Experienced – Knowledgeable – On Your Side

Preparing You And Your Family’s Future

Planning for your death or disability is a difficult process for many people, but it is also necessary. It helps you make arrangements for what will happen to you, your property and your children if you become incapacitated or die, and it can make sure that your wishes are followed.

Norris Law is here for all of your estate planning and probate needs. Our skilled probate lawyer can work with you to make sure that your estate is in good order, and that you’ve adequately prepared for your future. We can guide you through the often emotional and complicated process, and help make sure that your wishes are followed after you die or become incapacitated. We can also assist clients who want to contest a will that was the product of fraud.

Estate Planning And Probate Law

Probate attorneys are lawyers who assist families and individuals with planning their estates. Although it is often called estate planning, it usually involves more than just establishing what will happen when you die. It also involves making plans for situations where you become disabled or incapacitated and cannot make medical or financial decisions on your own.

Every individual and every family has their own estate planning needs, based on the complexity of their family structure and the assets that they have amassed over the years. The objective of estate planning is to get your affairs in order and to make sure that your end-of-life wishes are carried out in accordance with your expectations after you pass away or become incapacitated.

Working with a probate lawyer, you can achieve the following goals: you can establish a long-term care plan, appoint representatives to handle your medical or financial decisions, draft a will and more. Norris Law firm offers assistance with a variety of estate planning matters, including:

Assisting With A Health Care Proxy

This document names a person as your medical proxy. This gives them authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you should become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions on your own. Incapacitation often happens unexpectedly, after an accident or serious illness, so having a health care proxy in advance can help make sure that your wishes about your medical treatment are followed if you are seriously injured and can’t make these decisions on your own.

With a health care proxy, you can designate a person who will make these decisions for you. You can specify things like whether or not you want to receive life-saving treatments such as resuscitation, intravenous fluids or nutrition, and life-support. A related document, a HIPAA Release, will allow authorized individuals to access your medical records and treatment information if you are incompetent or incapacitated.

Determining A Financial Power Of Attorney

Because of incredible advancements in medical technology and care procedures, people are able to live much longer than they could before. As a result, more and more families are starting to experience issues like trouble handling financial matters because of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Aging loved ones aren’t the only ones at risk either. Young people may suffer a serious brain injury after an accident and therefore be unable to care for themselves or their financial matters.

A financial power of attorney, which may also be called a durable power of attorney, designates someone to handle an incapacitated person’s property and financial affairs on their behalf. To ensure effectiveness of a power of attorney, it’s best to have it set up prior to becoming incapacitated. That way, you can be sure you have someone in place who can then assess your bank accounts, pay your bills or take care other financial matters.

Documenting A Last Will And Testament

This document is often called a will, and it is an important part of any estate planning process, particularly if you have children or substantial assets. A will is a legal document, usually written by an attorney, that takes effect after you die. It states who will inherit your property after you die, and if you have minor children, it may also provide for the care and custody of your children.

An executor is named in your will; that person will then act as the personal representative of your estate. He or she will then “probate” your will, which involves disposing of your property properly and making sure that each of your remaining financial matters are wrapped up correctly.

If you pass away before you have a chance to finalize a last will and testament, your estate passes into what is called “intestate” or “intestate succession.” Per Florida’s intestate succession laws, instead of your assets passing to beneficiaries you designated, your assets are instead passed to beneficiaries following a specific set of guidelines that you may or may not agree with.

By having a will in place, you are ensuring that your wishes are followed after you pass away. A will can also be used to minimize estate taxes so that your hard-earned wealth is not drained by excessive taxes due to poor planning.

We’ll Handle Your Probate Needs

Beyond planning estates, Norris Law is skilled at handling probate matters such as contested wills. A will contest happens when someone challenges a will, usually because they believe that there was fraud in the process. This could be the result of one person (often a caretaker) influencing the person making the will, or if the person making the will was incompetent.

Contesting a will can be an incredibly stressful and emotional process, as everyone involved is already dealing with the death of a loved one. But if you believe that your family member or friend was pressured to change their will or that they were mentally unable to make changes to their will, contesting a will may be the best way of making sure that the deceased person’s wishes are followed.

We’ll Help When A Loved One Dies

From filing petitions to payment of estate taxes, let our skilled lawyer handle the details, so you and your family can grieve at this difficult time.

Managing The Probate Process So You Can Grieve

To discuss questions about a probate proceeding after a loved one’s death, please call 850-597-8312 to schedule a free consultation. Or contact us online. Rely on our Tallahassee law firm for support to ensure a passed loved one’s debts are paid and assets are distributed appropriately.