Baskin Fleece Partners Named Super Lawyers

BaskinFleece partners Joseph W. “Jay” Fleece, III, and Colleen A. Carson were included in Super Lawyers’ 2014 ranking of Florida attorneys.

Joseph W. “Jay” Fleece, III

Joseph W. “Jay” Fleece, III

Joseph W. “Jay” Fleece, III, has been named a Super Lawyer for the past eight years. Colleen A. Carson was selected for a second time to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Candidates for the Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars list must either be age 40 or younger or they must be in practice for 10 years or less.

Colleen Carson

Colleen Carson

Super Lawyers features attorneys who have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Before selection, candidates go through a multi-stage process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. No more than 5 percent of lawyers in each state are named Super Lawyers, and no more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in each state are named Rising Stars.

To set up an appointment with a Baskin Fleece attorney, call (727) 572-4545. Visit www.BaskinFleece.com for more information.

The Difference Between a Living Will and a Do Not Resuscitate Order

A common misconception is that a Living Will and a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) are the same document.  While both documents provide instructions to medical providers when you are unable to communicate your wishes regarding medical treatment, each document plays a different role in the administration of medical treatment to you. A Living Will is a written legal document prepared by you, with the assistance of your estate planning lawyer, stating your wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatments.  If you have a terminal condition, end-stage condition, or are in a persistent vegetative state, your Living Will states what life-prolonging medical treatment(s), if any, you wish to receive.  A Living Will addresses whether you want medical treatments to prolong your life, such as a feeding tube, surgery, blood transfusions, and pain medicine. A Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) is a medical order written by your doctor, instructing health care providers not to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if your heart stops beating or you stop breathing.  The DNR is only a decision to withhold CPR and does not affect the administration of other medical treatments such as a feeding tube, surgery, blood transfusions, and pain medicine. Not understanding the difference between a Living Will and a Do Not Resuscitate Order may inadvertently result in the administration of unwanted medical treatments or the withholding of desired medical treatments.  It is recommended that you discuss the Living Will with your estate planning lawyer and the Do Not Resuscitate Order with your physician, to effectively plan for your medical treatments. A common misconception is that a Living Will and a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) are the same document.  While both documents provide instructions to medical providers when you are unable to communicate your wishes regarding medical treatment, each document plays a different role in the administration of medical treatment to you.

The video above explains the differences.

To set up a consultation, call BaskinFleece at (727) 572-4545. For more information about BaskinFleece, visit BaskinFleece.com.

BaskinFleece Proudly Announces That Attorney Colleen A. Carson Has Been Made a Partner

Colleen CarsonMs. Carson has been practicing at BaskinFleece in the areas of estate planning, corporate law, probate and trust administration, and guardianship administration since August of 2007.

In February 2014, Ms. Carson joined the Board of Directors for Lighthouse of Pinellas, a non-profit organization providing rehabilitation and training to blind and visually impaired individuals within the county.

She is the President of the Pinellas County Estate Planning Council and holds memberships in the St. Petersburg Bar Association, the Clearwater Bar Association, the Florida Bar Association, the Rotary Club of Clearwater at Feather Sound, and she is a Trustee for the Clearwater Bar Foundation. Ms. Carson was also named a Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2013.

To set up a consultation, call BaskinFleece at (727) 572-4545. For more information about BaskinFleece, visit BaskinFleece.com.

 

Colleen Carson
Colleen Carson: Tampa Bay Times
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What Is a Trust?

Trusts and estate planningTrust and estate planning in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and throughout Florida

A trust is a legal entity that holds title to property (real or personal) for the benefit of one or more people, charities, pets, etc. Property titled in the name of a trust avoids probate. Therefore, administering a trust can take substantially less time than probate. A trust conventionally arises when property is transferred by one party to be held by another party for the benefit of a third party, although it is also possible for a legal owner to create a trust of property without transferring it to anyone else, simply by declaring that the property will henceforth be held trusts and estate plansfor the benefit of the beneficiary. The beneficiaries are beneficial (or equitable) owners of the trust property. Either immediately or eventually, the beneficiaries will receive income from the trust property, or they will receive the property itself. The extent of a beneficiary’s interest depends on the wording of the trust document. One beneficiary may be entitled to income (for example, interest from a bank account), whereas another may be entitled to the entirety of the trust property when he attains the age of twenty-five years. For estate planning purposes, at the owner’s death, there is a both a cost savings and time savings advantage related to probate costs and distributions of assets in having certain real property in a land trust.

