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A well-thought-out estate plan gives you comfort and peace of mind as you approach your golden years. Yet, many people fail to create an estate plan — usually due to a lack of knowledge of the advantages of this legal instrument.

Read on to learn about the primary estate planning benefits and how a good estate plan can bring value to you and your family. To start building your estate plan, call (407) 574-8125 to schedule a consultation with an Orlando estate planning lawyer from our Family First Firm.

Who Benefits from an Estate Plan?

Estate planning safeguards your legacy and benefits you, your family members, your intended beneficiaries, and your business, if you have one.

Estate Planning Benefits You

Setting up an estate plan isn’t just about deciding what happens after you pass away: It’s also about making arrangements for your future healthcare needs. How will you pay for your nursing home stay? Who will make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t? Who will control your affairs if you become incapacitated? These and other healthcare planning questions are essential aspects of good estate planning.

According to Florida state law, the court will distribute your hard-earned money and other assets without an estate plan. Typically, your surviving spouse would be entitled to 50% of your assets, and your children would divide the rest equally. An estate plan lets you choose how to distribute your assets and add extra protections to secure your family’s financial future.

Estate planning and asset protection go hand in hand. A good estate plan preserves and protects your wealth from creditors, irresponsible heirs, judgment orders, excessive taxation, administrative and court fees, and various other liabilities. An experienced Orlando estate planning lawyer can recommend suitable asset protection strategies like insurance, business entities, or a revocable living trust.

Estate Planning Benefits Your Family

By planning the distribution of your assets in advance, you can secure your family’s future financial security and protect your loved ones from an excessive tax burden, debt, court fees, and other expenses. This is especially important if you have minor children or family members with special needs.

If you pass away without an estate plan, your heirs will likely have to contend with significant legal and financial uncertainty. Sadly, this often leads to strained relations between siblings fighting over their shares or distant relatives who feel entitled to a piece of your inheritance. A comprehensive estate plan helps avoid conflict family conflict.

Proper estate planning can help your estate avoid probate. The probate process is a legal procedure in which a special probate court reviews and validates your will to ensure you had full knowledge of its contents. Probate can be costly, complicated, and time-consuming. It’s also a public process that allows for little confidentiality. By placing some or all your assets in a trust, you can avoid probate and spare your loved ones from going through this process.

The more you plan, the less your family must worry about after you pass away. They will be able to focus on supporting each other instead of making difficult decisions about the future of your estate.

Estate Planning Benefits Your Business

If you own or are part of a business, an estate plan enables you to decide how the venture will continue after you pass away or can no longer work. For instance, you may pass on your company shares or position to a family member or business partner.

Is Estate Planning for the Wealthy?

Absolutely not. Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn’t just for the super-rich. You and your family can benefit from estate planning if you own any valuable assets, such as a home, a car or a truck, retirement accounts, insurance policies, an art collection, or even heirloom jewelry.

When Should You Start Estate Planning?

It’s never too early to start building your estate plan and enjoying estate planning benefits. Regardless of your age, an Orlando estate planning attorney can review your assets and recommend appropriate solutions for your needs.

Always By Your Side: Contact Family First Firm in Orlando, Florida, for Your Estate Planning

If you want to start developing your estate plan, our team at Family First Firm can help. We’re always by your side to provide simple yet creative legal solutions to protect your family’s legacy, so they don’t go broke in the nursing home. Our clients save hundreds of thousands of dollars in nursing home fees. Call (407) 574-8125 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.

ORLANDO, Florida—Elder law attorney Geoff Hoatson, CEO and Founder of Family First Firm®, the largest elder law firm in Florida, announces the release of his new book, Next Stop: Nursing Home, Get Help Paying for Long-Term Care…Even If They’re Already There. The 62-page paperback is now available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Speaking to the children of elderly parents, Hoastson wrote the book to dispel misconceptions many people have about the necessity of spending their parents’ entire life savings on nursing home care and inform readers about the Medicaid qualification process. Furthermore, the elder law attorney wants readers to know that even if an elderly parent already pays for a skilled nursing facility, they still have options.

Hoatson writes in the Introduction, “I hope that by reading this book, you will have confidence knowing when your loved one goes into a nursing home, it’s never too late to work with an experienced elder law attorney to protect everything. If you or someone you know is in this situation, you will find the information in this book invaluable.”

