Charitable Remainder Trust Law

understanding-charitable-remainder-trustA charitable remainder trust has all the characteristics of any normal trust fund or deed. A trust is an agreement or contract wherein one party or a number of parties called the trustees agrees to take care of or protect a certain property or sum of money known as trust fund or property for the benefit and on behalf of a certain person or group of people called the beneficiaries. A trust deed is a written contract or agreement entered into by and between the trustees and the beneficiaries that outline all the rights, duties and obligations of the trust.

What is a charitable remainder trust?

A charitable remainder trust is similar to a trust for charitable purposes however it is an irrevocable trust that is exempt from tax. The money from the trust is first used to pay off any beneficiaries and the remaining money or ‘remainder’ is donated to a charitable organization. This trust has been designed to reduce the taxable income of an individual while filing his tax return and reduce his tax liability that he will be required to pay to the government every year. The individual’s income is first reduced by distributing the money from the trust to the beneficiaries of the trust over a particular period of time which is exempt from income tax and the remaining money is donated to a charity which is also automatically exempt from income tax liability.

How does a charitable remainder trust work?

The whole idea behind the concept of charitable remainder trust is to reduce the tax liability of the individual and prevent him from paying high taxes on his income. In most countries, a whopping 30-40% of a person’s earnings goes towards income tax payment to the government and the individual is not able to reap the benefits of his own earnings. Hence the charitable remainder trust helps to lower the taxable income of the individual. Once the assets are donated to a trust the primary beneficiaries are paid for a certain period of time and on the expiry of this time frame, the remainder of the trust money or property is donated to a charity who become the secondary beneficiaries. This is also a great way to save up your money for retirement.

Benefits of a charitable remainder trust

Once you transfer an asset into this irrevocable trust it is automatically reduced from the asset side of your balance sheet or is reduced from your total estate value. No estate taxes will have to be paid and deductions from income tax can be availed for the charities made.

A charitable remainder trust helps reduce your income tax liability and estate taxes too. It helps you convert high-value assets like real estate or stocks into a lifelong income that is tax-free. When the asset is sold you do not have to pay any capital gains tax on the sale of the property or asset.

Not only does a charitable remainder trust help you reduce your income tax liability and taxable income but also allows you to give back something to the less fortunate and help the poor. Doing charity invokes a positive feeling and gives someone else a chance at a better life.

Approach lawyer Debra G. Simms, a board certified law attorney who runs her practice at Simms Law Firm located at Prestige Executive Center, 823 Dunlawton Ave. Unit C, Port Orange, FL 32129 for all your law related queries.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667. Serving areas in and around Volusia County, Daytona, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach and more.

Probate & Trusts, Estate Planning, Wills, Trust, Power of Attorney

probate-trusts-estate-planning-wills-trust-power-of-attorneyIf we spare even a fraction of the time we spent on earning all that money and building those assets, we would be able to ensure that it stays in the right hands even when we are not around to look after them. The federal law provides multiple legal options for you to choose form in order to facilitate a judicious planning of your property and assets. We are here to help you understand the various legal rights of a valid US citizen in managing his property and estate while he/she is alive and also post his/her demise.

Will

A will is one the most commonly referenced legal document which allows an individual to manage the division and consecutive distribution of his or her property and estate post death. Creating a final testament or a will gives you the discretion of deciding as to how your hard-earned money and assets should be distributed among those chosen solely by you.

Probate

A probate is a legal proceeding that involves proving the validity of the will of a deceased, and then carrying out the process of appraisal and distribution of his assets as per the instructions stipulated within the will. A probate is of great significance in property distribution cases wherein the deceased failed to plan out a valid will while he/she was alive.

Trust

A trust can be cited as a written agreement between two or more parties wherein a trustee is attributed with a legal title to a property or an asset on the behalf of a trust beneficiary. The creator of the trust, called the settler provides the instruction for distribution of his assets among the beneficiaries to be carried out by the trustees. A trust can be especially useful in situations where a settler does not wish to provide outright control over his assets to the beneficiary, as the latter may not be mature enough or legally able to deal with them.

