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Jim Collins

Direct Dial: 941-417-0096

James W. Collins is an of counsel Attorney with Searles & Gornitzky, PLLC, and lives in the Sarasota area.

Jim was also the founding partner and owner of the Law Office of James W. Collins, PA, in Sarasota, Florida, which he founded in the year 2000. Throughout his legal career, Jim has concentrated his practice in estate planning, probate and trust administration, elder law, charitable planning, asset protection planning, high net worth planning, and zero estate tax planning. Jim has also previously practiced in the related areas of business law and real estate. He is an honors graduate of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan and of the Esperti-Petersen Institute’s Advanced Studies for Estate and Wealth Preservation. He has previous additional experience as a partner and equity owner in both the Andersen Firm, P.C., and Borkus Collins Law, PA.

Jim places a high premium on the value of client–specific counseling and design. This ensures a unique plan for each client that will ensure the client’s estate plan works the way the client intends it to work, whether the client is alive and well, enduring a period of disability, or "looking down from their cloud" after life is over. The client is encouraged in turn to place a high premium on controlling, directing, and protecting assets during these same phases of life. The estate planning combination of clearly stated client goals and carefully counseled estate planning strategies becomes a powerful combination indeed.

Jim is licensed as an attorney in Florida and is a member of WealthCounsel, LLC, the American Bar Association (ABA), the Florida Bar, the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law section of the Florida Bar and the American Bar Association (ABA), the tax section of the American Bar Association (ABA), the Sarasota County Bar Association, and the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys.

He is also a co-author and the legal editor of the 2nd edition of the book “The Pocket Guide to Trusts & Estates” (Collaborative Press, LLC, 2013 Second Edition). Jim is recognized nationally as an educator in the field of estate planning for attorneys, clients, financial advisors, CPAs and accountants, real estate investors, and other professionals. He teaches (and has written curriculum for) a vast number of educational presentations, including (but not limited to) The Truth About Estate Planning™, Estate Plans That Work™, Maximizing Your Retirement Plan Savings, Estate Settlement and Probate, Insurance Solutions for Estate Planning, Asset Protection in Florida, Spotting Advanced Planning Issues, The Truth About Tax Repeal™, The Truth About Medicaid Planning™, and workshops on topics such as life insurance trusts (ILITs), charitable trusts, IRA Inheritance Trusts, planning with LLCs and Family Limited Partnerships, Spousal Gifting and Legacy Trusts, Asset Protection, Grantor Deemed Owner Trusts, and a variety of other Advanced Planning workshops.

Jim also served as Senior Faculty and Director of Legal Support for the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys from 2002 to 2010 and as a faculty member for the Academy of Multidisciplinary Practice. He has served as an adjunct professor of business law for the University of South Florida, as well as teaching for InKnowVision, a high net worth planning collaborative and “think tank” in Chicago, Illinois, and for Pensco Trust Company.

Jim has been married to Susie since 1978 and has two children, Rebecca and Ben, and four lovely grandchildren, Liam, Mia, Ellie, and Benji. He has a long history in fitness and distance running, especially marathons and ultramarathons. He has completed at least two marathons or longer in each of the 50 states, and has run a number of “ultra marathons” as well, including 100 milers. Jim is also an avid birder and bird / wildlife photographer. His former background in ministry, both as senior pastor and college & seminary professor, strongly supports his counseling and relationship-oriented practice as it focuses on estate plans that truly work.