Marc J. Soss, Esq. - Sarasota Estate Planning & Probate Attorney

Marc J. Soss, Esq. - Sarasota Estate Planning & Probate Attorney Sarasota and Manatee County Florida law firm focused on assisting clients with their Estate Planning (Wills, Revocable Trusts, Powers of Attorney), Probate Estate (administration and inheritance disputes) and business and corporate legal matters.
Over twenty-seven (27) years of legal experience assisting clients in the State of Florida.
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Three decades of legal experience assisting individuals and business entities on the Florida West Coast (Sarasota, Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Casey Key, Venice, Osprey, Nokomis, Englewood, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, University Park, Naples, Ft. Myers, Palmetto, Ellenton, St. Petersburg and Tampa) in the areas of Estate Planning (Wills, Revocable Trust), Elder Law, Asset Protection, Probate & Trust Administration and Litigation, Guardianship Administration and Litigation proceedings and Florida Corporate entities, Shareholders, LLC Members and Partners in business transactions, succession planning, mergers & acquisitions and business disputes. Each client knows that they will receive the highest quality legal representation based on my experience and integrity. Other lawyers, both inside and outside the state of Florida, regularly refer clients to me in my focus areas. I am honored by their confidence. I pride myself on my ability to form long lasting relationships with my clients (individuals and business owners). It is my goal to provide you with personalized attention, high quality legal service and my years of expertise. Our legal services are tailored to your unique needs. My reward is satisfied clients! Call me to schedule an appointment in my Sarasota or Lakewood Ranch office. We can also visit you at home, if it is difficult for you to get around, or your office to accommodate your schedule.

Mission: An educated client.

Payment Options:   Cash

09/30/2019

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the inflation adjustments for the estate and gift tax exclusion, the generation-skipping transfer tax exemption, the gift tax exclusion, and other estate planning rates for 2020.

- The federal estate and gift tax exclusion amounts will increase from $11.4 million to $11.58 million.
- The generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption will also increase to $11,580,000.
- The annual gift tax exclusion will remain at $15,000 per donor per donee per calendar year.

Marc J. Soss, Esq. - Sarasota Estate Planning & Probate Attorney's cover photo
04/15/2019

Marc J. Soss, Esq. - Sarasota Estate Planning & Probate Attorney's cover photo

5 star Yelp review.: Marc Soss is a principled, knowledgeable attorney who knows his business who is going to tell it to...
01/04/2019
Liz C.'s review of Marc J. Soss, Esq. - Sarasota Estate Planning & Probate Attorney

5 star Yelp review.: Marc Soss is a principled, knowledgeable attorney who knows his business who is going to tell it to you straight, offer excellent...

Marc Soss is a principled, knowledgeable attorney who knows his business. When you need an attorney who is going to tell it to you straight, offer excellent advice, and isn't...

11/16/2018

TTHE CLOCK IS TICKING TO FINALIZE YOUR DIVORCE BEFORE JAN. 1, 2019
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Act”) that went into effect on January 1, 2018, made important changes to existing tax laws. In the family law area, the Act eliminated the ability to deduct alimony payments made pursuant to divorces that are finalized after December 31, 2018. Under current tax law, alimony is tax deductible by the payor and taxable to the payee. This means that if you are the person paying alimony, then you get a deduction for the amount you paid. However, for divorces finalized on or after January 1, 2019, all alimony payments will be tax-neutral (non-deductible by the payor and no longer income to the recipient). The new tax law only impacts alimony payments that are required under divorce or separation instruments that are: (1) executed after December 31, 2018 or (2) modified after that date if the modification specifically states that the TCJA tax treatment of alimony payments (not deductible by the payer and not taxable income for the recipient) now applies. The reclassification of alimony payments is expected to make settlements more difficult as the higher-earning spouse will have more income taxes to pay and fewer funds with which to settle the case.

02/21/2018

NEW 401K RELAXED HARDSHIP PROVISIONS:
The Budget Act of 2018, signed into law on February 9, 2018, provides individuals with 401K retirement plans relaxed hardship restrictions. The new relaxed restrictions include: (i) Rescission of the IRS rule that prohibits a participant from making an elective 401(k) deferral for six months after taking a hardship withdrawal; (ii) Allowing plan participants to take a hardship withdrawal from funds attributable to qualified non-elective contributions or qualified matching contributions made by employers under a safe harbor plan; and (iii) Allowing a hardship withdrawal to include not only the actual amount of elective 401(k) deferrals made but the earnings on those contributions. The changes are effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2018.