The author shares various anecdotes throughout the book about cases where he assisted clients through the development of legal strategies to achieve Medicaid eligibility. For example, one independent elderly couple living together in their home faced an unexpected setback when the husband’s medical event, subsequent surgery, and what was supposed to be a temporary stay in rehab to return home transformed into permanent residence in a skilled nursing facility. After meeting with Hoatson’s team and devising a plan, Medicaid paid the entirety of his nursing home bill while his wife kept her home and standard of living.

In another real-life scenario, Hoatson describes how he helped the adult children of a man who was part of the Greatest Generation. Although he hadn’t made much money, he saved everything and planned to give it all to his children according to the terms of his Will. Unfortunately, his dementia accelerated after a fall, necessitating long-term care in a nursing home. By the time this man’s children reached out to Hoatson and the Family First Firm, he had a little over $150,000 left, and would have depleted his savings in eighteen months, had his children not consulted an elder law attorney in Orlando. Hoatson reports that he and his team devised an effective strategy that resulted in Medicaid paying for the man’s care and the preservation of his financial legacy for his family.

“According to the Social Security Administration, almost 75% of Americans will use long-term care during their lifetime,” Hoatson says. “In 2022, the national average for the cost of this care was over $110,000 per year. I wrote this book for anyone who has a family member in their twilight years to inform them that they can protect their life savings and secure the care they need, even if they are already in a nursing home. It just might save their inheritance and give them peace of mind that their loved one won’t go broke in the nursing home. I hope readers find it useful.”

For more information, visit https://www.familyfirstfirm.com/. To purchase your copy of Next Stop: Nursing Home, Get Help Paying for Long-Term Care…Even If They’re Already There, click here.

About Family First Firm® - Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys

At Family First Firm®, our mission is to serve seniors and families throughout Central Florida to ensure we provide each and every client with peace of mind. We are always by your side as we prepare you and your estate to face an uncertain future with confidence. We can also assist you with all aspects of legal services for seniors and their families, not just Probate and Guardianship, but we can also assist with Estate Planning, Nursing Home Asset Protection, and Medicaid Planning. Our team is dedicated to helping as many families secure their futures to allow for more time to focus on what matters most.

For more information about how our firm can help you and your family, call us today at (407) 574-8125 to start planning your future and join the thousands of families we’ve helped in obtaining peace of mind.

Trusts are a critical component of an effective estate plan. There are different types of trusts for various purposes, and knowing what you want to accomplish with a trust before you establish one is vital. Below, we will discuss how to establish a trust in Florida.

At Family First Firm, we help our clients in Orlando, Florida, plan for their golden years while preparing to leave an enduring legacy for their families and loved ones. Read below to acquaint yourself with the processes and purposes for establishing a trust. Contact us today at (407) 574-8125 to schedule a consultation with our experienced Florida trust attorney team so you can explore your options.

Trusts are Established for Different Purposes

Before setting up a trust in Florida, you will want to identify your goals and prepare the right trust for your needs. You will then plan and coordinate with the appropriate people in mind. Two main types of trusts we prepare and their respective purposes include:

One or both of these trusts may apply to your family’s goals. Work with our experienced estate planning legal team to devise a plan that fits your unique needs.

People Involved in a Trust and Their Duties

A few parties are involved in creating and maintaining a trust, and sometimes one party will fulfill multiple roles per its purpose and strategy. The three parties are the grantor, the trustee, and the beneficiaries. In short, trusts transfer assets from the grantor to the trustee to benefit the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

The grantor (also known as the trustor or settlor) establishes the trust, usually in accordance with a strategic plan developed with the help of an estate planning attorney. The grantor transfers legal ownership of the assets to the trustee (a family member, a professional, or an institution) to benefit the beneficiary. Depending on the terms and purposes of the trust, the beneficiary may not have access to its assets for an extended period.

The trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the interests of the beneficiary in managing the trust. They are liable for damages if they act contrary to the beneficiary’s interests. The trustee is often compensated for managing the trust. Sometimes the grantor may also be the trustee, in which case a successor trustee may be chosen to fulfill the trustee role upon the death or incapacitation of the grantor.

