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.

Florida Probate Law

FL Probate LawThe probate is a process supervised by the court, which deals with transferring the property of the deceased to its legal heir. As per law, the assets are first used to pay the expenses of the probate proceedings, then to pay off any outstanding debts on the decedent and the balance is then distributed among his heirs or beneficiaries.

The probate process varies from state to state. Florida too has its specific probate rules that define the guidelines for the process in the state. There are three ways in which you can file a probate in the state of Florida.

Transferring assets without probate

In case the deceased left behind a very small fortune, the beneficiaries are allowed to inherit the property without any probate proceedings. If the beneficiary has paid all of the final expenses of the decedent such as final illness and funeral costs, he has the right to get reimbursed for the same from the deceased property, provided the two qualifications are met:

  • The decedent’s property does not involve any real estate.
  • The fortune left by the deceased is not being claimed by the creditors for paying of any outstanding debts and is not exceeding the amount of the final expenses paid by the beneficiary.

To avail the reimbursement, the beneficiary is required to fill a ‘Disposition of Personal Property without Administration’ form that is available on the websites of several circuit courts of Florida. You are also required to submit itemized receipts and bills corresponding to the medical expenses that you have made in the final 6 months of the decedents life and also for his funeral.

Transferring assets by Summary Administration

The beneficiary is qualified for this type of probate, if the decedent had died at least two years back or the value of the probate estate (excluding the non probate property) is not more than $75,000.  The non probate property can be distinguished as:

  • Assets that are attributed to a living trust.
  • Property jointly held by a couple, such as a joint savings account, or a house that had shared tenancy by both of them.
  • An asset that has already been designated to the beneficiary for example a life insurance policy.

The law requires the beneficiary to fill up a ‘Petition for Summary Administration’ form and testify that there are no outstanding debts against the property.

Transferring assets through Formal Administration

A regular probate proceeding involves the beneficiary filing a claim petition to the deceased property, in the local circuit court. The court issues ‘Letters of Administration’ to the representative of the estate. The Florida probate rules state that the beneficiary is also required to hire a lawyer or an attorney unless he is the one and only beneficiary of the property. The property is then distributed as per the clauses in the will left by the decedent. However, in the event of the absence of a will, the Florida intestacy law has the right to determine how the property would be distributed among the beneficiaries.

Florida as a state has also set out statutory fee scales for the lawyers involved in the proceedings of a probate, making it easier for the people to estimate the legal expenses of such a proceeding. For proficient legal advice in Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Daytona and surrounding areas, visit 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.

Florida Probate Law

The state of the Florida does not necessary require you to hire a probate lawyer for the legal proceedings of the decedent’s property distribution. Probating a will is a task that requires a huge amount of paperwork or administrative litigation which is best left for a lawyer or an attorney to handle. The dual task of validating and executing a will, is quite complex in terms of legalities and might not be feasible for a layman to deal with. It is therefore advised that you hire a probate lawyer for handling the legal proceeding of a probate will.

Proving the validity of a will

Florida Probate LawyerIn most states, the will filed with an affidavit notarized by the witnesses, is termed as ‘self proving’ and does not require a lot of legal guidance from a lawyer. However in some cases, the adequacy of the will may be questionable as per the state laws. The state laws along with the Uniform Probate Code, specifies the baseline criteria for the framework and content of the probate will. They also lay down the guidelines for adequacy of the witnesses provided for the will. The law also specifies that a more recent will would always be considered over its older version. If the beneficiary encounters any such disputes regarding the validity of the probate will, it is advisable for him to take up the case with a probate lawyer.

Complex family or financial situations

In some cases there are considerable family disputes with reference to the will of a decedent that may lead to expensive lawsuits and court battles. It is always tactical to hire a probate lawyer to deal with such disagreements and prevent any legal wars in the family. There might be some other complex situations in the family too, that might require you to take the help of a lawyer. Some of the family complexities might be a second marriage, a disabled family member, minor children, a recent divorce, or a spouse’s demise. There might also be financial situations that might require you to hire a lawyer for example, a taxable estate or property in more than one state. Given such circumstances, it is always judicious to acquire legal guidance from a probate lawyer who would know the legalities in and out.

Administration of the will

The most important part of a probate will is its adequate execution and property allocation as per the instructions laid down in it. In some cases, if the property left by the deceased is nominal or held in joint tenancy with the beneficiary, the will can be executed without probate. However, there might be cases where the estate is extensive and extremely complicated in legal terms. For example, the property might be a combination of commercial real estate or a running business. In such cases, it is always helpful to take legal aid from the experts.

It is not mandatory for you to hire probate lawyers for your will proceedings. However, to avoid any future hassles or disputes, you are advised to take legal consultation for dealing with the complexities of the litigation involved.

If you are looking for extremely competent and proficient Law firms in Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Daytona and surrounding areas 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.

Florida Power of Attorney Help

power of attorneyAt the law firm run by Debra G. Simms and her team of experienced and qualified lawyers, you will be sure to get the best in legal and paralegal services from drafting of important legal documents like wills, living wills, different types of trust deeds, powers of attorney, probates, estate planning, guardianship and elder law services, and much more.

Debra runs her legal services from three offices in different locations in the state of Florida. The first office is located at Prestige Executive Center, 823 Dunlawton Ave. Unit C, Port Orange, FL 32129. The second office is located at 629 N. Dixie FW, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168. She and her team work Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm and can be reached on their toll, fax and landline numbers.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a document wherein one person called the principal who is the maker of the document grants certain general or special rights or powers to another person called the agent to do or not to do certain legal acts or deeds for and on behalf of the principal. This agent is given authorization from the principal to act in a certain way for and on behalf of the principal when the principal cannot be physically present at a certain place at a stipulated time. The extent of powers granted by the principal to the agent will depend on what is outlined in the deed of power of attorney. It will also explain in detail the rights, liabilities, duties and obligations of the agent while he is acting for and on behalf of the principal.

What are the different types of power of attorney?

There are two types of powers of attorney – general and special. A general power of attorney is one where the agent has the right to do all the legal acts with respect to a certain job or deed in a broad perspective. For example, the agent is authorized via POA to sell a property A of the principal. A general POA will grant the agent all rights to do all acts, things, and deeds for and on behalf of the principal with respect to the selling of the property A.

A special power of attorney relates to the performance of only certain acts, things or deeds and is more limited in the scope of powers than a general power of attorney. The agent’s powers are restricted only to the performance of certain acts or deeds, such as the performance or execution of a contract, or representing the principal before the regulatory authorities only on one occasion or one personal hearing.

A durable power of attorney is another type of POA wherein the agent can still act for and on behalf of the principal even after he becomes incapacitated. However, the POA must state the same clearly in words.

The principal and agent must be of sound mind and must understand the terms and conditions of the POA deed before signing. Both parties the principal and the agent must be competent to contract.

Visit Debra G. Simms law firm and her team of qualified experts to get your deed of power of attorney drafted in compliance with the laws of the state of Florida while understanding all the legal implications of a POA.

To contact 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