Lins Law Group, P.A.
Serving Families of Tampa Bay for Over 25 Years

Tampa Probate and Family Law Blog

Ready or Not? Semper Paratus or Non Paratus?

The motto of the United States Coast Guard is "Semper Paratus" which is Latin for "always ready" or "always prepared." When it comes to being prepared for life's challenges, including illness, incapacity, and death, it is wise to be "always prepared." Unfortunately, in law practice many times we see that people are "Non Paratus" or "not prepared."

Emergencies don't happen on banker's hours: So where should you keep your estate planning documents?

As an estate planning lawyer, I'm often asked by clients where they should keep their original estate planning documents. Do they need to keep them in a bank safe-deposit box? Generally speaking, my advice is to keep them somewhere safe and accessible but a safe-deposit box may not be the best answer and in many instances, is actually not recommended.

Do you have per stirpes?

As an estate planning lawyer, one of my principal objectives in drafting a client's Will or Trust is to name the beneficiaries which the client wants to receive their estate. Often this will be a spouse or children and in some cases, other family members. What happens if the person named dies before the person who established the Will or Trust? Does the intended devise (gift) go to the deceased beneficiary's children or to someone else? The answer is, "it depends."

Do you have per stirpes?

As an estate planning lawyer, one of my principal objectives in drafting a client's Will or Trust is to name the beneficiaries which the client wants to receive their estate. Often this will be a spouse or children and in some cases, other family members. What happens if the person named dies before the person who established the Will or Trust? Does the intended devise (gift) go to the deceased beneficiary's children or to someone else? The answer is, "it depends."

Can you name two people to act as co-agents under your Florida Power of Attorney?

As an estate planning lawyer, I always recommend that clients have both a Power of Attorney for Healthcare and a Durable Power of Attorney for non-medical matters. In each of those documents, the client is authorizing a person or persons to make decisions and act on their behalf. The Power of Attorney for Healthcare covers decision-making for medical and health issues; the Durable Power of Attorney for covers decision-making and taking action on non-medical matters such as finances, banking, and bill paying. So, can you authorize two or more people to act as co-agents under these instruments and if you do, can one agent act without the other or does action require all agents to act together? The simple answer in Florida is that you may name co-agents and one co-agent may act without the other co-agent.

Two Crucial Decisions You Should Make to Protect Your Minor Children

If you are the parent of a minor child, there are two crucial decisions which you should make and incorporate into your estate plan in order to protect your child. The first involves who will raise your child if you die and the second is who will be in charge of the assets or money you leave to provide for your child after your death.

The Importance of Keeping Your Estate Documents Current!

As an estate planning attorney, it is common to see new clients come in to our office that have some old estate documents in place. It is equally common that those documents are often grossly out of date and would cause problems if there were a death or other crisis. 

Don't Settle Your Injury Claim Before You Reach MMI!

When people are injured in an accident, they often want to reach a settlement of their claim as soon as possible. From a human standpoint, this makes a lot of sense. However, from a legal standpoint, an injured person should normally not settle until they reach "MMI" or "maximum medical improvement."

Attorney Michael Lins
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