Creating the Trust Agreement

The trust agreement is a document created by the grantor, which states the purpose of the trust, prescribes special rules per its purpose, and names the trustee and beneficiaries. It may also identify successor trustees. Essentially, the trust agreement specifies the terms of the trust.

The trust agreement may include the placement of assets into the trust in some cases, but that vital step often must be performed separately from the creation of the trust agreement. Work with a knowledgeable Florida trust attorney to determine the terms and necessary steps for your trust(s). Preparing this document is essential in establishing your trust, but writing a trust agreement does not create the trust itself.

Funding the Trust

A trust only actually exists once it is funded with assets. Funding involves transferring the legal ownership of assets into the trust based on the strategy and terms of the trust agreement. The time(s) at which your trust(s) should be funded will depend upon several factors, including the strategy you discuss with your estate planning attorney and the characteristics of a given trust.

Revocable Versus Irrevocable Trusts

Trusts can be categorized in various ways. One crucial distinction is revocable versus irrevocable. A revocable trust allows the grantor to modify the terms and remove assets that have been placed into the trust. In contrast, an irrevocable trust does not allow the grantor to reverse decisions to place assets into the trust; the terms of the trust apply as soon as it is funded with an asset. The Probate Protection Trust is a revocable trust, whereas the Family Fortress Trust is an irrevocable trust.

Testamentary Versus Living Trusts

Another point of distinction between types of trusts is testamentary versus living. A testamentary trust only transfers the assets into the trust after the grantor has died, and these are associated with a Last Will & Testament. In contrast, a living trust (or “inter vivos” trust) is funded with assets (in effect, becoming a trust) while the grantor is alive.

Work With An Experienced Florida Trust Attorney at Family First Firm in Orlando

To set up a trust in Orlando, Florida, you should identify your goals and strategize with the guidance of our experienced legal team. Whether you seek to protect yourself from the high expenses associated with nursing homes or prevent inheritances from being compromised in a probate process, trusts are a powerful tool to help you plan effectively.

Every trust is unique, and you need to coordinate the strategy and terms to fit your cohesive estate plan. Contact our team of trust attorneys at Family First Firm today to schedule a consultation by calling (407) 574-8125 or filling out our online form.

Always by your side

Whether you are addressing your own estate planning concerns or anticipating the processes involved for a loved one’s estate, it is vital to understand the steps for probate in Florida. People often perceive probate as inconvenient because it can be time-consuming and expensive. However, if someone passed away without having a trust, probate is a critical process for taking an appropriate inventory of assets in an estate and addressing creditors’ concerns before the property is distributed.

Read below to gain familiarity with these steps to help you pursue and protect your interests and those of your loved ones when navigating the probate process in Florida. Contact Family First Firm’s legal team at (407) 574-8125 today to schedule a consultation.

Understanding Your Goals and Expectations for the Probate Process in Florida

The probate process will govern the appointment of an executor (called a “personal representative” in Florida), determine the validity of a Will, assess creditors’ claims, and then distribute the remaining property to heirs and beneficiaries according to the terms of the Will. What if the decedent does not have a Will? In that case, the Florida Statutes will divide the property in probate, where Florida’s intestacy laws will usually give preference to the decedent’s surviving spouse or closest heirs. However, you should never plan to rely on the probate process without preparing a Will to direct it.

Probate processes will follow the formal property distribution procedures unless the decedent’s estate assets qualify for abbreviated procedures such as Summary Administration, which is limited to estates in Florida below $75,000 in value. Ask your Orlando probate lawyer if you believe the estate may qualify for an abbreviated probate procedure.

The Personal Representative Nominated in the Will Remains Involved Throughout The Probate Process in Florida

The decedent’s Will should nominate a Personal Representative to serve throughout the probate process. If a Will does not specify a Personal Representative or circumstances do not allow the designated person to serve, the probate Judge will choose a Personal Representative.

The Personal Representative will meet with the Florida Probate Attorney in a conference to collect and organize essential documents in preparation for filing. These documents may include the decedent’s Last Will and Testament, financial statements, life insurance policies, real estate deeds, and evidence of debts the decedent may have owed.

