Dade City & Zephyrhills Estate Planning Attorney
When faced with the untimely death, unfortunate accident or medical condition of a loved one, the last thing you and your family needs is the additional stress of wondering what happens next. The Dade City & Zephyrhills estate planning attorneys of the Madonna Law Group have over 60 years of combined experience and will provide families with caring and compassionate counsel, guidance, and direction. Our experience enables us to counsel spouses, children and other loved ones during difficult times and to help them make sound legal decisions for their futures.
It is important that you understand the types of “advance directives” available in order to prepare for your future. It is also important that you have a complete understanding of what is provided by each of these directives. With the assistance of our estate planning attorneys, the preparation and proper execution of such documents is a far less daunting task than often believed. Once these documents are in place, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have provided the assurance to your loved ones that complicated and emotional decisions have already been made by you and not left to chance.
Madonna Law Group’s estate planning attorneys, David Murphy and Daniel Dwyer, will take the time to fully understand what it is that you may need or want in order to provide for your loved ones. Following is a list of pre-planned services that we offer to our clients:
Last Will and Testament
A Last Will and Testament (“Will”) is a written directive controlling the disposition of property at death. The laws of each state set forth the formal requirements for a legal Will. In Florida:
- You, the maker of the Will (called the Testator) must be at least 18 years old.
- You must be of sound mind at the time you sign your Will.
- Your Will must be written.
- Your Will must be witnessed and notarized in the special manner provided by law for Wills.
- It is necessary to follow the formalities required for the execution of a Will exactly in order for the document to be recognized as a legal directive.
- To be effective, your Will must be accepted by the probate court.
A Will does not become final until the death of the maker of the Will (Testator), and it may be changed or added to by the testator by preparation of a new Will or by a “codicil,” which is simply an addition or amendment executed with the same formalities of a Will. The terms of a Will cannot be changed by writing something in or crossing something out after the Will is executed. In fact, writing on the Will after its execution may invalidate part of the Will in part or in total.
When a Will does not exist, the court determines the identity of the personal representative to manage the decedent’s estate. Keep in mind that the personal representative that is appointed by the court may or may not be known to the testator. Without a Will, the cost of probating an estate may be greater than if you had planned your estate with the proper documentation.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document delegating authority from one person(s) to another. In the document, the maker of the Power of Attorney grants another person the right to act on the maker’s behalf. The authority which 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.
A Power of Attorney may be used to give another the right to sell a car, home or other property. A Power of Attorney might be used to allow another to sign a contract, make health care decisions, handle financial transactions, or sign legal documents for the maker of the Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney may give others the right to do almost any legal act that the maker of the Power of Attorney can do.
A Power of Attorney or Co-Power of Attorney’s authority ceases upon the death of the maker of the Power of Attorney.
A Living Will is an “advance directive” given by a person at least 18 years old to a competent adult surrogate. It is created for the purpose of expressing the principals’ instructions concerning life-prolonging procedures upon the principal’s incapacity to do so.
Probate assets are those assets that a deceased person owned in his or her sole name at death, or that were owned by the deceased and one or more co-owners and lacked provision for automatic succession of ownership at death.
Probating an estate is necessary to pass ownership of the deceased’s probate assets to the deceased’s beneficiaries.
Probate of a Will includes the following:
- Proving in court the deceased person’s Will is valid
- Indentifying the deceased person’s assets
- Identify and notify beneficiaries
- Taking inventory of the deceased person’s assets
- Having the assets appraised (if necessary)
- Notifying creditors
- Paying creditors
- Paying taxes (if necessary)
- Distributing the assets as directed by the Will
Our Estate Planning Attorneys Will Help You Protect Your Interests
At the Madonna Law Group we know that planning for your future is important. Let our estate planning attorneys help you make decisions that should be made in advance in order to protect your interests and your loved ones in the event something happens to you. Call 352-567-0411 and let us help provide you the peace of mind knowing that you have already made very difficult and sound decisions that your family could be faced with at a very emotional time.
Call To Speak with an Estate Planning Attorney
Call (352) 567-0411 to schedule an appointment with an experienced Dade City & Zephyrhills estate planning attorney. We are located directly across the street from the Pasco County Courthouse. The Madonna Law Group also represents clients involving Estate Planning matters in Hernando County, Sumter County and Citrus County.