Informed, compassionate and discreet elder law and estate solutions
The Charles Law Offices
Largo Office Wells Fargo Building
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 518
Largo, FL 33770
Phone: 727-683-1483
Toll Free: 866-499-3322
Clearwater Office Hodusa Towers
28870 U.S. Highway 19 North,
Suite 300
Clearwater, FL 33761
St. Petersburg Office Crossroads Office Center
1700 66th St. N.,
Suite 209
St. Petersburg, FL 33710

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A Law Firm Assisting with Wills and Other Estate Documents

Attorney with offices in Clearwater, Largo and St. Petersburg helps you prepare

Nationwide, fewer than 50 percent of people have a will. Even fewer people have arranged a power of attorney or designation of health care. Many people simply do not see the need for a will. But, especially if you have assets to leave to your children, a will is the best way to see that your wishes are carried out.

Susan Charles took the extra steps to obtain an LL.M. in Elder Law to ensure she understood all aspects of elder law. She brings that same passion to work with her every day.

How important is a will?

A will is the most basic, and most important, testamentary document. If a person dies intestate (without a will), the state makes key personal decisions such as who inherits your assets and who is the guardian of your minor children. These are decisions that you alone should make.

Some people may be tempted to use a form they download off the Internet as their will. Such an estate planning move may well save a few dollars in the short run, but it can cost your family many times that amount, to say nothing of additional emotional pain, over the long term:

  • A Florida will must be valid according to Florida law, and an Internet will simply cannot be counted on to comply with Florida law.
  • Some assets may be excluded from generic wills, such as joint accounts and retirement accounts; in such a case, the state, and not you, decides where these assets go.
  • A form will may not take full advantage of all federal and state tax laws, including Medicaid-related provisions.
  • A generic form will may be contested later because it is not designed for you or your family.

Your estate plan is no time to be penny wise and pound foolish.

What are some unique aspects of Florida probate laws?

Florida law has changed substantially in the last few years. Florida law may be different from other states with regards to:

  • Will validity
  • Codicils and revocation of codicils
  • Will execution
  • Trust setup and execution

Only a Florida attorney can give you accurate legal advice regarding Florida laws and how those laws affect you.

Do I need any document other than a will?

Most estate attorneys suggest that, at a minimum, you execute a living will, designation of health care surrogate and durable power of attorney along with your will:

  • A living will helps your loved ones make end-of-life choices in accordance with the way you want things done.
  • A designation of health care surrogate allows you to name a surrogate who can access your medical records and make medical decisions for you.
  • A durable power of attorney allows a trusted agent to act for you in the event that you cannot make financial and legal decisions for yourself.

Work with a highly respected Clearwater attorney

Susan Charles is highly respected in the Florida legal community. Contact The Charles Law Offices at 727-683-1483 or online to schedule your free consultation. Residential and nursing home appointments are available.

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