Filing Documents With The Probate Court & Notifying Beneficiaries

The Personal Representative will file a petition for administration with the probate court, an order admitting the Will to probate, an acceptance as Personal Representative, and the collected documents. At this point, the probate process begins. The Personal Representative also sends notification that probate is underway to any surviving spouse, beneficiaries, the estate trust’s trustee and beneficiaries, and others who may inherit property.

Using Letters of Administration To Open An Estate Account in FL

Before the probate can proceed, the Florida probate court has to issue letters of administration. The Personal Representative then uses these documents to open an estate account with a bank to deposit estate assets until probate has determined how they will be distributed.

Issuing Notice To Creditors That They May File Claims With The Probate Court in FL

Next, the decedent’s creditors are given notice that a probate proceeding has begun for the estate. These creditors can file claims with the probate court, which the estate administrator may pay or dispute. Florida has a statute of limitations of two years following the decedent’s death, and new claims can be barred three months after creditors receive a notification.

Note that an effective estate plan should anticipate this step, and strategies exist to protect many types of assets from loss to creditors. Discuss any concerns regarding susceptible assets with your attorney.

Placing Proceeds Into The Estate Account & Paying Final Estate Taxes

Property in the decedent’s name can be sold. Assets or accounts in the name of the decedent can likewise be liquidated, and the money is placed into the estate account. Once the proceeds are deposited, the Personal Representative must prepare a final income tax return that accounts for estate taxes and all other applicable taxes.

Final Accounting of The Estate & Communication To Beneficiaries

After the above concerns are addressed, the Personal Representative has to uphold their fiduciary duty with a final accounting of the estate that provides details on the assets in the estate, distributions, the fee paid to the Personal Representative, and other probate costs. The Personal Representative can be subject to a lawsuit if they do not uphold their fiduciary duty to act in the interest of the beneficiaries.

Distribution of Assets, Discharge of The Personal Representative, and Close of the Estate Proceeding

Following the estate's final accounting, the beneficiaries must agree on a plan to distribute the assets according to the decedent’s Will. After the assets are distributed, the Personal Representative can be officially discharged by the Florida probate court, and the estate proceeding is closed.

Consult an Experienced Probate Legal Team in Orlando, FL, that has Your Family’s Interests as its First Priority

Probate in Florida is a complicated process with heavy implications for the decedent's heirs, beneficiaries, and other loved ones. It is essential to prepare for the costs and risks to assets that may be associated with creditors’ claims and the probate process itself, and nomination of a Personal Representative in coordination with the preparation of a Last Will and Testament is a task that should involve an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning and probate attorney.

Every estate and probate proceeding is different, and you should prepare by assessing the concerns about the estate in question. Don’t search for “probate law firms near me” in and around Orlando, Florida. Contact our team of probate attorneys at Family First Firm today to schedule a consultation by calling (407) 574-8125 or filling out our online form.

Always by your side

Copyright © 2023. Family First Firm - Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys. All rights reserved.

If you have a physical condition that prevents you from working in Florida, then you may be wondering whether that condition would qualify as a “disability” that would make you eligible for Social Security benefits. The SSDI program uses a strict definition of disability that incorporates not only your ability to perform work, but also how long you are projected to be disabled. Short-term and partial disability are not eligible for SSDI benefits.

At Family First Firm, we help our clients and their families in Orlando, FL prepare for a bright future and an enduring legacy. If you or a loved one have worked for many years and can no longer do so due to long-term injuries or chronic conditions, then you should explore your eligibility to qualify for benefits. Schedule a free consultation with a Social Security Disability attorney at our firm by calling us at (407) 574-8125 today.

Examples of Conditions that May Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits in FL

The following medical conditions have been known to often meet the eligibility requirements for SSDI benefits in the past:

To qualify under Social Security rules, you must not be able to do work and engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) due to your medical condition, you must not be able to do the work you previously did or adjust to other work because of that condition, and the condition has either lasted more than a year, is expected to last for at least one year, or is expected to lead to your death.

It is important to understand that additional factors will come into play when determining whether you are to be designated as disabled by the Social Security Administration. Your work history will need to be assessed to determine whether you would qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. You should speak with a Social Security Disability attorney at our firm if you suffer from any of the above conditions.

How Do Work Credits and Age Factor Into Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Your previous work will be measured in credits, and the amount of work needed to earn a credit varies each year. You can earn up to four credits each year. For example, in 2022 one work credit is earned for each $1,510 earned, so $6,040 would earn the four credits for that year.