12/28/2017

ESTATE AND GIFT TAXES UNDER THE 2017 TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Act”) that was passed by Congress on December 20, 2017. The Act will take effect on January 1, 2018 and will make important changes to existing federal estate and gift tax laws that impact you.

The Act doubles the individual federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax exemption from $5,490,000 ($5,000,000 adjusted for inflation in 2017) to $11,200,000 in 2018. On January 1, 2018, a couple will now be able to leave $22,400,000 to their heirs and beneficiaries without the funds or assets being subject to federal estate tax. The Act also maintains the basis step-up of inherited assets to their fair market value at death. The increased exemption is set to expire at the end 2025 and revert back to pre-2018 levels without further Congressional action.
The Act formalizes the annual gift tax exclusion amount increase from $14,000 per person (in 2017) to $15,000 per person (in 2018).

WILL OWNERSHIP OF MY HOME MAKE ME INELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAID BENEFITS?Many seniors become concerned when their resources st...
12/18/2017

WILL OWNERSHIP OF MY HOME MAKE ME INELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAID BENEFITS?

Many seniors become concerned when their resources start to dwindle whether they will lose their personal residence if they apply for Medicaid benefits and/or enter a nursing home. While this is a valid concern, many of these seniors are surprised to learn that there: (i) home; (ii) automobile; (iii) funeral and burial plot; (iv) life insurance (some types); and (v) a limited amount of cash ($2,000); are protected. These assets will not be taken by the federal or state government in order for you to qualify for Medicaid benefits. At your death, your state of residence can file a claim against your estate seeking recoupment of the funds expended for your benefit during your lifetime. However, the senior's personal residence and automobile will remain an exempt asset under Florida law.

These same seniors also inquire whether they should transfer their personal residence to their children to protect the asset. A transfer of this nature can make them ineligible for Medicaid benefits for a five (5) year time period if it is for less than market value. The only penalty free transfer of their personal residence can be made to: (i) a spouse; (ii) child under age 21 or who is disabled; (iii) into a trust for the sole benefit of a disabled individual under age 65; (iv) sibling who has resided in the personal residence during the year preceding the applicant's institutionalization and who already holds an equity interest in the residence; or (v) a child of the senior who has lived in the personal residence for at least two (2) years prior to the senior's institutionalization and who during that period provided care that allowed the senior to avoid a nursing home stay.

Additionally, the transfer of a personal residence will cause it to avoid receiving a step-up in basis at the senior’s death. Under federal law inherited property receives the current value of the property. In contrast, a gift of property preserves in the recipient the transferor’s current basis for the property.

Knowledgeable and kind! Has a wealth of knowledge and is eager to share it. No games, no hassle just great service with ...
12/15/2017

Knowledgeable and kind! Has a wealth of knowledge and is eager to share it. No games, no hassle just great service with a big helping of understanding !!

Timeline Photos
12/14/2017

Timeline Photos

09/26/2017

PROJECTED 2018 ESTATE AND GIFT TAX EXEMPTION AMOUNTS
For most, the release of the Consumer Price Index by the Department of Labor goes unnoticed. However, this information allows for the prediction of the 2018 estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax amounts. Estate Tax Exemption – Under current federal tax law, a U.S. citizen may pass tax-free (by gift or at their death) the total sum of $5,490,000 to their heirs and beneficiaries (excluding their spouse). This amount is projected to increase to $5,600,000 in 2018. As a result, in 2018 a couple (U.S. citizens) will be able to collectively transfer $11,200,000.00 without incurring a federal estate or gift tax. This amount will also be applicable to gifts made to grandchildren and future generations (the generation-skipping transfer tax (GST)). Annual Gift Tax Exclusion –A U.S. citizen is entitled to gift a sum certain each year to an unlimited number of individuals (the “annual gift tax exclusion”) without any tax consequences. In 2018, the annual gift tax exclusion amount is projected to increase from $14,000 to $15,000 per individual recipient. The exclusion amount for gifts to a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen (the so-called “super-annual exclusion”) is also projected to increase from $149,000 to $152,000.

05/24/2017

FLORIDA HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION INCREASE ON THE BALLOT IN 2018
In 2018, Florida voters will have the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment to raise the Florida homestead exemption from $50,000 to $75,000, on homes worth $100,000 or more. If 60% of voters approve, the new rate will take effect January 1, 2019. The Florida homestead exemption reduces the value of a Florida residents home for property tax assessment purposes. The proposed amendment would save Florida state residents about $644 million with the average homeowner receiving an annual savings of $170. Florida municipalities and counties are concerned about the decreased revenues impact...

