Estate Planning

Estate Planning

At Zepeda & Associates CPAs, we work with highly skilled estate attorneys chosen by you to draft basic legal documents such as wills, power of attorney documents, and healthcare proxies or living wills, as well more advanced estate planning documents such as revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, legacy trusts, credit shelter trusts, qualified terminable interest property (QTIP), and qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT). We can also help you find a qualified attorney if you do not already have one.

We can, if you engage us to do so, bring in a Certified Financial Planner who will work in conjunction with your attorney to create a customized estate financial plan for each family that is designed to ensure that investments are allocated appropriately based on your goals and risk tolerance. In addition, we work to determine if life insurance and long-term care insurance can be used to maximize the transfer of wealth to the next generation and manage risk; to project cash flow requirements based on different life expectancy scenarios; and to review beneficiary designations and asset titling.

Our starting point for this service begins with calculating the value of your gross estate. Your gross estate includes everything you own: real estate, retirement accounts, business interests, life insurance proceeds, and personal property. While many clients are aware of the federal estate tax and the current federal exemption, many still fail to realize that most states also impose an estate tax. In many cases, state estate taxes are greater than those at the federal level.

After we calculate the value of your gross estate and your potential federal and state estate tax liabilities, we can create a plan that meets your personal goals and maximizes the preservation of your assets. We consider income tax consequences to ensure that estate planning techniques such as gifting don’t cost you or your heirs unnecessarily.

The State of Florida follows or piggybacks the Federal rules so this situation does not normally exist for residents of Florida unless they have certain other State assets.

Estate Administration Tax Compliance Services

The required tax filings relating to estate and gift taxes include:

  • Preparation of Federal and State Estate Tax Returns
  • Preparation of Federal Gift Tax Returns
  • Preparation of Trust Returns
  • Preparation of Estate Income Tax Return

If your estate plan includes gifting and trusts, then we can prepare those annual filings for you routinely. During the difficult time after the loss of a loved one, we guide you step by step from re-titling assets to obtaining values for reporting. We complete the returns and assist you with the distribution of assets after all taxes are paid. We conclude this process by making our tax services and financial planning available for the heirs to assist them in managing the assets inherited, as well as discussing their own estate plans.

Please contact our firm to learn more about how we can help you!