How do I get started?

Many people are reluctant to discuss a subject as personal as estate planning, and others just do not like talking to lawyers about any subject. To help ease this discomfort and get the conversation started, Cramer Law Center offers monthly educational workshops on the “Truth About Estate Planning.” These complimentary workshops provide attendees an opportunity to learn vital information about estate planning in a group setting. So, what do you have to lose? Click here for the Full Workshop Schedule.

How do I get in contact?

For Legal Questions, please use our Contact Form

For Other Inquiries:   

Jeffrey A. Cramer
jeff@cramerlawcenter.com

Amelia Hough Henderson
amelia@cramerlawcenter.com

Valentina Chapman
valentina@cramerlawcenter.com

Margaret Costa
margaret@cramerlawcenter.com

Phone: (904) 448-9978
Fax: (904) 448-9979

Where are you located?

How do you charge?

PROBATE, GUARDIANSHIP, ELDER LAW, AND LITIGATION
Abraham Lincoln said “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.” This quote succinctly explains why we charge consultation fees. If you call the office with questions concerning probate, guardianship, contesting a will or trust, how to qualify for Medicaid benefits or any other legal problem, we presently charge a consultation fee. Depending on the circumstances, we may credit some or all of that fee toward work we are subsequently hired to perform.

A paid consultation will include a discussion of the fees to retain us and move forward with your case. Most of the planning work we do (including for Medicaid or VA benefit eligibility) is done for a flat fee. However, when we work on contested matters (issues with another party and a court involved) we charge by the hour for time spent in your behalf. Because we have no way of controlling what might happen in a contested case, there is no way to predict the amount of work that will be required in order to quote a flat fee. So, we believe that an hourly fee is the fairest way to charge for handling any matter which may be contested.

ESTATE PLANNING
For someone interested in estate planning, such as creating a will or a trust, we do not charge for a complimentary “Truth About Estate Planning” workshop which is held each month. This gives you an opportunity to get to know us and how we work in order to determine if you will entrust us to help you with this deeply personal matter. The workshop is open to anyone who wants to learn more about wills, trusts, and how we work. This workshop is the first step in our estate planning process and all prospective clients are encouraged to attend. If someone prefers to schedule a one-on-one consultation, there may be a consultation fee charged. That consultation fee may be applied toward any estate planning undertaken within 30 days of the consult.

Because the estate planning process is just between you and the firm, we are able to charge flat, one price fees for all of our estate planning options. You will be quoted a set fee before any estate planning documents are prepared and there will never be any additional charges for that plan. Our fees are fully outlined and discussed during the workshop.

We hope this information is helpful and gives you an idea of what to expect when you call our office to set an appointment so that we can help you with your legal questions or concerns.

Why is Probate necessary?

Probate is necessary to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. If the decedent left a valid will, unless the will is admitted to probate in the Court, it will be ineffective to pass title to the decedent’s beneficiaries. If the decedent had no will, probate is necessary to pass ownership to the decedent’s assets to those persons who are to receive them under Florida law.

What is a Guardian Advocate?

Chapter 393 of the Florida Statutes is designed to meet the unique needs of persons with developmental disabilities.  The statute does not require a separate hearing to determine incapacity and there is no adjudication of incapacity.  The guardian is called a “guardian advocate”.  Even though the name is different, the authority given by the court is the same as a guardian under Chapter 744.  This is a less restrictive, less costly and preferred type of guardianship for persons with developmental disabilities. For more information, see (link to guardian advocacy series-parts1-5).

Can I disinherit my child under Florida law?

A parent can legally disinherit his or her child in Florida, with a few exceptions.  First, parents have a legal duty to support their minor children, so you can only disinherit your children who are over the age of 18.  Second, you cannot disregard an agreement, contract, or court order (usually the result of a divorce and/or child support proceeding) stating that 18.  Second, you cannot disregard an agreement, contract, or court order (usually the result of a divorce and/or child support proceeding) stating that you will provide for your child after your death. (Link to 3/7/13 blog)

Why should New Florida Residents have their will reviewed?

If you have moved to Florida from another state, it is wise to have your will reviewed by a Florida lawyer in order to be sure that it is properly executed according to the laws of Florida, that the witnesses are readily available to prove your will in Florida, and that your personal representative is qualified to serve in Florida.

What is the benefit of avoiding probate?

Avoiding probate may lower the cost of administering your estate and lessen time delays associated with the probate process.  Also, trust administration generally is a private process whereas probate is a public matter.

How does a Revocable Living Trust avoid probate?

A revocable living trust avoids probate by effecting the transfer of assets during your lifetime to the trustee.  This avoids the need to use the probate process to make the transfer after your death.  The trustee has immediate authority to manage the trust assets at your death; appointment by the court is not necessary.

Why does the Personal Representative need an attorney?

A personal representative is legally required to hire an attorney under most circumstances.  It is important for the personal representative to engage a qualified attorney to assist in the administration of the decedent’s estate and address the many legal issues likely to arise, even in the simplest estate administration.

What is a Personal Representative?

The personal representative is the person, bank, or trust company appointed by the Court to be in charge of the administration of the decedent’s estate. In Florida, the term “personal representative” is used instead of such terms as “executor, executrix, administrator and administratrix”.

What if I do not have a large estate?

Our process includes affordable options for estates of all sizes.  All of our clients receive the benefit of our counseling and guidance to make sure that they and their loved ones have the right plan in place for their particular circumstances.

What is Probate?

Probate generally is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the decedent’s assets, paying taxes, claims and expenses of administration, and distributing assets to beneficiaries. The Florida Probate Code is found in Chapters 731 through 735 of the Florida Statutes.