Florida Probate Law

The state of the Florida does not necessary require you to hire a probate lawyer for the legal proceedings of the decedent’s property distribution. Probating a will is a task that requires a huge amount of paperwork or administrative litigation which is best left for a lawyer or an attorney to handle. The dual task of validating and executing a will, is quite complex in terms of legalities and might not be feasible for a layman to deal with. It is therefore advised that you hire a probate lawyer for handling the legal proceeding of a probate will.

Proving the validity of a will

Florida Probate LawyerIn most states, the will filed with an affidavit notarized by the witnesses, is termed as ‘self proving’ and does not require a lot of legal guidance from a lawyer. However in some cases, the adequacy of the will may be questionable as per the state laws. The state laws along with the Uniform Probate Code, specifies the baseline criteria for the framework and content of the probate will. They also lay down the guidelines for adequacy of the witnesses provided for the will. The law also specifies that a more recent will would always be considered over its older version. If the beneficiary encounters any such disputes regarding the validity of the probate will, it is advisable for him to take up the case with a probate lawyer.

Complex family or financial situations

In some cases there are considerable family disputes with reference to the will of a decedent that may lead to expensive lawsuits and court battles. It is always tactical to hire a probate lawyer to deal with such disagreements and prevent any legal wars in the family. There might be some other complex situations in the family too, that might require you to take the help of a lawyer. Some of the family complexities might be a second marriage, a disabled family member, minor children, a recent divorce, or a spouse’s demise. There might also be financial situations that might require you to hire a lawyer for example, a taxable estate or property in more than one state. Given such circumstances, it is always judicious to acquire legal guidance from a probate lawyer who would know the legalities in and out.

Administration of the will

The most important part of a probate will is its adequate execution and property allocation as per the instructions laid down in it. In some cases, if the property left by the deceased is nominal or held in joint tenancy with the beneficiary, the will can be executed without probate. However, there might be cases where the estate is extensive and extremely complicated in legal terms. For example, the property might be a combination of commercial real estate or a running business. In such cases, it is always helpful to take legal aid from the experts.

It is not mandatory for you to hire probate lawyers for your will proceedings. However, to avoid any future hassles or disputes, you are advised to take legal consultation for dealing with the complexities of the litigation involved.

If you are looking for extremely competent and proficient Law firms in Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Daytona and surrounding areas you may check out the website https://simmslawfirm.com/

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Daytona, New Smyrna Beach Area Lawyer

logo1You never know when legal problems crop up in business or at home. Especially if the problem is regarding money, and lots of it, you will have to consider hiring a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to guide you through the process of rectifying or solving the problem and offer strategic solutions to avoid similar incidents from happening again.

So how do you go about finding an attorney who understands your needs and is an economical fit in your budget? If you are in Volusia County or New Smyrna Beach or Port Orange or Daytona or from surrounding areas, here is what you can do.

  1. Search online

Nowadays, every lawyer or law firm has an online presence. Based on your location and type of case you have, numerous sites are available where you can contact and connect with lawyers. This is one of the best ways to find a good lawyer because you can also check their portfolio without having to sweat it out.

  1. Personal referral

Talk to relatives, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and groups who know a reliable lawyer or are facing the same legal troubles as you. But do not go by word-of-mouth alone because every person has a different take on a lawyer’s credibility and personality.

  1. Make a list of prospective attorneys

Do not take the first name you find and finalize it. Consider every option, no matter who recommends them, and make a prospective contact list. You can use this list to narrow your options and keep only those who you think are best suited to represent your case. To choose the correct attorney, take a look at the kind of clients they take in, study the cases they have handled, read articles and papers written by them, and flick through newspapers to see if there has been any publicity of the cases they have handled or are handling currently.

  1. Find objective information

Every state in the US has a bar association which will provide you a lot of information on how to find prominent lawyers in your area for a specific case. If you have already found one, you can simply log on to the bar association’s website and check whether they are an active member of the bar and have not been disciplined, suspended or disbarred.

  1. Call the lawyer

Talking to the lawyer before you decide to meet them will save you a lot of time and help narrow the list even more. In case you are unable to reach them, try to arrange a personal meeting.

  1. Face-to-face interview

Some lawyers may be willing to meet you at no charge while others may not. The decision to take it further depends on you. During the meeting, you can assess their personality, communication skills, willingness to work with you, and enthusiasm for their work.

  1. Finalize your legal representation

After meeting all your prospects and having made a decision, contact the lawyer and discuss terms for taking up the case, the budget you can afford, and any additional services they offer. Go over the case with them and understand how they plan to handle it.

You may consult the law offices of Debra G Simms for legal problems. Selecting the right attorney who knows their job well and is able to provide credible advice is vital to getting out of legal hassles satisfactorily.

To contact Florida attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Preparing your Will

Preparing a will is a wise and thoughtful decision. It gives your loved ones a clear idea of what should happen to your assets and how you have decided the inheritance. But there are certain deliberations to make before drafting one. Here are 5 things to consider when preparing your will.

