Our office protects what matters to you in the following areas:
- DETERMINATION OF INCAPACITY- An alleged incapacitated person must be determined by the Court to be incapacitated before establishing a guardianship for that person.
- GUARDIANSHIP is a legal proceeding in which a guardian is appointed to exercise the legal rights of an incapacitated person or a minor. While a child's parents are the child's natural guardians and in general may act for the child, in circumstances where the parents die or become incapacitated or if a child receives an inheritance or proceeds of a lawsuit or insurance policy exceeding $15,000, the court must appoint a guardian. Both parents or a surviving parent may make and file with the clerk of the court a written declaration naming a guardian of the child's person or property to serve if both parents die or become incapacitated. A guardian may also be designated in a will.
- PROBATE ADMINISTRATION is court supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries. There are two types of probate administration under Florida law: formal administration and summary administration. There is also a non-court supervised administration proceeding called "Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration." This type of administration applies only in limited circumstances. We assist families in the orderly administration of estates.
- ESTATE PLANNING-focuses on avoiding probate and providing for your loved ones. Attorney Johnson’s focus is always on meeting clients’ needs and our office is dedicated to carrying out client’s wishes properly and efficiently. The following are a list of the essential estate planning documents:
- Last Will and Testament-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.
- Living Will- It is a written of the kind of medical care you want or do not want if you become unable to make your own decisions. It is called a living will because it takes effect while you are still living.
- Designation of Health Care Surrogate- It is a document naming another person as your representative to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. You can include instructions about any treatment you want or do not want, similar to a living will. You can also designate an alternate surrogate.
- Trust-A trust may be used in addition to a will. This is because a trust can handle only the property that has been put into it. Any property of yours that is not placed in the trust either during life or at death in most instances escapes the control of the trust. It is the will that controls all property in your name at the time of death if the will is drafted properly. Trusts can be helpful to speed administration and save taxes if they are drafted properly and funded during life with the property intended to be transferred by the trust. Furthermore, it is the probate of the will that can clear creditors' claims, which is not possible with just a trust administration.
- Power of Attorney-A Power of Attorney is a legal document delegating authority from one person to another. In the document, the maker of the Power of Attorney (the “principal”) grants the right to act on the maker’s behalf as their agent. What authority is granted depends on the specific language of the Power of Attorney. A person giving a Power of Attorney may make it very broad or may limit it to certain specific acts.
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