Both how much you have worked and how recently you have worked will impact your eligibility for SSDI benefits. Applicants must meet a recent work test and a duration work test.

In the majority of cases, 40 work credits are needed to qualify for disability benefits, with 20 of those credits earned in the past 10 years (up to the beginning of your disability). However, younger workers may require fewer credits to qualify. Discuss your work history in relation to your disability condition with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney at our firm by scheduling a free assessment.

How To Qualify Your Condition for Social Security Disability Benefits

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, your medical condition must meet Social Security’s strict definition of disability, and you must have worked in jobs that are covered by Social Security. Your application would include a review of your medical history in addition to a review of your work history.

In the majority of cases, qualifying SSDI benefit recipients are unable to work for at least a year due to their disability, and those benefits continue until these individuals are able to work regularly. Additional benefits and health care coverage can also incentivize and assist during a recipient’s transition when returning to work.

Understanding SSI Versus SSDI in Florida

While Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides support to disabled individuals who have a history of work that qualifies them for the program, An SSDI applicant’s work credits accumulate to affect SSDI benefit eligibility. In contrast, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program providing minimum basic financial assistance to both older adults and disabled individuals of any age when their income and resources are very limited.

State programs are often used in addition to SSI benefits to supplement aid to SSI recipients. It is possible to qualify for both SSI and SSDI benefits under some circumstances.

How An Experienced Florida Social Security Disability Attorney at Family First Firm in Orlando, FL Can Help You

If you should qualify for SSDI benefits, then our experienced Social Security Disability attorney team is here to help you apply. Denials are very common, and we can help you to appeal a decision if you should be eligible.

Contact Family First Firm today to schedule a consultation by calling (407) 574-8125 or filling out our online form. We can explore your eligibility, coordinate your application, and manage your appeal, if necessary. Always by your side

Are you confused about how to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries after you pass away? Curious about your options? We can help. Our estate planning attorneys provide families with simple, creative legal solutions at Family First Firm. Read on to learn the benefits of setting up a trust in your estate plan. Then contact our estate planning attorneys in Florida to begin the process of creating a trust.

As we discuss in more detail below, you have two primary options concerning the distribution of your assets: a will or a trust. These tools can dictate your plans for your estate and who will receive specific assets. However, creating a trust offers several benefits over a will that many people fail to realize.

Trusts Can Avoid Probate

One of the primary benefits of trusts over wills is that trusts can avoid probate.

When you create a will to dictate your plans for your estate, your family members will need to go through probate, which is the legal process of validating the will. Unfortunately, the probate process can take time and create more stress on your family members as they grieve your death while closing the estate.

However, when you place assets in a trust with specific directions about their beneficiaries, your family members can receive their assets directly without needing to go through probate. Consequently, they can close your estate and receive their assets faster.

Trusts May Provide Tax Benefits

In some cases, trusts can allow for tax benefits that your family members would not receive through the traditional probate process.

When you transfer assets into an irrevocable trust, the contributions within the trust may be subject to gift tax requirements while you are alive. However, if the assets in the trust do not transfer out until after your death, they may be exempt from estate tax.

Additionally, you may be able to make an annual gift to your irrevocable trust exempt from gift taxes. The annual gift tax exclusion in 2022 is $16,000. As a result, transferring assets under this limit can allow them to avoid the gift tax.

Creating an irrevocable trust with the help of an "estate planning attorney near me" can ensure that it meets specific conditions to allow for tax benefits.

Trusts Offer More Privacy

When you create a will, it must go through probate, and the contents will become public record. As a result, anyone who wants to know how you have distributed your assets can easily obtain this information. Depending on the contents of your will, this information may lead to conflicts after your death.

However, trusts offer more privacy than wills because they do not go through probate and never become public record. Only your beneficiaries will know what assets you hold in the trust and how much they will receive after your death.

Trusts Provide More Control Over Your Assets

Trusts also allow for greater control over the assets you give to beneficiaries.

When you create a will, your property and assets will transfer to your beneficiaries after you die. However, you cannot control when they receive these assets or what they do with them.