Power of attorney

A POA is a legal document which allows you to authorize an individual of significant trust to take control over your financial or healthcare responsibilities in your absence or inability to administer your property and assets.

Why should I hire an attorney?

Before coming to a final conclusion as to whether you should hire an attorney for your property distribution planning or not, you must understand the significance of the proper composition of a legal document. One single missing signature or a misplaced word might entirely alter the actual intent of your trust, will or POA. An attorney can help you in designing a legally correct document which reflects your intent in its entirety. In addition to this, the state laws for all estate planning related instruments vary from state to state. It is utmost essential to consult a professional attorney before creating a will or executing a trust, in order to stick to the laws of your specific state. Furthermore, hiring a lawyer also helps deal with any complex financial or family situations such as a second marriage, minor children, physically disabled family member or a recent divorce.

If you are looking for professional legal advice for creation of a will, trust, POA or estate planning and more in the Volusia County region, just visit https://www.simmslawfirm.com for assistance form some of the best legal minds in the country.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667

Trust law

trust-lawyerIf you are residing in Volusia County or New Smyrna Beach or Port Orange or Daytona area or anywhere in the surrounding areas, chances are you are in need of a trust lawyer. There are a number of registered law firms in these areas. You will come across a law firm or an attorney who will be of help to you. Many people require trust lawyers while making an estate plan.

Trusts are actually tools required for estate planning that can act as a substitute for your will after your death. It also has the capacity to help manage your property while you are living. The trust will manage the distribution of your property. It will also ensure that all benefits are transferred and the various obligations are fulfilled. A trust is very popular in property distributions.

Creating a trust

The first step of creating a trust involves the property owner or ‘grantor’ or ‘trustor’ transferring the legal ownership of the property to the ‘trustee’ (an individual or an institution). The trustee will be given the responsibility of managing the property on behalf of the ‘beneficiary’. The trustee will be compensated for his or her or its managerial role. A fiduciary relationship is created between the trustee and the beneficiary.

Kinds of trusts

Generally speaking, there are two major kinds of trusts – testamentary and living.

Testamentary trust – In this kind of a trust the property is transferred to the trust only after the death of the owner or grantor. A testamentary trust is part of a will. It is not created after the death of the owner. So the trust property has to go through a probate process. Through this trust, the owner has the power to enforce certain conditions and can control the payment and receipt of benefits even after their death.

Living trustAs the name suggests, this trust comes into effect while the grantor or owner is still living. It is also known as ‘inter vivos’ trust. A probate process may not be required for the living trust if the assets that would have been otherwise put through probate are transferred to the trust before the death of the owner. A living trust may be revocable or irrevocable in nature, i.e. the owner may or may not make changes to the trust after its commencement.

There are a number of different types of trusts under these two broad categories of trusts. Asset Protection Trust, Charitable Trust, and Special Needs Trust are some such trusts. There are also some trusts called the Spendthrift Trust, Totten Trust and Tax By-Pass Trust.

Understanding the different kinds of trusts and their functions can become a bit complex. You will need the help of an experienced and thoroughly qualified attorney. If you are a resident of Volusia County and require help with the setting up of trusts or want to understand the laws related to it, get in touch with Debra G. Simms’ law firm. Take a look at the website https://www.simmslawfirm.com/.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

What is a power of attorneyThere are several circumstances, wherein an individual is unable to manage his property or finance related matters for a specific length of time, owing to a prolonged overseas trip or a major health condition that renders him physical incapable of doing so. A power of attorney is just the type of legal provision that helps you to delegate the responsibility of your property and finance management in the event of your prolonged absence.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney, also known as letter of attorney is a legal document that authorizes an individual to take up the responsibility of representing or acting on the behalf of another individual regarding the latter’s business, legal or other private affairs. The person who creates the power of attorney is referred to as the grantor, principal or donor. On the other hand, the individual who is appointed as the representative is referred to as the agent or the attorney. Depending upon the power of acting upon the power of attorney, whether the grantor is capable of making decisions for himself or not, a typical power of attorney can be broadly classified into two basic categories namely an ordinary power of attorney or an enduring power of attorney, respectively. In addition to managing finances and business related affairs, the power of attorney also offers provisions to the agent to make decisions regarding health care facilities and also for recommending a guardian.

