in Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice areas of Florida.
Founded in 1951 by John R. Wood, Wood Seitl & Anderson is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Focusing on client service for more than 70 years, our firm has narrowed its focus to assisting clients in Estate Administration, Probate Avoidance, Trust Administration, preparation of Wills, Trusts, Charitable Trusts, Charitable Foundations, and Federal Estate Tax issues.
Areas of Expertise
Wood, Seitl and Anderson is a law firm serving Southwest Florida and focusing on Probate, Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Trust Administration, and Federal Estate Tax planning.
Mr. Anderson joined the firm in 1999 after graduating with a Juris Doctorate (J.D) degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. A Florida native, Mr. Anderson attended the University of Tampa, in Tampa, Florida, graduating with a degree in Philosophy and English. Mr. Anderson is a frequent lecturer on Estate Planning and Federal Estate Tax Planning topics.
WAYNE F. SEITL
Mr. Seitl joined the firm in 1978 and holds a Juris Doctorate (J.D) Degree from University of Florida and a Masters of Law (LLM) from the University of Miami. Mr. Seitl is Board Certified in taxation and has held this certification since 1983. Mr. Seitl served as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of law, and has written tax treatises for the Bureau of National Affairs.
JOHN R. WOOD
Mr. Wood started the firm in 1951 and practiced law in Sarasota for more than 70 years. Mr. Wood graduated from Stetson University after service in World War II, and was inducted into the Stetson University Hall of Fame in 2006. Mr. Wood has previously served on the Board of the Florida Bar Governors, as the Attorney for the City of Sarasota and as a Sarasota County Judge. Mr. Wood passed away in 2012 but leaves a strong legacy of excellence and service behind.
Estate planning is the process through which clients identify their objectives and concerns and then our attorneys create the proper documents in which those objectives and concerns are properly dealt. Proper Estate Planning can result in avoiding probate and attaining substantial estate, gift and generation skipping tax savings.
At Wood, Seitl and Anderson we focus on providing the following planning services:
Living Trusts, (sometimes called Revocable Trusts, or Inter-Vivos Trust)
Simple Wills, Complex Wills
Health Care Power of Attorneys and financial Power of Attorneys
Advance Estate Planning is making use of the federal and state gift, estate, and generation skipping tax exclusion to transfer assets which can include: – Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT) – Qualified Domestic Trusts (QDOT) – Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT) – Qualified Terminal Interest Trusts (QTIP) – Charitable Remainder Uni-Trusts (CRUT) – Charitable Annuity Trusts (CRAT) – Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT) – Charitable Foundation Trusts
Estate Administration and Trust Administration are also among the principal focuses of our practice at Wood, Seitl and Anderson. Estate and Trust Administration refers to advising as to the dispositive provisions of the Trust of a decedent, (in the case of a Trust), and the process of probating the estate of a decedent (in the case of a Will), which generally includes collecting, inventorying and appraising assets; paying and collecting debts; filing and paying estate taxes (through IRS form 706); and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries.
Probate is a court supervised process for identifying and gathering the decedent’s assets, paying taxes, claims and expenses of administration, and distributing assets to beneficiaries as directed in a Will or in accordance with the law if no Will exists. There are two types of probate administration under Florida law: formal administration and summary administration.
Personal Representative and Trustee Duties
The Personal Representative (sometimes referred to as executor) and Trustee is the person named by the decedent in the Will to administer the estate and in the Trust to distribute the Trust assets. The Personal Representative/Trustee has many important functions to complete, including:
Gathering and inventorying all assets of the estate
Appraising the assets
Collecting any payments or debts owed to the estate
Paying any debts owed by the estate
Filing and paying local, state and federal taxes
Distributing assets to the beneficiaries as stipulated in the Will
An important but sometimes neglected responsibility in administering an estate is to look for opportunities to preserve assets for distribution. Reducing estate taxes is one way that an estate can retain more of its wealth for the decedent’s heirs.
Probate and Non-Probate Assets
Probate assets are subject to court administration. Probate can be an expensive and long process and beneficiaries may have to wait any where from one to two years to receive the property left to them in the Will. Probate assets include assets owned only by the decedent that do not have a named beneficiary.
Non probate assets do not have to go through probate. These assets are typically distributed more quickly to the appropriate beneficiaries since a probate proceeding is not required.
Non probate assets generally include:
Property held in a Revocable Trust Agreement
Property owned in joint tenancy or tenancy by entirety with rights of survivorship
Payment on Death (POD) bank accounts
Transfer on Death (TOD) securities
Life insurance policies that designate a beneficiary other than the decedent’s estate
IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement plans that name a beneficiary other than the decedent’s estate
“Elder law” means legal issues involving health and personal care planning, including: advance directives; lifetime planning; family issues; fiduciary representation; capacity; guardianship; power of attorney; financial planning; public benefits and insurance; resident rights in long-term care facilities; housing opportunities and financing; employment and retirement matters; income, estate, and gift tax matters; estate planning; probate; nursing home claims; age or disability discrimination and grandparents’ rights. The specialization encompasses all aspects of planning for aging, illness, and incapacity. These clients are predominantly seniors, and the specialization requires a practitioner to be particularly sensitive to the legal issues impacting these clients.
At Wood, Seitl and Anderson, our practice centers on Estate planning which is an important facet of Elder law planning and representation.