Marc J. Soss, Esq. - Sarasota Estate Planning & Probate Attorney's cover photo
03/13/2017

Marc J. Soss, Esq. - Sarasota Estate Planning & Probate Attorney's cover photo

DELAWARE v. NEVADA | ASSET PROTECTION TRUSTSDelaware has promoted itself as the top jurisdiction for creating an asset p...
03/09/2017

DELAWARE v. NEVADA | ASSET PROTECTION TRUSTS

Delaware has promoted itself as the top jurisdiction for creating an asset protection trust. However, a 2014 court decision, Kloiber v. Kloiber, has put the creators of Delaware Asset Protection Trusts on notice of possibly choppy waters ahead. The case involved a Delaware Dynasty Trust (DDT) which had been established for a son, who later became embrioled in a divorce, his son’s spouse, and their descendants. At the time of the divorce, the trust’s assets totaled around $310 million. The settlement forced the trust to be severed, creating a separate trust for the wife which was funded with some of the original trust assets, and rendered the asset protection plan useless when the now ex-wife received assets intended solely for the son, his spouse, and his descendants. Individuals are now considering creating asset protection trusts in Nevada over Delaware because Nevada does not allow for claims from “exception creditors” (claims for alimony and spousal support from an ex-spouse).

IRS TAX DEBT CAN RESULT IN PASSPORT DENIAL OR REVOCATIONIn December 2015, legislation went into effect that requires the...
02/28/2017

IRS TAX DEBT CAN RESULT IN PASSPORT DENIAL OR REVOCATION
In December 2015, legislation went into effect that requires the IRS to provide a list of names to the State Department of individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debt” (more than $50,000 in unpaid federal taxes, including interest and penalties). These individuals, if their tax debt is not resolved (pays the tax in full, enters into an installment agreement, an offer in compromise with the IRS or a timely request for collection due process hearing), are at risk of having their U.S. passports revoked within the next few months. The legislation requires that the State Department to refuse to issue new passports and provides them with discretion to revoke currently issued passports. The IRS recently announced that it would begin sending IRS Letters 508C, notice of certification of seriously delinquent federal tax debt to the State Department, to the taxpayer’s last-known address. The letter will inform the taxpayer that the IRS has certified him/her as owing “seriously delinquent tax debt.” At that time, the IRS will also send the certification to the State Department. The IRS reports that the State Department will take action within 90 days.

BURIAL WITH MY PET: Our beloved pets (dogs, cats, pigs, birds, etc..) are typically buried in a pet cemetery. However, t...
02/28/2017

BURIAL WITH MY PET:
Our beloved pets (dogs, cats, pigs, birds, etc..) are typically buried in a pet cemetery. However, there is a growing movement today to allow pet owners to be buried (or their cremated ashes) with their pets in a human cemetery. New York is just one of a few states to pass laws allowing such burials (in cemeteries that are willing to handle them, as Church cemeteries may opt out). Similar bills are pending in Louisiana, Indiana, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. In Pennsylvania, cemeteries can offer one section for people, another for pets, and a third area for both. Virginia permits pets and owners to lie in a designated area of a cemetery, as long as they’re in separate caskets. The issue impacts over half of the households in the U.S. On an international level, Germany has allowed owner-pet cemeteries for several years. While the idea may seem strange to none pet owners, individuals devoted to their pets consider them members of the family and grieve their deaths deeply.

01/12/2017
www.fl-estateplanning.com

For years it has been discussed that for estate tax purposes it was better to die a resident of certain states than others. The following is an updated list, as of January 1, 2017, of the states which impose a "death or inheritance tax" on its residents and those who follow the Federal Estate Tax Exemption amount.

Good States in Which to Die a Resident: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Bad States in Which to Die a Resident: Connecticut ($2,000,000), Delaware ($5,490,000), District of Columbia ($2,000,000), Hawaii ($5,490,000), Illinois ($4,000,000), Iowa (inheritance tax on transfers to others than lineal ascendants and descendants), Kentucky (separate inheritance tax), Maine (estate tax and no portability), Maryland ($3,000,000), Massachusetts ($1,000,000), Minnesota ($1,800,000), Nebraska (County Inheritance Tax), New Jersey ($2,000,000), New York ($4,187,500 for April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017 and then $5,250,000 for April 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018), Oregon ($1,000,000), Pennsylvania (Inheritance Tax), Rhode Island ($1,500,000), Vermont ($2,750,000), and Washington ($2,129,000).