What are the prerequisites for appointing an agent?

One of the major key factors in deciding upon an agent for your power of attorney is, trust. The agent can be chosen from among a variety of your associates such as a relative, friend, a legal attorney or even an organization. It is utmost essential to appoint an individual who is keen on ensuring your best interests and respects your wishes without having the evil mindset of abusing the powers bestowed upon him. The agent is obligated to keep a detailed record of all transactions that he makes on the grantor’s behalf and also to provide frequent updates of the same to him. In case the grantor is incapable of reviewing the updated records himself, he may direct the agent to pass on such information to an appointed third party. As far as an agent’s legal liability is concerned, he cannot be penalized for doing something wrong unless it is something done intentionally. Such statue is stipulated in order to encourage individuals in shouldering the responsibility of becoming an agent to someone who is dire need of creating a power of attorney.

Why you need a POA lawyer?

The creation of a power of attorney requires an enormous amount of intricate paperwork, which might be a daunting task for a layman to accomplish. In addition to this, a POA provides complete authority over your business, finance and healthcare to another individual, which implies that there are several considerations to be made before you appoint an agent. A legal POA lawyer can help you zero in the right candidate for your power of attorney, by making you understand the repercussions of appointing someone who might end up using it against you.

In case you are looking for legal assistance for creation of your power of attorney in the greater Daytona area, you may check out the website https://www.simmslawfirm.com.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Volusia County Will Preparation Lawyer | Daytona Attorney | New Smyrna  | Port OrangeWe spend a chunk of our lives slaving away to make a living for our family, and saving most of what we can. With this hard earned money we make investments in real estate, shares and in buying our personal assets. All of these aforementioned assets may be collectible referred to as your estate. For ensuring that your estate is passed on to the rightful beneficiary after your demise, you need to create a will.

What is a will and why do you need one?

As per its textbook definition, a will is a testament or a legal document, wherein an individual may stipulate his wishes regarding the distribution of his property and estate post his death and appoint an executor who is supposed to manage the estate for as long as the final distribution is carried out. To put it more simply, a will states the names of one or more beneficiaries to which an individual wishes to pass on his property and assets after he dies. In addition to this, an individual can also specify the name of one or more persons who are to take care of his property after the formers demise, and see to it that the distribution is made as per the instructions stipulated in the will.

The primary reason why you should consider making a will of your own is the fact that it allows you to ensure that your hard-earned money and assets are in safe hands even after your death. It helps you to fairly distribute your personal belongings such as family heirlooms, investments, property and other assets among their rightful heirs, when you are no longer alive to take care of them. In case you have minor children, a will allows you to make appropriate arrangements for them, so that they would want for nothing even when you are not around to fend for them. A will also minimizes the chances of any financial conflicts and disputes regarding your property distribution, among your surviving family members. In addition to this, if you are a person with a charitable bent of mind you can also appoint a part of your estate to be given away as donation for charity to such trusts and organizations.

Why do you need a lawyer to create a will?

Although, the basic concept of a will is pretty simple, it is the structure that needs you to seek legal advice for its proper documentation and execution. The fact that separate state laws specify different stipulates for what can or cannot be included in a will, makes it utmost essential to seek legal advice of a will attorney who can assist you in creating your will as per your state laws. Furthermore, there are other individual circumstance specific laws regarding who can be appointed as your wills executor, witness and your representative for managing your will. In some complex cases, you might need sound legal advice to handle the creation of your will, wherein you have minor children, or children from a divorced spouse or even in cases wherein you need to decide how to proceed with your will’s instruction if your named beneficiaries die before you.