However, trusts allow for more specific instructions about their assets and beneficiaries. For example, you can specify that beneficiaries receive assets on certain birthdays or once they reach certain milestones. You can also dictate how a beneficiary should use the assets in the trust, for example, to create a nonprofit organization.

Your trust attorney can help you structure your trust correctly to uphold your specific wishes for your property and assets after your death.

Trusts Allow For Greater Flexibility

Depending on the type of trust you create, you can benefit from greater flexibility within a trust than a will.

The two main types of trusts are revocable and irrevocable trusts. A revocable trust allows for changes within your lifetime. However, you cannot alter irrevocable trusts.

When you create a revocable trust, you can alter the assets and beneficiaries within the trust as necessary to ensure that it stays up to date with your changing needs and desires.

Additionally, creating a trust instead of a will can allow for more flexibility when your beneficiaries live outside of Florida. Instead of going through probate in their own state, your beneficiaries can directly receive the assets in the trust.

Trusts Can Provide Funds During Illness — Not Just Death

When you create a trust, you can establish specific circumstances in which your beneficiaries would receive the assets. For example, you can allow the trustee to make distributions if you become ill or disabled and unable to manage your assets. Your beneficiaries can use these funds to pay for medical bills and other expenses.

If you're considering a trust instead of a will, our estate planning attorney team can help. Contact the Family First Firm today at (407) 574-8125 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation. We are always by your side.

The U.S. population is aging. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 55 million Americans are over 65. As we age and life expectancies grow longer, our loved ones often face complex challenges related to health issues, increasing medical bills, and asset protection.

At Family First Firm, we are always by your side to help you navigate complicated issues and situations. This article will answer several of the most common questions we receive in our practice. We invite you to call us today at (407) 574-8125 to discuss your family’s unique needs.

What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?

Elder law attorneys serve as advocates for the elderly, as well as for their loved ones. There is a wide range of services that fall under the elder law umbrella, including:

Why Would I Need an Elder Law Attorney?

Working with an elder law firm can help ensure that you or a loved one can enjoy the golden years with a sense of independence and financial freedom. Having finances in order and planning for long-term care can prevent financial uncertainty and avoid expensive crisis management.

Elder law attorneys are particularly helpful in situations where a client will be residing in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Without adequate planning, an elderly person is at risk of having their entire nest egg drained in a relatively short period.

The likelihood of someone over 65 needing long-term care is currently 70%. With the average annual nursing home cost of $121,908 for a private room in Florida, it is prudent for families to plan for these inevitabilities.

Does Medicare Cover Nursing Homes?

Typically, Medicare does not cover long-term nursing home care. Though Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, and home health care, any nursing home care is limited to shorter-term visits.

Paying out-of-pocket for nursing home care is common, but an elder law attorney can explore your options and plan for care that won’t drain your resources. At Family First Firm, we save our clients an average of $250,000 in nursing home fees.

When Should I Seek the Services of an Elder Law Attorney in Orlando?

Our typical clients are Baby Boomers and the younger end of the Greatest Generation, also known as the World War II Generation. It is often the relatives of our clients who reach out for assistance. Kids, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews want to ensure that the people they love are protected later in life. An elder law attorney aims to achieve that security and protection.

To summarize, if you have a loved one approaching age 65, contact an experienced elder law attorney at Family First Firm for a consultation. We can help you better understand the issues your loved one will face and begin working towards effective strategies that can prevent difficulties in the years ahead.

What is the Difference Between Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney?

When someone has decision-making authority and can act on your behalf, they are said to have power of attorney. This person is an agent who has been assigned to handle your financial affairs through a legal agreement called a power of attorney, which takes effect when you can no longer manage your finances independently.

The power of attorney agreement will have terms indicating the range of influence that the agent has, along with specifications of what triggers that decision-making authority to go into effect and when it can be revoked.

A general power of attorney (often referred to as power of attorney) keeps the option for the principal to assign and revoke the agreement at any time. Therefore, the power of attorney arrangement lasts until the principal revokes it, dies, or becomes incapacitated. Death or incapacitation cancels the agreement because these circumstances negate the principal’s ability to enforce a power of attorney.

As the term suggests, a durable power of attorney can continue beyond incapacitation. A durable power of attorney is common in situations where the principal has Alzheimer’s Disease or another cognitive condition that prevents them from managing the legal and financial aspects. The principal chooses an agent to make decisions regarding healthcare on their behalf.

