Areas of Practice
Estate Planning & Trusts
A will is a written direction controlling the disposition of property at death. The laws of each state set the formal requirements for a legal will.
A revocable trust is a document (the “trust agreement”) created by you to manage your assets during your lifetime and distribute the remaining assets after your death.
A trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor’s lifetime.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. However, all POAs are not created equal. Each type gives your attorney-in-fact (the person who will be making decisions on your behalf) a different level of control.
Advance Healthcare Directives
An advance healthcare directive, also known as living will, personal directive, advance directive, medical directive or advance decision, is a legal document in which a person specifies what actions to take in the event of being on life support.
A healthcare surrogate is a named person(s) to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to that can include life support, medical treatment, organ donation and release of medical information. This can be done for an adult or minor.
A pre-need guardian form names a recommended person(s) to be the guardian of an adult or minor if a guardianship action is filed.
We offer the following probate services:
The death occurred more than two years ago, OR the value of the probate estate—that’s all the property that would have to go through probate, so it excludes the nonprobate assets described above—is not more than $75,000.
Ancillary or supplementary administration is usually necessary when the decedent [the person who died owning the property] dies owning property within the state of Florida, and a primary or domiciliary probate has been commenced in another state.
Disposition of Personal Property without Administration
When the deceased person leaves very little behind, this process lets someone who paid for the person’s final expenses—the funeral and expenses of the last illness—be reimbursed from the assets of the estate. (Fla. Stat. 735.301.)
It can be used only when the deceased person did not leave any real estate, and the only assets are either exempt from creditors’ claims or don’t exceed the amount of final expenses.
If the estate doesn’t qualify for a simpler method of administration, formal probate may be necessary. These proceedings begin when the executor/personal representative nominated in the will, or another interested party, asks the circuit court to be appointed as personal representative of the estate. Generally, the probate proceeding takes place in the county where the deceased person was living at the time of death. Beneficiaries and heirs (people who would inherit in the absence of a valid will) are given notice, so they have a chance to object.
• Motion/Order To Open Safe Deposit Box
• Petition/Order to Determine Homestead Property
• Petition/Motion/Order for Exempt Property, Family Allowance, Spousal/Elective Share
• Claims and Objections to Claims
• Preparation of Deeds
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal process which allows a person (a “Debtor”), who owes more money than he or she can currently repay, to either (1) repay a portion of the money over time under Chapter 11, 12, or 13, or (2) have the entire debt forgiven (“discharged”) under chapter 7. Under chapter 7, a Debtor may be required to surrender assets to a trustee. Bankruptcy is also available to businesses, corporations, and partnerships. Even municipal governments can file bankruptcy (under Chapter 9).
After a Debtor has filed a case (i.e., “petition”), creditors must stop all collection efforts against the Debtor for a period of time, unless they get permission from the bankruptcy court to continue. This protection from collection efforts is referred to as the “automatic stay.”
The Bankruptcy Code and Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure determine which chapter one is eligible to file, which debts can be eliminated, how long repayment must continue, which possessions can be kept, etc. A Debtor must abide by these federal laws and rules.
What is the role of a Trustee assigned in a chapter 7 or 13 case?
Under Chapter 7, an impartial trustee is appointed to administer the case by collecting and liquidating the Debtor’s non-exempt assets in a manner that maximizes the return to the Debtor’s unsecured creditors.
Under Chapter 13, an impartial trustee is also appointed to administer the case. The primary roles of the chapter 13 trustee are to determine the feasibility of a Debtor’s repayment plan for the court and to serve as a disbursing agent, collecting payments from Debtors and making distributions to creditors.
What is the function of the U. S. Trustee? The office of the U. S. Trustee is an agency of the Department of Justice, with responsibilities that include monitoring the administration of bankruptcy cases and detecting bankruptcy fraud. It is also responsible for appointing and supervising interim trustees to administer Chapter 7 cases, overseeing the Debtor-in-Possession, and appointing a standing Trustee in Chapter 13 cases.
What is a 341 meeting?
This meeting is referred to as the “meeting of creditors.” All creditors are notified so that they may attend, but their attendance is not required. Debtors have a duty to appear and testify under oath and answer questions by creditors. This meeting is presided over by the trustee assigned to the case and is held approximately 40 days after the petition is filed. Debtors are required to provide photo identification and proof of social security number to the assigned trustee. A Debtor’s failure to appear may result in dismissal of the case. If a continuance or change in the hearing date is sought, the trustee assigned to the case must be contacted.
How is a debt classified as secured, unsecured, priority, or administrative?
A secured debt is a debt that is collateralized by property. A creditor whose debt is “secured” has a right to foreclose or take property to satisfy a “secured debt.” For example, a mortgage loan is likely “secured” by a Debtor’s home. This means that the lender has the right to foreclose upon and take the home if the Debtor fails to make the loan payments.
An unsecured debt arises when you promise to repay someone a sum of money at a particular time, but you have not pledged any property as collateral for the debt.
A priority debt is a debt entitled to priority in payment, ahead of other debts. Please refer to 11 U.S.C. §507 of the Bankruptcy Code for a listing of such priority claims. An administrative debt is a category of priority debt. Generally, it is created when someone provides goods or services to your bankruptcy estate after you file your petition. An example of an administrative debt is the fee charged by an attorney or other authorized professional for services rendered after the bankruptcy case has been filed.
When do I receive a discharge of my debts?
The Notice of the Section §341 Meeting of Creditors reflects a date by which all complaints objecting to discharge or dischargability of debts must be filed. If the debtor has complied with all of the filing requirements, paid the filing fee in full and pursuant to section 727(a) (10) completed an instructional course concerning personal financial management, and has filed the proper certification reflecting completion, your discharge will be entered in due course after the expiration of the date stated earlier.
Information provided by middle district florida bankrutpcy court and for more information click http://www.flmb.uscourts.gov/faqs/#One
We offer the following family law services primarily on an uncontested basis:
Divorce is also known as dissolution of marriage, is the process of terminating a marriage. We call prepare documents needed for filing an uncontested or contested divorce, and it can be with or without children, property or debts.
A Pre-Marital Agreement is also known as a prenuptial agreement and commonly abbreviated as prenup, is a contract entered into prior to marriage, where parties determine division of assets and debts in event of separation, divorce or death. Very common in second marriages and older parties and can be used to waive certain spousal rights given by law.
This is a written agreement after marriage to settle the couple’s affairs and assets in the event of a separation or divorce and to waive certain spousal rights given by law.
Marital Settlement Agreement
A Marital Settlement Agreement is a contract used in uncontested divorces that divides property, assets and debts of a marriage. It spells out the rights of both parties, and settles issues of child custody, spousal alimony and division of assets and debts.
Name Change for Minors or Adults
This is the legal act by a person of adopting a new name different from their name at birth, marriage or adoption. For minors it generally requires the approval of both biological or legal parents.
Preparation of packets and legal forms for filing
If you need documentation without representation, this office can prepare all forms needed for filing with the court to save you time, cost and aggravation of trying to figure it out yourself. It will be your responsibility to file all documents and to obtain service of process if needed.
QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order)
A QDRO is generally required when one spouse is granted an interest in the other spouse’s retirement or pension account. It is a judgment, decree or order for a retirement plan to pay child support, alimony or marital property rights to a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent of a participant.
This is an interactive process where a neutral third party assists parties in resolving conflict through the use of skilled negotiation techniques. All participants are encouraged to actively participate in the process in good faith.