In case you are looking for professional legal advice for creation of your will in the Volusia County region, you may visit the website https://www.simmslawfirm.com for setting up an appointment with few of the most proficient will attorneys in the state.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Greater Daytona Area Estate Planning Attorney

If you are a resident of the Daytona area or of Port Orange or of Volusia County or anywhere in the surrounding areas and need estate planning, look no further. There are plenty of registered law firms in these areas who can advise you regarding estate planning.

Daytona Beach Estate lawyerEstate planning is a way of ensuring that your family is taken care of and provided for even after you are gone. Simply put, it is the legal term used for planning what to do with your assets, property and other valuable belongings after your death.

The earlier you do the planning, the better it is. You would like to be in sound health and mind when you are doing it. You also get to decide who gets what. Properly planning an estate will take care of your taxes as well. Here is a beginner’s guide to estate planning.

Drafting and processing a will

You have to be very thorough when planning your will. A will must cover all your possessions and all sorts of bank and other accounts. Your pension or retirement account should have the name and information of the beneficiary and all other legalities sorted out. Your will should mention clearly who inherits what and how much allowance anyone receives.

A guardian or guardians will have to be appointed for your minor children (if there are any). If your children are too young, you will have to create a trust so that they do not get their share of the entire amount of money or property you are leaving behind for them. A trust ensures that your children continue to receive their inheritance in certain amounts till they reach adulthood or a certain age.

A will has to go through the probate process before it can be executed. The process involves the reading of the will and the time taken to hand over the inheritance to the appointed heirs. The time taken to complete this process can last between 6 months and a year.

Trusts

The probate process of the will can be avoided by creating a living trust. Trusts can have assets as well as money. Trusts take proper care of your estate till they are handed over. Different types of trusts can be created after the name of individual beneficiaries. You can have charitable trusts as well.

Taxes

You need to pay taxes for your planned estate as well. But taxes are not levied on all estates. If your estate is taxable, the taxes should begin to be paid 9 months after your death. But estate taxes keep on changing depending on the government’s policies. You should plan properly with your lawyer regarding ways of minimizing taxes and protecting your assets from taxation. Proper ways of meeting tax demands should also be mapped out.

If you are a resident of greater Daytona and need help regarding estate planning or understanding the laws related to it, do not hesitate to contact an estate planning lawyer in your area today.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Daytona Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy Law

Bankruptcy is a method where an individual or an organization that is neck deep in debt can request to be relieved from paying the debts. Or they can ask for a reorganization. But in order to do so they have to file for bankruptcy first.

Your bankruptcy lawyer will answer all your queries in detail and will also help you file for bankruptcy.  Some of the services offered by bankruptcy lawyers are as follows.

Help you decide if you should file for bankruptcy

The decision to file for bankruptcy is personal and depends on the individual. The lawyer will be able to help you decide if you should seek the protection of federal laws. Bankruptcy laws are federal laws. You will be informed by your lawyer if all the debts are dis-chargeable. Not all debts, such as the child support payments, are dis-chargeable or can be eliminated. The lawyer will explain all the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy.

Decide the right ‘Chapter’ for you

The Bankruptcy Code has several chapters to it. The Bankruptcy Code is a group of federal laws or statutes that need to be adhered to. The individual or organization filing for bankruptcy has to follow one of these chapters. The four most common chapters are 7, 13, 11 and 12 (in that order). Consumer and non consumer debts are differentiated under bankruptcy laws.

Chapter 7 –

An individual or a business can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 if they wish to ‘liquidate’ their debts. Doing so would cancel out all their debts and let them make a fresh start financially. Bankruptcy under Chapter 7 is also known as ‘straight’ bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 –

Any individual seeking a reorganization can file bankruptcy under Chapter 13. A reorganization means that the individual will try to repay the whole of the debt amount.

Chapter 11 –

Any business or company or corporation seeking a reorganization can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. They can do so only if they do not wish to liquidate or eliminate their debts.

Chapter 12 –

Any family business, say for example a family of farmers, can file bankruptcy under Chapter 12.

