Estate Planning – The Law Office of Carol A. Lawson

Estate Planning

Clearwater Bankruptcy Attorney, Carol A. Lawson, also handles Estate Planning matters, we offer Legal Services in the areas of Wills, Living Wills, Health Care Surrogate, Durable Power Of Attorney, Wills With Pour-Over Provision, Wills Establishing A Trust, Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNRs), Lifetime Services Contract, Quit Claim Deeds, Lady Bird Deeds, Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Pour Over Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Gun Trusts, Trusts For Minors, Probate, including Simple Administration and Formal Administration, and Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration and Guardian Advocate for Special Needs.

Living Will
An advance health care directive, also known as a living will, personal directive, advance directive, or advance decision, is a set of written instructions that a person gives that specify what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity.

Healthcare Surrogate
A specific type of power of attorney or health care proxy, where someone is appointed by the individual to make decisions on their behalf when they are incapacitated. Often people will speak with lpa experts before putting these into place ahead of the individual’s need.

Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney is written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, and all normal areas including purchasing or selling property (you may want to get in touch with a real estate agent similar to Reali to help you with this), signing contracts, and other legal actions. This Document survives the incapacity of the Grantor, but not his death.

Simple Will
If you die without a Will, your property will be distributed according to State Intestacy Laws. A Simple Will applies only to you and leaves a direct distribution of your Estate to your Heirs. This Will does not contain gifts to minors. It gives a description of the Assets to be distributed to your Heirs, it is witnessed by a least two adults who are not Beneficiaries and not closely related to you.

Will With Pour-Over Provision
A Will with Pour-Over Provision directs the distribution of Assets to a Trust. A Pour-Over Will is a particular type of Will used in conjunction with a Trust. This type of Will directs the distribution of any property the Deceased still owned at the time of death. This Will manages Assets or property that were left out of a Revocable Trust.

Will Establishing A Trust
A Will Establishing A Trust established a Trust to minors if there is not already a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust in place to handle the gifts to minors under the Will.

Do Not Resuscitate Order or DNR is a legal document to respect the wishes of a patient not to undergo CPR or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) if their heart were to stop or they were to stop breathing.

Lady Bird Deed
Transfers your property upon your death without the need for probate, while reserving your control to sell the property during your lifetime. This type of Deed does not affect your homestead exemption or election.

Revocable Trusts
The laws of most states permit the formation of a variety of revocable trust instruments (AB “Family” Trust, QTIP Trust, Crummey Trust, Retained Interest Trusts such as GRITS, GRATs, GRUTs, and QPRT), whereby the trust creator (Grantor) contributes assets for the benefit of others to be managed by a Trustee. While it is also possible for the creator to be either the Trustee or a Beneficiary of the trust he or she has created, such dual capacities will usually destroy the trust’s ability to shelter its assets from creditors of the Grantor.

Irrevocable Trusts
Unlike a revocable trust (revocable living trust), assets transferred to an “irrevocable” trust cannot be changed or dissolved by the Grantor once it has been created. The Grantor no longer owns the assets. With an irrevocable trust, all of the property in the trust, plus all future appreciation on the property, is out of your taxable estate. That means your ultimate estate tax liability may be less, resulting in a more tax efficient way to transfer your accumulated wealth to your beneficiaries. Property transferred to your beneficiaries through an irrevocable trust will also avoid probate. As a bonus, property in an irrevocable trust may be protected from your creditors. Irrevocable trust device is utilized for avoiding the Medicare nursing home spend-down provisions whereby if the elderly has to enter a nursing home he must first spend all his money until he does not have any money left.

Pour Over Trusts
A Pour-Over Trust usually contains language that explains how the Trust Assets should be distributed when the donor becomes incapacitated or passes away. Unless incapacitated, one cannot receive or distribute Assets from the Pour-Over Trust without revoking it. Unlike a Will, a Pour-Over Trust is not administered by a Court, so its contents and terms are not part of the public record. However, some Assets may go back to the Estate upon the Grantor or Trustee’s death and require probate.

Special Needs Trust – Supplemental Needs Trust Trust is a discretionary trust to financially provide for your adult special needs child but which won’t jeopardize those public assistance benefits.

Guardian Advocate This is a simplified guardianship procedure in Florida available specifically for adult persons with developmental disabilities, such as Autism, Spina Bifida, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and Aspergers.

Name and Gender Marker Change This is a new service we are providing for the LBGTQ community. This changes your name, along with your gender marker on your social security, driver’s license, and passport.

LifeTime Services(Personal Services) Contract This is an estate planning document for the elderly for their Medicaid planning. This is an agreement between a person who needs care and another person who agrees to provide care.

Intake Documents for Your Appointment:


POA intake

intake healthcare-living will 9-15

probate intake 6-21-13

Trust Intake

If you contact our Law Office and schedule a Free Clearwater Bankruptcy Attorney Consultation, you will meet with me, the Owner of the Law Firm. We offer a Free and Friendly Consultation. We pledge to give each and every Client the Respect and Dignity that they deserve. Payment Plans are Available.