An accident is an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally which typically results in damage or injury. What if an accident happened to you or to one of your loved ones? How would your assets be distributed? Would you maintain the same quality of life? Would your wishes be honored regarding your healthcare? How will the business continue?
These questions are the very reason Lisa DiFranza started our firm. DiFranza Law is dedicated to making sure the people we help are prepared with the legal documents they need for the best-case and worst-case scenarios of life.
It isn’t easy to talk about accidents and worst-case scenarios, but we make it easier for you and we can assure you, the reward of being prepared is worth any discomfort you might feel.
The following article gives you an overview of our firm and the legal strategies and documents we use to help people prepare for their best-case and worst-case scenarios.
If you would like to request a one-on-one consultation to discuss any of the topics, click here.
About Our Founder Lisa DiFranza
Before we get into the legal strategies we use, we’d like to tell you a little about Lisa DiFranza and our firm. