Here is your copy of the most recent Family Wealth Compass.

This publication offers a timely roundup of estate and trust planning tips, information and news, courtesy of Gunster‘s private wealth services attorneys; please contact any team member for more information.

In this latest issue, you’ll find information on the following topics:

Utilizing trusts in your estate plan

According to a recent study, trillions of dollars are expected to be transferred from high net worth individuals upon their death to the next generation.

Whether you consider yourself a high net worth individual or not, now is a good time to revisit your generational transfer plan, especially with an eye toward utilizing trusts in connection with your transfer plan.

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What will President Obama’s proposed tax plan cost you?

What will President Obama's proposed tax plan cost you?

The president’s proposed tax plan contains tax increases for high income individuals and financial firms that, if passed, are estimated to raise $320 billion over the next 10 years. This new revenue is intended to offset the cost of providing tax credits to “middle class” families.

Under the proposed plan, the president gives special attention to the capital gains tax. The application of a capital gains tax to the gift of assets could easily reduce the overall value of many gifting strategies.

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Same-sex marriage comes with benefits

Legally married same-sex couples can now file a joint federal income tax return, which is generally preferable if one spouse earns significantly more annual income than the other.

Likewise, married same-sex couples can now own their home as “tenants by the entirety,” which affords added protection against creditors (except in the case of joint debts). In Florida, they can even apply for a homestead exemption on their primary in-state residence, which grants spousal benefits to a surviving spouse.

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Estate planning 101

Estate planning 101Remember, your will and revocable trust do not cover all of your assets.

You must name beneficiaries under life insurance policies, retirement plans, IRAs and pension plans. These interests do not pass by will or revocable trust and play an important part in your planning strategy.

You may want to consider holding your insurance policies in an irrevocable life insurance trust and not in your own name. Otherwise, the insurance proceeds will first be taxed to your estate, thereby reducing the amount distributed to your beneficiaries.

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With over 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at


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