Contact Our Florida Elder Law Attorneys in Orlando and Altamonte Springs

If you have an elderly parent or loved one, you need to take steps to plan now so you can optimize the situation for both your loved one and your family. Don’t bother searching for “elder law attorney near me” in Orlando or Altamonte Springs. Contact our Family First Firm team today so we can explore your options and begin planning.

In addition to saving our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in nursing home fees, we are also available to meet within 24 hours. You can reach us at (407) 574-8125 or fill out our online form. Family First Firm — Always by your side.

ORLANDO, Florida — Geoff Hoatson, Esq., CEO and Founder of Family First Firm®, specializing in all things elder law, announces a free online webinar, 5 Costly Mistakes People Make When Creating An Estate Plan. The webinar is for anyone who:

  1. Is just getting started with estate planning
  2. Questions if they need an estate plan
  3. Wants to update an existing Will or Trust

Regardless of each individual’s situation, the free webinar will help them determine their next steps to achieve the peace of mind that comes from securing the future for themselves and their families. During the presentation, Hoatson will cover three vital factors:

  1. Necessary documents
  2. Costly mistakes he’s seen people make
  3. Actionable next steps

His goal is to demystify estate planning and help people consider all relevant factors to establish an estate plan that fulfills their wishes and protects their families. “In my experience, I’ve seen people make many costly mistakes that they could have avoided if only they had the right information,” says Hoatson. “I created this free online webinar to highlight these mistakes and explain how to create an estate plan that meets your unique needs. Everyone has different goals, but by watching the webinar, they will better understand the documents they need and the steps they must take to ensure future security for themselves and their loved ones. At Family First Firm®, we help our clients make choices with confidence. I encourage any Floridian over 18 to join me for this free webinar to learn more about estate planning.”

The webinar is free, but registration is required. Click here to reserve your place.

About Family First Firm® - Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys

At Family First Firm®, our mission is to serve seniors and families throughout Central Florida to ensure we provide each and every client with peace of mind. We are always by your side as we prepare you and your estate to face an uncertain future with confidence. We can also assist you with all aspects of legal services for seniors and their families, not just Probate and Guardianship, but we can also assist with Estate Planning, Nursing Home Asset Protection, and Medicaid Planning. Our team is dedicated to helping as many families secure their futures to allow for more time to focus on what matters most.

For more information about how our firm can help you and your family, call us today at (407) 574-8125 to start planning your future and join the thousands of families we’ve helped in obtaining peace of mind.

(ORLANDO, Florida) Employees from Family First Firm are raising donations for the Alzheimer’s Association. They will participate as the Always By Your Side Team in the Greater Orlando 2022 Walk To End Alzheimer’s, which will take place on Saturday, October 8th, at Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando.

The outdoor event at 195 Rosalind Avenue in Lake Eola Park will begin with a registration period at 7:30 AM, and a ceremony at 9:00 AM before thousands of participants walk in support of people who live with Alzheimer’s. Family First Firm will also be operating the Pet Palace at the site of the event to ensure all furry friends stay hydrated and enjoy snacks for the big event.

Community members are strongly encouraged to support the Walk to End Alzheimer’s by registering to walk in the event and donating through the Always By Your Side team page to help them reach their $5,000 donation goal. This effort will contribute toward the event’s goal of $500,000 for all of Greater Orlando. Every dollar raised benefits the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association in the community and beyond.

“Many of our clients consist of elderly people and their families, and Alzheimer’s affects a substantial percentage of that demographic. The Walk To End Alzheimer’s in Downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola Park is an excellent opportunity to step up and make a difference for Greater Orlando’s families dealing with Alzheimer’s both now and in the future, as we work towards eventually beating this debilitating disease,” said Family First Firm Business Development Manager and Always By Your Side Team Captain, Yelitza Rivera.

Greater Orlando 2022 Walk To End Alzheimer

Family First Firm Founder & CEO, Geoff Hoatson, along with the growing Always By Your Side team roster will be active participants at the Lake Eola Park event. Community members are encouraged to share the donation link and help to spread the word among friends, family, and colleagues before joining the team in person at what promises to be a fun, positive, and supportive Saturday morning event at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando.

