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The Case of the not-so-simple Will

A woman who used a commercial will instead of hiring an attorney apparently thwarted her intent of disposing of some of her property and sparked litigation that cost many times what she saved by using the generic form. The woman, Ann Aldrich, had written her will on an "E-Z Legal Form" which was properly witnessed and executed in 2004. In it, she specified that her property was to be left to her sister, and if her sister died first, then her property would go to her brother. The sister did die ...

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Debra G. Simms 6/14/2014 10:05:00 AM Comments(0)

Good news for Underwater Homeowners! You can strip off your second mortgage!

It's finally official. If your home is underwater (your house is worth less than the amount owed) and you have a second mortgage (sometimes known as HELOC or junior loan) you might be able to get rid of the second mortgage in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If you meet the criteria to qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you may be able to get rid of your second mortgage all together, along with other unsecured debts, much like Visa, Sears, and medical bills. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled...

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Debra G. Simms 5/31/2014 10:03:00 AM Comments(0)

Same-sex Adoption

This is my case!!!! I filed the original same-sex parent adoption case!! In a victory for gay and lesbian parents, a Daytona Beach appeals court has ordered a Seminole County judge who nullified an adoption in a two-mother family to patch it back together and give visitation and parenting rights to the second mother. It was a case where two women had lived together for several years, decided to have a family and when one got pregnant and delivered, both went to court and agreed that the other s...

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Debra G. Simms 5/25/2014 7:54:00 AM Comments(0)

Cremation and Other End of Life Decisions: Put it in Writing!

A Florida appeals court has decided that the ashes of a young man killed in a car crash cannot be legally divided between his divorced, feuding parents. The Court ruled that the remains of the young man are not "property" that can be halved into two equal parts, and ruled in favor of the boy's mother who opposed the division of her son's ashes on legal grounds. "It is a sorrowful matter to have relatives disputing in court over the remains of the deceased," wrote the Judge. Indeed, as a probate ...

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Debra G. Simms 5/23/2014 10:18:00 AM Comments(0)

Living Wills and Health Care Directives

Advance Directives inFlorida – Living Wills and Health Care Surrogate DocumentsFlorida provides for Advance Directives known as a Living Will and Designation of Health Care Surrogate. An advance directive is a witnessed document made by a competent adult which gives instructions and expresses desires concerning future health care treatment. There are plenty of forms available on the internet, but a Florida attorney can help you add specific information to the forms, making them fit indivi...

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Debra G. Simms 8/4/2013 9:31:00 AM Comments(0)

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