Tag Archives: Daytona Estate Lawyer

Few decisions are more difficult than the one to place a spouse or parent in a nursing home.  Most families try to care for a loved one at home for as long as possible, only accepting the inevitable when no other alternative is available.

The placement decision can be less difficult if, to the extent possible, all family members are included in the process, including the senior, if he or she is able to participate.

I recommend the following steps as you begin this process.

  • Try to have a family meeting, either with the family alone or with medical and social work staff.  If you cannot meet in person, use the telephone or e-mail.
  • Research all options.  Look at-home care, daycare, respite care, assisted living and skilled nursing.
  • Consider using an Elder Law attorney and a geriatric care manager to help with placement and cost decisions.  Try using a senior placement service such as Assisted Living Made Simple in Florida– they know how to “match” the senior with the care facility.

These steps won’t make the decision easy, but they can help make it less difficult.

Call the Law Offices of Debra G. Simms at 386.256.4882 to learn more.

This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.


Many of my clients are worried about long-term costs if they ever need a nursing home.  Most do not have any type of long-term care insurance.

These clients typically ask: Will the nursing take my house?  Or they say: I don’t want to give all my hard-earned money to a nursing home!

What they are really asking me is how to get on Medicaid!  Medicaid is the government assistance program that pays for long-term care.  It is meant for folks with low income and few assets.

But… the Medicaid rules are complicated and there are ways to become eligible and keep many of your assets.  For example, in Florida, your primary residence does NOT count as an asset when computing eligibility.  There are many other types of assets that do not count as well.  And if your income is too high, there is a type of income Trust you can create and still become eligible for Medicaid.

However, there is another reality here.  Not all facilities accept Medicaid.  And you are not likely to get your own room in a Medicaid facility.  Further, you will not be able to use your own doctors.  For health care, Medicaid patients must be in a managed care plan.  And not all treatments and therapies are paid for by Medicaid.

So, no, you don’t need to give your house to the state, but Medicaid is a needs-based program and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you might want.

Do you have questions or need help with planning for your future?

Call the Law Offices of Debra G. Simms at 386.256.4882 to learn more.

This blog post is not case-specific and is provided only for educational purposes and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Blog topics may or may not be updated and entries may be out-of-date at the time you view them.

Greater Daytona Area Estate Planning Attorney

If you are a resident of the Daytona area or of Port Orange or of Volusia County or anywhere in the surrounding areas and need estate planning, look no further. There are plenty of registered law firms in these areas who can advise you regarding estate planning.

Daytona Beach Estate lawyerEstate planning is a way of ensuring that your family is taken care of and provided for even after you are gone. Simply put, it is the legal term used for planning what to do with your assets, property and other valuable belongings after your death.

The earlier you do the planning, the better it is. You would like to be in sound health and mind when you are doing it. You also get to decide who gets what. Properly planning an estate will take care of your taxes as well. Here is a beginner’s guide to estate planning.

Drafting and processing a will

You have to be very thorough when planning your will. A will must cover all your possessions and all sorts of bank and other accounts. Your pension or retirement account should have the name and information of the beneficiary and all other legalities sorted out. Your will should mention clearly who inherits what and how much allowance anyone receives.

A guardian or guardians will have to be appointed for your minor children (if there are any). If your children are too young, you will have to create a trust so that they do not get their share of the entire amount of money or property you are leaving behind for them. A trust ensures that your children continue to receive their inheritance in certain amounts till they reach adulthood or a certain age.

A will has to go through the probate process before it can be executed. The process involves the reading of the will and the time taken to hand over the inheritance to the appointed heirs. The time taken to complete this process can last between 6 months and a year.


The probate process of the will can be avoided by creating a living trust. Trusts can have assets as well as money. Trusts take proper care of your estate till they are handed over. Different types of trusts can be created after the name of individual beneficiaries. You can have charitable trusts as well.


You need to pay taxes for your planned estate as well. But taxes are not levied on all estates. If your estate is taxable, the taxes should begin to be paid 9 months after your death. But estate taxes keep on changing depending on the government’s policies. You should plan properly with your lawyer regarding ways of minimizing taxes and protecting your assets from taxation. Proper ways of meeting tax demands should also be mapped out.

If you are a resident of greater Daytona and need help regarding estate planning or understanding the laws related to it, do not hesitate to contact an estate planning lawyer in your area today.

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