Taking Care of You and Others

Last Will & Testament

Durable Power of Attorney

Last Will & Testament

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The Last Will is a legal document that memorializes how you wish to divide assets that are in your name (and not co-owned with another).  Last wills can - and should - be changed whenever you have a significant change in your life. 


If a person does NOT have a Will, then Florida law dictates how things get distributed upon death.  This can lead to unintended results, so it is important to have a Will & Testament.  


Online programs exist and allow you to download forms, BUT many unfortunately do not provide correct and necessary language. 

Living Will

Durable Power of Attorney

Last Will & Testament

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Unlike the Last Will & Testament, the "Living Will" is a document that is read at the very end of your life and expresses your wishes when you have no voice, to say whether you want life-prolonging procedures used to sustain your life if two physicians determine there is no chance of recovery when you are in a persistent, incapacitated, terminal end-stage medical condition.

No advocate or agent is designated.  Instead, this document is included in medical records to inform your physician and family members, who must honor your wishes and decision outlined in the Living Will.

Durable Power of Attorney

Durable Power of Attorney

Durable Power of Attorney

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The Durable Power of Attorney (DPA) is a document that names and appoints someone you trust as an "attorney in fact" (agent) to act on your behalf.  The document lists the acts the agent is authorized to do.  


The authority (power) granted can be limited or broad.  The power typically includes the authority to take care of your finances, do estate and gift planning, and handle long term care planning.


The DPA can become effective quickly without the need of court approval or any supervision.  The DPA remains valid until it is revoked or until the client is adjudged incompetent with certain exceptions under the law.

Health Care Surrogate

Guardianships and Pre-Need Guardians

Durable Power of Attorney

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The "Health Care Surrogate" document names someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf. It is signed in advance, in case you become seriously injured or seriously ill in the future and cannot make your own medical decisions.


Doctors will honor this document and will honor your health care surrogate's decisions made on your behalf.  


Also, you may list certain medical procedures that you do not wish to have performed.

Guardianships and Pre-Need Guardians

Guardianships and Pre-Need Guardians

Guardianships and Pre-Need Guardians

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Regardless of age, Guardianships sometimes are necessary for those who become incapacitated and unable to manage their own affairs.  Ms. Emery represents those who are alleged to be incapacitated (the "AIP").  For help with any guardianship matter, please contact the office.   

In addition, a Pre-Need Guardianship Designation is a document that names a trusted person to serve as a guardian of you (in the event you become incapacitated) or of a minor child(ren) in the event the parent dies or becomes incapacitated and incapable of caring for the child(ren).  

By naming your person, you prevent the Court from appointing a stranger or undesirable person to serve as a guardian under such circumstances.

Remember Your Pets

Guardianships and Pre-Need Guardians

Guardianships and Pre-Need Guardians

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A Pet Care Plan may be created to provide for the care of your pet(s) that are alive during your lifetime.    


Ms. Emery works diligently to make the necessary and appropriate plans to give clients a peace of mind that pet(s) will continue to receive the same level of health care, diet, comfort, housing, and attention should a sudden accident, illness or death occur, making it too difficult for you to continue to care for your pet(s) either temporarily or permanently. 

Pet Care Plan Packages - Prices

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Bare Bones Special

Detailed Pet Instruction Manual for Pet Guardian

Certificate for Pet Guardian

Bare Bones Special with Trust

This package includes a Trust, which is a binding legal document that has "teeth." 

This package includes: 

Legal Consultation Fee

Detailed Pet Instructions for Pet Guardian

Pet Care Trust Document 

Certificate for Pet Guardian

Deluxe Fur Coat Coverage (Human/Pet Combo)

This package is one of the best deals in town protecting you AND your pet.

It includes:

Legal Consultation Fee

Pet Power of Attorney

Detailed Pet Instructions for Pet Guardian

Certificate for Pet Guardian

PLUS 5 documents for YOU, the human:

1) Living Will

2) Power of Attorney for you

3) Health Care Surrogate

4) Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian

5) HIPAA Release Form

FAQs

1)  Q:  Does it cost extra if I have more than one pet?  

A.  Only if there are more than 2 pets,.  Then there is a charge of a 10% fee for each pet from the third one on.

2)  Are there any discounts offered?

A.  Yes, at this time, discounts are offered to those who sign in at my booth at events, to military members and to government employees.

3) Is a Trust necessary?  

A.  Although a Pet Trust helps to ensure the Guardian will care for your pet, it is not a guarantee, and it is complex.  There are other measures that exist.  Let's talk to see what will work best for you.

Probate administration

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Summary and Formal Administration

Caroline Emery also represents Personal Representatives.  She is familiar with the appropriate papers to be filed and the highly technical procedures required in Probate Court.


A Personal Representative must hire an attorney admitted to practice in Florida unless the Personal Representative is the SOLE beneficiary of the estate, according to the Florida Probate Rules.


When a person ("decedent") dies, the assets are distributed through Probate Court if the assets were owned solely by the decedent.  If the assets were jointly held, were with a beneficiary designation, or in a Trust with a beneficiary designation, they will pass automatically to the joint account holder or to the beneficiary because there is no need to prove, or probate, these assets.  All other assets require the Probate Court to determine title or ownership.


If the person died with a valid will (legally referred to as dying “testate”), the assets will be distributed by either a “Summary Administration” or a “Formal Administration” depending on the amount of assets in the estate and how long it has been since the date of death.  Technical procedures must be followed to appoint the Personal Representative.  Also, creditors who are either known or suspected to exist MUST be notified properly and timely.


If the person died without a will (legally referred to as dying “intestate”), then Florida law designates who the beneficiaries are and who has priority to serve as Personal Representative.  


This should serve as a reminder not to delay, and to prepare your own Last Will & Testament to avoid unintended distributions of your assets according to Florida law in the absence of a Will.


Let's get started!  Make an appointment to discuss what plan and which documents best fit your needs to protect you and ALL of your beloved.