Probate & Trusts, Estate Planning, Wills, Trust, Power of Attorney

probate-trusts-estate-planning-wills-trust-power-of-attorneyIf we spare even a fraction of the time we spent on earning all that money and building those assets, we would be able to ensure that it stays in the right hands even when we are not around to look after them. The federal law provides multiple legal options for you to choose form in order to facilitate a judicious planning of your property and assets. We are here to help you understand the various legal rights of a valid US citizen in managing his property and estate while he/she is alive and also post his/her demise.


A will is one the most commonly referenced legal document which allows an individual to manage the division and consecutive distribution of his or her property and estate post death. Creating a final testament or a will gives you the discretion of deciding as to how your hard-earned money and assets should be distributed among those chosen solely by you.


A probate is a legal proceeding that involves proving the validity of the will of a deceased, and then carrying out the process of appraisal and distribution of his assets as per the instructions stipulated within the will. A probate is of great significance in property distribution cases wherein the deceased failed to plan out a valid will while he/she was alive.


A trust can be cited as a written agreement between two or more parties wherein a trustee is attributed with a legal title to a property or an asset on the behalf of a trust beneficiary. The creator of the trust, called the settler provides the instruction for distribution of his assets among the beneficiaries to be carried out by the trustees. A trust can be especially useful in situations where a settler does not wish to provide outright control over his assets to the beneficiary, as the latter may not be mature enough or legally able to deal with them.

Power of attorney

A POA is a legal document which allows you to authorize an individual of significant trust to take control over your financial or healthcare responsibilities in your absence or inability to administer your property and assets.

Why should I hire an attorney?

Before coming to a final conclusion as to whether you should hire an attorney for your property distribution planning or not, you must understand the significance of the proper composition of a legal document. One single missing signature or a misplaced word might entirely alter the actual intent of your trust, will or POA. An attorney can help you in designing a legally correct document which reflects your intent in its entirety. In addition to this, the state laws for all estate planning related instruments vary from state to state. It is utmost essential to consult a professional attorney before creating a will or executing a trust, in order to stick to the laws of your specific state. Furthermore, hiring a lawyer also helps deal with any complex financial or family situations such as a second marriage, minor children, physically disabled family member or a recent divorce.

If you are looking for professional legal advice for creation of a will, trust, POA or estate planning and more in the Volusia County region, just visit for assistance form some of the best legal minds in the country.

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

Trust law

trust-lawyerIf you are residing in Volusia County or New Smyrna Beach or Port Orange or Daytona area or anywhere in the surrounding areas, chances are you are in need of a trust lawyer. There are a number of registered law firms in these areas. You will come across a law firm or an attorney who will be of help to you. Many people require trust lawyers while making an estate plan.

Trusts are actually tools required for estate planning that can act as a substitute for your will after your death. It also has the capacity to help manage your property while you are living. The trust will manage the distribution of your property. It will also ensure that all benefits are transferred and the various obligations are fulfilled. A trust is very popular in property distributions.

Creating a trust

The first step of creating a trust involves the property owner or ‘grantor’ or ‘trustor’ transferring the legal ownership of the property to the ‘trustee’ (an individual or an institution). The trustee will be given the responsibility of managing the property on behalf of the ‘beneficiary’. The trustee will be compensated for his or her or its managerial role. A fiduciary relationship is created between the trustee and the beneficiary.

Kinds of trusts

Generally speaking, there are two major kinds of trusts – testamentary and living.

Testamentary trust – In this kind of a trust the property is transferred to the trust only after the death of the owner or grantor. A testamentary trust is part of a will. It is not created after the death of the owner. So the trust property has to go through a probate process. Through this trust, the owner has the power to enforce certain conditions and can control the payment and receipt of benefits even after their death.

Living trustAs the name suggests, this trust comes into effect while the grantor or owner is still living. It is also known as ‘inter vivos’ trust. A probate process may not be required for the living trust if the assets that would have been otherwise put through probate are transferred to the trust before the death of the owner. A living trust may be revocable or irrevocable in nature, i.e. the owner may or may not make changes to the trust after its commencement.

There are a number of different types of trusts under these two broad categories of trusts. Asset Protection Trust, Charitable Trust, and Special Needs Trust are some such trusts. There are also some trusts called the Spendthrift Trust, Totten Trust and Tax By-Pass Trust.

Understanding the different kinds of trusts and their functions can become a bit complex. You will need the help of an experienced and thoroughly qualified attorney. If you are a resident of Volusia County and require help with the setting up of trusts or want to understand the laws related to it, get in touch with Debra G. Simms’ law firm. Take a look at the website

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

Probate law

probate-lawYou may be a resident of the Volusia County or of New Smyrna Beach or of Port Orange or of Daytona area or anywhere in the surrounding areas, and are in need of a probate lawyer. You need not worry about finding one. There are a number of registered law firms in these areas who can be of help to you.

The legal process that is adopted to distribute the assets of a deceased person to the heirs and beneficiaries by following that person’s will is called probate. The will is first submitted in the court for probate. The probate attorney will help you understand the nuances of probate and its proceedings.

The proceeding

A probate proceeding is started when the person who wishes to be appointed as the personal representative of an estate files a petition seeking such an appointment. An attorney files the petition. The person who wants to become the representative will be in charge of the estate. He or she will look after the payment of all bills and ensure the estate is distributed equitably among the beneficiaries.

A representative is needed when the estate has a significant amount of assets. The court decides the role of the representative. It will issue letters of administration to the representative to clarify the administrative duties of the representative.

Need for the process

In Florida, probate administration is a process supervised by the court. The process helps to identify and gather the assets of the deceased person. It is a means of ensuring that the claims made by creditors of the decedent (the deceased), paying the required taxes and the resulting expenses of administration are addressed and carried out.

If there is a proper will left behind by the deceased, it has to be submitted to the court for probate. The court will follow the will to determine that all desires of the decedent are being followed properly. In the instance that there is no will, the court will follow the Florida Intestate Succession laws and use the process of probate to handover ownership of the property and assets of the decedent to those who are entitled to inherit them.

Probate for non-residents

It may happen that the deceased person is not a resident of Volusia County or anywhere in Florida but has property in Volusia County. But as the property is in Florida, it will fall under Florida Probate laws and rules. A Florida Court in the Volusia County will administer the probate rules and laws. A probate action specific to Florida will be required to pass ownership of the property to the rightful heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased person.

The probate process is very complicated. It requires thorough and expert attention. If you are residing in Volusia County or have estates and property in Volusia and need help regarding probates or want to understand the laws related to it, do not hesitate to contact Debra G. Simms’ law firm. Have a look at the website

To contact Florida 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