Bankruptcy laws fall under the jurisdiction and supervision of United States Bankruptcy Courts but are decided in the local bankruptcy court of the particular state. Florida has 3 bankruptcy courts. Even though bankruptcy is governed by federal laws, each local court has its own set of local rules to determine a case of bankruptcy.

If you are a resident of greater Daytona or your business is located here, and you need help regarding filing for bankruptcy or understanding the laws related to it, do not hesitate to contact a bankruptcy lawyer in your area today.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

 Volusia County Lawyer

If you are a resident of the Volusia County, Port Orange or the Greater Daytona area or anywhere in the surrounding areas, you should not worry about finding a lawyer. There are plenty of registered law firms in these areas who can advise you regarding various laws.

Today we will discuss about filing for bankruptcy in Volusia County. The steps included in filing for bankruptcy have been discussed here. Your bankruptcy lawyer will answer all your queries in detail and will also help you file for bankruptcy if you want them to do so.

Bankruptcy

8268391500_e15e941452_zBankruptcy is a method where an individual or an organization that is neck deep in debt can request to be relieved from paying the debts. Or they can ask for reorganization. But in order to do so they have to file for bankruptcy first. Bankruptcy filing has different steps involved in it.

Mandatory pre-filing credit counseling

Before you can file for bankruptcy you need to get a credit counseling session certificate. The session will provide you with all sorts of information regarding bankruptcy. You can get an opinion on your financial situation from the credit counselors. The session lasts for only 90 minutes. Once the session is complete you can file for bankruptcy.

Preparing your bankruptcy papers

You need to fill out bankruptcy forms. These forms will require details about your income, expenses, assets, and your current debts. Any loans taken against any collateral and how you intend to repay them will also have to be mentioned. Secured debts, such as property, also need to be mentioned.

Meeting with Trustee and Creditors (341 Meeting)

After you have filed your papers, you will have to meet court trustees within 20 to 40 days. The trustee will ask you questions regarding the information that you have provided in the forms. You will have to meet the creditors next. They will either object to the claims that you have made or will challenge the exemptions you have requested for. You can respond to these objections by either filing a motion (request) with the court or by responding to their objections with the help of a lawyer.

Mandatory “Debtor Education” Debt Management Course

After you have completed filing for bankruptcy, you will have to attend a compulsory Debt Management Course. Only when you have completed the ‘debtor education’, will you be handed over your ‘discharge’ certificate. The certificate will officially declare that you are in debt.

Bankruptcy laws fall under the jurisdiction and supervision of United States Bankruptcy Courts but are decided in the local bankruptcy court of the particular state. Florida has 3 bankruptcy courts. Even though bankruptcy is governed by federal laws, each local court has its own set of local rules to determine a case of bankruptcy.

If you are a resident of Volusia County or your business is located here, and you need help regarding filing for bankruptcy or understanding the laws related to it, do not hesitate to contact a bankruptcy lawyer in your area today.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Daytona Attorney at Law

More often than not, people who are on the lookout for an attorney, are those who are stuck in some critical life crisis, which leaves them drained out of the energy and the wisdom to deal with the situation sensibly. It is one of those times when you need someone who can truly understand your issues and make use of their experience and training to help resolve whatever it is that is bothering you.

An overview of your Daytona area Attorney

simmsPhotoAttorney Debra G. Simms is one such proficient lawyer, who has been awarded a Florida Bar certificate and specializes in Elder Law. She has been practicing law in Ohio ever since 1988. She moved to the state of Florida in 1996 and was granted the license to practice Florida specific state law in the year 1997. Simms has been practicing law with regard to several legal issues such as Medicaid Planning, Probate, Guardianship, Elder Law and Estate Planning, since 2007. Seven years later, in 2014, Simms was also granted the Board certification in Elder Law.

With a spectacular career spanning for more than two decades, Simms has established herself as one of the most competent and talented attorneys in the recent times. Her comprehensive experience and seasoned skills make her adept at dealing with a wide range of legal disputes, and resolving them with brilliant dexterity.

