The Coleman Law Firm, through its Palm Coast law office, restricts its practice to estate planning, wills, trusts and estates, probate, elder law and the related legal disciplines involved in those areas of the law. Those other areas of the law include asset protection planning; charitable planning such as establishing private foundations, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts; small business planning, including legal entity selection and formation, business succession planning, and other related areas.
We assist our clients in all aspects of estate planning, including wills and trusts, asset protection planning, charitable planning, entity selection for businesses to maximize asset protection and minimize income and estate taxes. Included in the wide umbrella of estate planning is prenuptial planning to avoid subject one's assets to the vagaries of a short term marriage. Estate tax planning and asset protection planning require the use of various legal entities and a wide array of trusts, both revocable and irrevocable, including spousal lifetime access trusts, life insurance trusts, charitable trusts, personal residence trusts, intentionally defective grantor trusts, intentionally defective beneficiary trusts, and a number of other tools designed to protect one's assets both from liability concerns and excessive taxation, both income and estate.
Then, when you have your estate plan in place, you must remember to periodically review your estate plan to ensure that it continues to meet your needs. Kind of like an annual health care checkup. Periodically, there are times when you know you should review your estate plan. Those occasions include when there is a marriage, divorce, birth or death of a family member, change of jobs, or the loss of a job, retirement, serious medical issues, and other significant events in one's life.
In the probate arena, we include trust administration as well as probate administration as both are a part of "estate administration." Probate is the process of validating a Will if there is one, having the personal representative appointed by the probate court, gathering the assets of the probate estate, determining creditors of the estate, paying legitimate creditors, determining who are the proper beneficiaries of the estate, filing any necessary tax returns, and then distributing the remaining assets to the appropriate beneficiaries. If there is no valid Will to identify the intended beneficiaries of the estate, the Florida intestacy statute is required to be applied to determine who are the appropriate beneficiaries.
If you need a lawyer to handle a probate or trust administration in Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, or any location in Flagler County, please call us, we can help make the process efficient.
Many probate and trust administration matters end up in litigation. Whether it is probate litigation or trust litigation, we represent our clients in those litigated matters unless there is a conflict of interest. We assist with claims of breach of fiduciary duty, improper execution of documents, forgeries, unreasonable compensation for trustees and personal representatives, duress, undue influence, financial exploitation of the elderly, improper distributions, creditor claim litigation, and many other types of litigation matters that might be involved in either probate or trust litigation matters.
We also help our clients with elder law related matters, including Medicaid planning, long term care planning, disability planning, and end of life issues. In that context we handle Medicaid spend down plans to allow an individual to qualify for Medicaid benefits to help pay for long term care costs at skilled nursing home facilities. We prepare qualified income trusts for those whose income is over the Medicaid limit. We prepare special needs trusts, including first party and third party special needs trusts to assist those who have temporary or permanent disabilities and need the financial support of Medicaid or other public benefit programs. We assist with the design and implementation of spend down plans with the objective to provide access to those who qualify for Medciaid benefits, and yet preserve assets to help the community spouse remain financially solvent during periods when their spouse is restricted to nursing home life. We provide assistance with planning to become qualified and obtaining financial assistance from the Veterans Administration for basic pension and Aid and Attendance benefits for those who have served our country. Many of our clients need our assistance in filing the applicatioin for Medicaid benefits with the Florida Department of Children and Families - and we do that for them.
Our guiding principal is to assist our clients maintain their wealth, preserve their wealth during their lifetimes for their own effective use, and then to help them transfer their wealth to the people they want to receive the assets, in an efficient manner both from and administration perspective as well as a reduction of taxation perspective.
Let us help you accomplish your goals and objectives with our experienced lawyers helping you achieve peace of mind.
Do you just need a will? Or is a revocable living trust more appropriate for your circumstances? We'll help you decide which is most appropriate for you and your family. Probate avoidance generally is desirable, but sometimes probate is preferrable and not a problem.
What happens when you become incapacitated? Who will handle your financial affairs? Who will make medical decisions for you? How will you pay for those long term care needs, without impoverishing your spouse, or other family members who need financial support? We can help you plan for and meet your needs and requirements for long term care.
Eventually, for all of us, our personal estate, or trust estate, will need to be administered. Practically all attorneys will administer an estate. Those who are most experienced will complete the administration as quickly as the probate code or trust code allows. Experienced probate attorneys will complete the administration more efficiently that lesser experienced attorneys. Save yourself time, aggravation, and money by utilizing experienced attorneys for your probate or trust administration. Learn more about probate administration here, and trust administration here.
What Happens When Something Goes Wrong?
You lose everything? You run out of money for long term care? The wrong people end up with your assets? You pay astronomical taxes? Uncaring people are responsible for your care? Will challenges? Probate litigation? Trust litigation?
We are here when you want us to help you.
We can help you plan for your estate, preserve and protect your assets from long term care spend down, and help you efficiently probate an estate or trust - helping you accomplish your goals and objectives, deal with your fears and concerns, and efficiently transfer your estate to your loved ones efficiently, and at the least cost for attorney and other professional fees. Call us. Let us help you and your family.