to stay in the family, one option for asset protection is to create a family limited partnership. This means that the business is owned by a general partner, who manages and controls the business, and one or more limited partners. You can then transfer your assets into the name of the partnership, thus reducing the value of your estate and the amount that will be due in estate taxes.
Another consideration for business owners is what happens to the business once you retire or die. Often, distributing a family-owned business causes disputes and tension among family members. Those who have been involved in running the business may feel that they deserve a larger share. But if you have a clear succession plan in place, this can alleviate some of the contention. A lawyer can work with you on succession planning to decide on who will own and run the business.
A lawyer can also draft buy-sell agreements, which provide for the transfer of interests in a business when a triggering event, such as death or retirement, occurs, giving a right of first refusal to named individuals. Business planning should also take into account other eventualities, such as a divorce or partners not wanting to work together any longer. Contact our Tampa estate and business planning attorneys today.
Tax planning is an essential part of any estate plan. In 2015, the first $5.43 million of a decedent’s estate is exempt from estate taxation. Any assets over that amount are taxed at 40 percent. A decedent’s surviving spouse may add any unused portion of the decedent’s exemption amount to his or her own amount through electing portability, making a surviving spouse’s exemption amount a maximum of $10.86 million. Filing an estate tax return is a complex and often confusing process that is best left to an experienced attorney.
Because of the high exemption amount, estate taxation may not be an issue for many Florida residents. But other taxes may also have an impact, including gift tax, generation skipping transfer tax, and income tax. A lawyer can help you use a combination of wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools to avoid tax liability.
If you have not created a comprehensive estate plan, you should obtain legal advice today. Please call Tampa estate planning attorney David Toback for a free initial consultation.
Your Tampa Estate Planning Attorney for Life
David Toback is an attorney and counselor, and his office is not simply a document drafting service. We do more than provide you with a fancy binder that you can stick on your shelf and never think about again. Whether you are just starting out or have been long-established in business and raised a family, you know that life is filled with changes – life events such as marriages, divorces, births and deaths; and business and property transactions and other opportunities that present themselves. You need to know not only that your estate planning is comprehensive and forward-thinking, but also that your attorney is always here for you when you need him, to answer your questions, advise you, and assist you in making the best decisions for yourself and the future generations you care so much about. David Toback is here to make sure you are always protected and that your estate plan is always working for you in the way you want it to, contact our Tampa estate planning attorneys today.
Experienced Tampa Estate Planning Attorney Helping Clients Around Florida
David Toback maintains offices in Tampa, St. Petersburg and other locations throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. He is also available throughout Florida and nationwide for certain high-level estate planning matters, tax controversies, and business legal matters. For advice and assistance from a knowledgeable and experienced Tampa estate planning and tax attorney ready to help you with your legal needs, contact David Toback, Attorney at Law.