Legal Aid

All throughout the span of her career, Simms has been renowned for aiding several families and individuals with their legal issues. With her characteristic sensitivity, she is able to quickly assimilate the intricate details regarding the legal needs and intent of her clients, and is able to provide affordable and favorable results.

Simms has been dealing with a massive number of lawsuits including those focusing on Wills, Living Wills, trusts, advanced medical derivatives and also Power of attorney disputes. She has also been certified by the Florida Bar to practice as an arbitrator and a mediator.

Apart from her celebrated career in law across the state, Simms has also been actively instrumental in providing lectures and participating in community organizations pertaining to Elder Law, in the state of Florida. In addition to being a member of the National and Florida Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Simms is also presiding the Volusia County Bar Association’s Elder Law Section, as the chairperson.

Simms serves as a board member of the ARC Volusia, the Volusia/ Flagler Jewish Federation and even the Daytona Beach Symphony. Apart from reaching out to the ones in need in the real world, Simms has also created a virtual point of contact for the ease of approach. Her website provides extensive details of the services provided by her. The website aims at furnishing in-depth and comprehensive description of the various technicalities of the legal issues, and helps the user understand what exactly it is that he/she is faced with. It also helps the user gain insight about the various concerns that might arise in the due course of litigation, specific to his individual case.

If you are residing in Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Daytona and surrounding areas, and are looking for a reliable and experienced attorney, to help you fix your legal issues, you may visit the website and drop in a word for obtaining consultation.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Will vs Trust?

Most of us are aware of the terms ‘will’ and ‘trust’ as legal devices used to pass on your assets and property to your heir or beneficiaries. Both will and trust, are estate planning tools meant for distribution of property among beneficiaries. However, the chief difference between the two is that whereas a will comes into effect only when you die, the trust becomes effective as soon as it is created.

What is a will?

Florida Will lawyerA will is a legal document, created and signed by an individual, in the presence of witnesses, which lays guidelines for his property’s distribution after his death. It helps you define the details of your assets and name the beneficiaries whom you wish to benefit from them. The will also offers you the freedom to choose an executor who would manage the allocation of your assets and property after your demise. In the event of the absence of a will, the court has the right to appoint and administrator who would take charge of the distribution of our property. The will also allows you to specify a guardian to raise your children after your death. It is advisable to make a will for your children even if you are still a young parent. It helps appoint a guardian for them in the event of your untimely death, when they are still minors.

If a person dies without creating a will, he is said to have died ‘intestate’. In such cases the court decides upon the beneficiaries for the property and how it will be distributed among them as per the state laws. If an individual, who has already written down a will, is mentally or physically incapable of supervising his financial assets, the court has the right to appoint a guardian who would take charge of managing it for him.

After the death of an individual, his will is administered through a probate proceeding established by the state laws. The probate is a set of laws and proceedings that governs the procedure of execution of the will with the help of a lawyer or an attorney.

What is a trust?

It is a legal device, wherein an individual or a company is named as a trustee that takes care of, and manages the assets for the beneficiary. A trust mainly comprises of three parties namely the grantor, the trustee and the beneficiary. The grantor is the person who creates the trust for his own property and assets. A trustee holds and supervises the property for the grantor for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The beneficiary is the one that gets the benefits of the trust created by the grantor. Some states offer the provision to the grantor of naming himself as the trustee.

Unlike a will, the trust does not require to be administered through the probate process. In addition to this, if the grantor is unable to manage his assets, the trustee has complete right over its supervision without the involvement of court.

There are plenty of Law Firms in Florida that provide sound legal advice on the laws applicable to these will and trusts. If you live in in Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Daytona and surrounding areas, and are looking for legal solutions you may check out the website https://www.simmslawfirm.com/.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Contact Us

Port Orange Office:
Prestige Executive Center
823 Dunlawton Ave. Unit C
Port Orange, FL 32129
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667
New Smyrna Beach Office:
629 N. Dixie HWY
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667