About Walk to End Alzheimer’s ®

Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, Walk to End Alzheimer's is the world's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support, and research.

Across the nation, the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's® is full of flowers, each carried by someone committed to ending this disease. Participants raise funds and awareness for a breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's and all other dementia.

To support Walk to End Alzheimer’s, individuals can find a Team or a Participant or sign up as a Team Captain. Participants can then begin fundraising and sharing the information online through social media and tools like Facebook Fundraisers and the Walk mobile app. On the day of a participant’s local Walk event, community members come together for an inspiring show of support and commitment to the cause of ending Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association closely monitors CDC, state, and local guidelines to ensure Walk events adhere to the latest recommendations.

To learn more about Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit https://act.alz.org/walk.

About the Alzheimer’s Association ®

The Alzheimer’s Association® is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Founded in 1980 by a group of family caregivers and individuals interested in research, the Association includes our home office in Chicago, a public policy office in Washington, D.C., and a presence in communities across the country.

An estimated 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia. In the United States alone, more than 6 million have Alzheimer’s, and over 11 million are providing unpaid care. The Association addresses this crisis by providing education and support to the millions who face dementia every day while advancing critical research toward methods of treatment, prevention, and, ultimately, a cure.

For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

About Family First Firm - Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys

At Family First Firm, our mission is to serve seniors and families throughout Central Florida to ensure we provide each and every client with peace of mind. We are always by your side as we prepare you and your estate to face an uncertain future with confidence. We can also assist you with all aspects of legal services for seniors and their families, not just Probate and Guardianship, but we can also assist with Estate Planning, Nursing Home Asset Protection, and Medicaid Planning. Our team is dedicated to helping as many families secure their futures to allow for more time to focus on what matters most.

For more information about how our firm can help you and your family, call us today at (407) 574-8125 to start planning your future and join the thousands of families we’ve helped in obtaining peace of mind.

For more on Family First Firm, visit https://www.familyfirstfirm.com.

ORLANDO, Florida – Geoff Hoatson, Attorney, Founder, and Owner of the Family First Firm – Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys, an Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection Law Firm in Orlando, Florida, is pleased to announce that Haley Hestbeck has joined the team as a Guardianship and Probate Attorney. “We are thrilled to welcome Haley to the firm,” says Hoatson. “As a leader, you look for certain qualities in all new hires. Our firm seeks individuals with exceptional intellect, a strong work ethic, and integrity. Haley excels in each of these categories. We also find it important that anyone we hire embodies our core values, such as client experience, relentless optimism, and doing the right thing. I have high expectations for her in the years ahead and am thrilled that she has joined our team.”

Haley Hestbeck was born and raised in Orlando and is a proud Double Gator. Hestbeck received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida in 2016 with a major in anthropology and a minor in communication studies. She then continued her studies in Gainesville and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Hestbeck was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2019 and returned to Orlando, where she began her legal career at a small firm focusing on estate planning, probate, and guardianship matters, helping clients prepare for their own futures and manage the estates of their loved ones.

“I joined the Family First Firm because I believe in the firm’s mission of always being by the client’s side through the entirety of the estate planning and administration process. I am excited to be part of the Family First Firm team and look forward to guiding clients through their guardianship and probate needs,” says Hestbeck.

Outside of practicing law, Hestbeck enjoys spending time with her spouse, playing with their two dogs, Lulu and Kyba, and traveling with her family.

About Family First Firm – Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys

At Family First Firm, our mission is to serve seniors and families throughout Central Florida to ensure we provide each and every client with peace of mind. We are always by your side as we prepare you and your estate to face an uncertain future with confidence. We can also assist you with all aspects of legal services for seniors and their families, not just Probate and Guardianship, but we can also assist with Estate Planning, Nursing Home Asset Protection, and Medicaid Planning. Our team is dedicated to helping as many families secure their futures to allow for more time to focus on what matters most.

For more information about how our firm can help you and your family, call us today at (407) 574-8125 to start planning your future and join the thousands of families we’ve helped in obtaining peace of mind.

Our Locations

Orlando Office

Family First Firm - Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys

1901 W Colonial Dr,
Orlando, FL 32804

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Altamonte Springs Office

Family First Firm - Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys
By Appointment Only

715 Douglas Ave Suite# 40,
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

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