Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to spend all my money on my care before I can apply for Medicaid?

The simple answer is no. You do not have to spend all your money on your own care before you apply for Medicaid benefits. You can, if that is your desire, but if you would like to consider leaving assets for your loved ones to inherit, or if you would like to utilize your assets to enhance the quality of your life while still qualifying for Medicaid benefits, our offices can assist you in making a plan to do so.

Do I need a Trust to avoid probate?

No, not necessarily. Trusts are useful ways to avoid probate, but there are other ways to avoid the courts being involved in the transfer of your assets upon your death. For example, in the state of Florida, you can utilize an enhanced life estate deed to transfer real property upon your death without having to create a trust to accomplish the same result. Additionally, you can name beneficiaries on your accounts or add joint owners to your assets to avoid probate. At FINLEY LAW LLC we perform a thorough review of your assets to determine the best, least expensive, and least complicated way to ensure your assets avoid probate.

Do I have to sell my home to qualify for Medicaid?

No. Not in Florida. Your home, up to $603K in equity (as of 7/1/2021), is a non-countable asset for the purposes of applying for Medicaid.

What do I do with an original Will after someone dies?

According to Florida Statutes, if you are in possession of an original will and you are aware of that person’s death, you must deposit the original will with the court in the appropriate jurisdiction. We will assist in the recording of original Wills at no cost.

What happens when a person dies without a Will?

When a person dies without a will, the estate is considered intestate. In that situation, the Florida Statutes will determine who can serve as personal representative of the estate and the beneficiaries.

When would I need a Durable Power of Attorney?

Durable Powers of Attorney are documents that give someone the ability to make decisions regarding your property. This person must be someone you trust and they are tasked with doing as you would have intended. This person is often referred to as your “agent” or “attorney-on-fact.” Durable Powers of Attorney are usable on your behalf by your agent the moment you sign the document. Most often agents will wait until you have become incapacitated to utilize their authorities, but there is no legal requirement that they wait until that time. The best time to set up your power of attorney is NOW. This may be the most important estate planning document you execute during your lifetime. Please make an appointment with our offices to learn more.

What if I have property out of State when I die?

If have property in multiple states when you die, you will need to have a probate administration in each of the states you hold property to transfer ownership to your beneficiaries. If you die without a will, the beneficiaries may be different based on the state in which the property is located. To avoid the extra costs and the complication of dealing with multiple probate estates at one time, many of our clients will create a trust and deed all their properties into the trust. This will allow for the trustee of their trust to transfer assets more easily upon their death and without the necessity of multiple court involvement.

Can I disinherit my spouse?

Not without properly executed waivers of your spouse’s interests in assets that are statutorily entitled to.

Can I disinherit my children?

Yes. As long as the child is not a minor, you are under no legal obligation to leave anything to your children under you Will.

Is a DNR the same a Living Will?

No. A DNR is a document signed off on by a physician. The living will is utilized by a health care surrogate or medical professional to communicate your wishes regarding the use of artificial means to keep you alive

Do I lose homestead protections if I rent out my house?

Generally, yes, you do, however F.S. 196.061 allows rental of a homestead for 30 days per year and for 2 consecutive years.

Our Services

Empathetic Legal Solutions

Finley Law LLC is a DeLand elder law firm with a focus on empathetic legal solutions for families in Volusia County, Florida. We are dedicated to compassionate and personalized care for our clients in the areas of medicaid planning, estate planning, probate, and guardianship. For more information on our elder law services, contact us at 386-734-5959.

Let Us Help You Find Peace Of Mind

Planning today can make a big difference for your finances and stress levels tomorrow. To make an appointment with our DeLand office, call 386-734-5959 or get in touch online to find out what might be possible in your situation.