11/18/2016

HOW YOU CAN PREPARE FOR YOUR ESTATE PLANNING MEETING

While meeting with an estate planning attorney may not be on your bucket list of items to accomplish during your lifetime or among your New Year’s resolutions, it is not something that you should put off until you are on your death bed. Many individuals are intimidated by the prospect of planning their estate, however, in most cases it is much easier if you come prepared.

A typical Florida estate plan consists of the following important documents: Last Will and Testament; Revocable Trust (for many individuals); Power of Attorney; Health Care Surrogate; Living Will; and Pre-Need Guardian Declaration. The Revocable Trust (if one is created), Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, and Pre-Need Guardian Declaration are all designed to operate during your lifetime and provide guidance in how your personal and financial affairs are handled during your lifetime. In contrast, the Revocable Trust and Last Will and Testament control how your property is distributed after your death.

When you meet with your estate planning attorney, they will guide you through the various choices and planning options available to you, so that your legal documents reflect your intentions. In order to make your time with your attorney most productive, the following is a list of things that you should discuss and prepare in advance of the meeting:

Create a list of your assets and liabilities. This list should include the value of your home (including mortgage), bank accounts, investment accounts, business interests, personal belongings with value (e.g., artwork or jewelry), insurance policies on your life and retirement accounts. For each asset on the list, include an estimate of its value or current balance, as well as whether you own the asset in your individual name or in joint name with another person, such as your spouse or children. This information will assist your attorney in guiding you through the planning process.

Agents During your Lifetime

Health Care Surrogate: Who will make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. The individual you name to serve as your health care surrogate will be empowered to make health care decisions for you, if you are unable to do so. Thought should be given to whom should be appointed for this position, along with a successor to him or her.

Power-of-Attorney: Who will take care of your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. The individual you name to serve as your power of attorney will act as your agent with regard to your financial matters during your lifetime. The power of attorney will become effective immediately after you sign it. Thought should be given to whom should be appointed for this position, along with a successor to him or her.

Living Will: End of Life Decisions. The individual you name to serve as your surrogate will act as your agent with regard to your financial matters during your lifetime. The power of attorney will become effective immediately after you sign it. Thought should be given to whom should be appointed for this position, along with a successor to him or her.

Administration Upon Your Death

Who has the ability and skill to serve as your Personal Representative(s). The individual or professional entity that you select to serve as the Personal Representative of your probate estate will be charged with settling your estate following your death. Their duties will include collecting your assets, paying debts, expenses and any taxes that may be due and then distributing the remaining estate assets to your beneficiaries. With married couples, each spouse typically names the other to serve as their personal representative. The next consideration is who or what entity will serve as their successor, if they fail to survive you or are unable to serve. You may name more than one individual to serve in this role, but under Florida law they must either be a family member or resident of the state. Most importantly, it is important that the selected individual(s) or entity are trustworthy.

Who has the ability and skill to serve as your Trustee(s). The individual or professional entity that you select to serve as the trustee of your Trust, upon your death or inability to serve, will be responsible to manage your financial affairs, while you are alive, and settling your financial affairs following your death. Similar to a Personal Representative, their duties will include collecting your assets, paying debts, expenses and any taxes that may be due and then distributing the remaining estate assets to your beneficiaries. With married couples, both spouse’s typically serve as the trustees, while they are capable. The next consideration is who or what entity will serve as their successor, if they fail to survive or are unable to serve. You may name more than one individual to serve in this role, without any restrictions of family membership or resident of the state. Most importantly, it is important that the selected individual(s) or entity are trustworthy.

Items of Personal Property and to whom they should pass upon your death. Create a written document which states how you would like to dispose of your personal items (wedding ring, jewelry, automobile(s), baseball card collection, etc.) at your death, even if you do not believe they have any monetary value. Without a separate written statement, your personal items will pass to a surviving spouse or be divided equally among your children or beneficiaries. The itemized list can potentially avoid family disputes over items with sentimental but no monetary value.

Plan for Distribution of your Estate. How, to whom and in what amounts you want your remaining estate assets distributed is the next important decision you will need to consider. Your assets can be distributed to any individual (family member, friend, acquaintance, etc.) or charity you may select. The assets can be distributed outright or over an extended time period (they reach a certain age, until the beneficiary needs or wants funds, etc.). There is no wrong decision as you are free to distribute your assets as you choose.

Address

2070 Ringling Blvd
Sarasota, FL
34237

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(941) 928-0310

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