  1. Hire the right people

It may be economical to prepare your will without the help of a lawyer. There are numerous websites which allow you to easily fill out the details of how your assets should be dealt with. These sites usually offer a generic solution to creating your will without taking into consideration state-specific nuances in laws. They also do not offer solutions to users about how these laws work. Therefore, it is always wise to consult an attorney from a reputed law firm who is able to guide you through the entire process of preparing a will for a nominal fee. By doing so, you can avoid making mistakes which could cost your family a pretty penny.

  1. Consider all the assets you own, irrespective of what they are

While estate, inheritance, and finances should take up a significant amount of your will, there are other, less significant but relevant assets which should not be ignored. Non-traditional properties include digital assets such as social media account username and passwords and website or domain names. Understanding what you own is important to decide inheritance. If you do not maintain a detailed list of your assets, it may lead to a lot of conflict and confusion during the execution.

  1. Select executors, trustees, and guardians with care

A guardian (or guardians) should be named for your children, if minors, who will oversee their well-being suitably. Putting your child in the custody of the state is not something you want. A trustee, on the other hand, is responsible for the child’s assets, not the child itself. It is advisable not to decide on the same person as a legal guardian and trustee.

Selecting the right people who will be responsible for executing the terms of the will requires some serious thought. When you are preparing the will, ensure you provide their full names and addresses to your lawyer.

  1. Review beneficiary designations

Personal insurance, financial accounts, retirement bonds, IRAs, and annuities are verified separately. The beneficiaries of these accounts receive funds through a document called a beneficiary designation. These designations take priority over instructions mentioned in your will. By reviewing beneficiaries periodically, you can be assured your assets will be distributed among the right people.

  1. Joint assets

If a property or bank account is under joint ownership, that asset will not be distributed under the clauses in the will. It will instead be passed on to the surviving owner(s). In case the asset is solely in your name, it will be subject to conditions mentioned in the will. Tenancy, where multiple owners own a percentage of the asset, is also considered during the execution of a will. Here, the surviving owner(s) are not given your percentage of the asset. It will follow the course of action stated in the will.

Circumstances and laws change quite often and your will should be updated accordingly. Ensure you review the will every year with your attorney and make changes to reflect current situations.

Is your estate planning up to date?

If you are looking for legal services in Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Daytona, and surrounding areas, consult the offices of Debra G Simms.

To contact attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Family Law

Family is the most essential entity in the life of a person. Laws pertaining to this indispensable entity are crucial and sensitive. From property disputes to divorce and child custody, the metropolitan families are plagued by a plethora of issues. The American state family law is intricate and exhaustive, addressing the everyday issues interwoven with the familial ties of its residents. It is essential for its citizens to be aware of the details regarding these various issues. As we walk you through the essentials of family law, your queries about the same will be addressed.

Family law comprises of a large number of statutes that aids various legal matters called codes. The prevalence of these codes such as family code, domestic relations code, marital and children’s code is very essential for taking effective legal decisions.

Lawyers specializing in various issues like elder law, probate, guardianship and family planning are available to serve the public in Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange and Daytona.


With lifestyle changes, one of the major issues that is encountered by many is the dissolution of marriages. It is a sensitive issue that requires to be handled with extreme care and caution. The state marital law in America is comprehensive with provision for no-fault divorce as well as fault-divorce based on abandonment, cruelty and others. The state law also specifies that marriage is considered void if either party are not eligible, or are mentally unsound.

Child support and custody

With the rising divorce rate, related issues like child custody and support come into play. Joint and sole custody are offered to parents in case of divorce. In most scenarios, one parent is not given prevalence over the other. But under unique circumstances, the law – “Tender Years Doctrine” – enables the court to give custody to the mother. In these situations the court rules in the favor of the mother because it considers the child’s future to be more secure.  Child support is equally important if both the parents do not have legal custody. It is the minimum amount that the non-possessory parent should provide to the possessory parent to secure the child’s future. Matters like health insurance and life insurance are also to be considered under this law. Child support is usually terminated post the child turns 18.

Domestic violence

In the recent times domestic violence is no longer uncommon in society. Many are forced to deal with the evils of domestic violence. It not only includes harassment of adults but also child abuse. Protective orders are issued by the court in these scenarios. Statute laws are also available that enable law enforcement agencies to ensure that court orders are being followed. Laws are also available that enable medical professionals to report domestic violence to authorities. Each state has specific protocol to deal with child abuse and neglect.

Estate planning

Irrespective of being wealthy or poor, planning about one’s property is of paramount importance. Various tools like wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directive, living wills,  unmarried or same sex partner planning and others are available to safeguard one’s rights.


Old age and disability necessitates the existence of the Elder law. Elder-law -planning, helps people deal with various problems regarding property management. Issues such as the status of assets if one of the spouses require long term care or is incapacitated and others are dealt with. These laws help the old and those dealing with disabilities effectively manage their property issues.

Family law is a state issue. The codes and statutes are unique to every state in America. It is essential for every citizen to be aware of these various laws to enrich their quality of life.

To contact attorney Debra G. Simms, P.A. in Port Orange or New Smyrna Beach, FL please call 877.447.4667.

Contact Us

Port Orange Office:
Prestige Executive Center
823 Dunlawton Ave. Unit C
Port Orange, FL 32129
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667
New Smyrna Beach Office:
817 E. 7th Ave
New Smyrna Beach FL, 32169
Local: 386.256.4882
Toll Free: 877.447.4667