For help or answers to will and estate related questions, you can contact BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.

The content of this information is courtesy of The Florida Bar and represents general legal advice. Because the law is continually changing, some provisions in this blog may be out of date. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities in your particular case.
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Estate Obligations: What are Probate Assets?

Probate administration only applies to probate assets.

Probate assets are those assets that the decedent owned in his or her sole name at death, or that were owned by the decedent and one or more co-owners and lacked a provision for automatic succession of ownership at death.

For example:

A bank account or investment account in the sole name of a decedent is a probate asset, but a bank account or investment account owned by the decedent and payable on death or transferable on death to another, or held jointly with rights of survivorship with another, is not a probate asset.

A life insurance policy, annuity contract or individual retirement account that is payable to a specific beneficiary is not a probate asset, but a life insurance policy, annuity contract or individual retirement account payable to the decedent’s estate is a probate asset.

Real estate titled in the sole name of the decedent, or in the name of the decedent and another person as tenants in common, is a probate asset (unless it is homestead property), but real estate titled in the name of the decedent and one or more other persons as joint tenants with rights of survivorship is not a probate asset.

Property owned by husband and wife as tenants by the entirety is not a probate asset on the death of the first spouse to die, but goes automatically to the surviving spouse.

This list is not exclusive, but is intended to be illustrative.

The information above is courtesy of The Florida Bar and represents general legal advice. Because the law is continually changing, some provisions in this blog may be out of date. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities in your particular case.
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New Offices and Technology for BaskinFleece.

BaskinFleece estate planning in Clearwater and St. Petersburg FloridaIn late October, BaskinFleece relocated to a new office at 13535 Feather Sound Drive, Suite 200, in Clearwater.

On your next visit to BaskinFleece, you can expect to see a more open and spacious office suite, with more conference rooms and updated technology.

For an online tour of our new offices, click the photo to watch the behind-the-scenes video.

To make an appointment with a BaskinFleece attorney, call 727.572.4545.

 

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Part 3 – Clearwater Florida: What Happens if there is No Will?

Will and Living Will: Part 3 in a 3 part series from the Clearwater, Florida Law Firm of BaskinFleece.

If the decedent died intestate, the decedent’s probate assets will be distributed to the decedent’s heirs in the following order of priority:

(For priorities 1-4 see previous two blogs)

Probate in Clearwater florida5. If the decedent was not married at his or her death and had no living descendants, the decedent’s probate estate will pass to the decedent’s surviving parents, if they are living, otherwise to the decedent’s brothers and sisters.

6. Florida’s intestate laws will pass the decedent’s probate estate to other, more remote heirs if the decedent is not survived by any of the close relatives described above.

The distribution of the decedent’s probate estate under Florida’s intestate laws, as discussed above, is subject to certain exceptions for homestead property, exempt personal property, and a statutory allowance to the surviving spouse and any descendantsor ascendants whom the decedent supported. Assets subject to these exceptions will pass in a manner different from that described in the intestate laws. For example, if the decedent’s homestead property was titled in the decedent’s name alone, and if the decedent was survived by a spouse and descendants, the surviving spouse will have the use of the homestead property for his or her lifetime only (or a life estate), with the decedent’s descendants to receive the decedents’ homestead property only after the surviving spouse dies. The surviving spouse also, however, has the right to make a special election within 6 months of the decedent’s death to receive an undivided one-half interest in the homestead property in leui of the life estate provided certain procedures are timely followed. The spouse’s right to homestead property does not take into consideration whether the surviving spouse has one or more living descendants who are not also a descendant of the decedent.

For help or answers to estate related questions, you can contact BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545. Also, click here to watch this brief but important video on the proper signing of a will.

Some of the content of this information is courtesy of The Florida Bar and represents general legal advice. Because the law is continually changing, some provisions in this blog may be out of date. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities in your particular case.
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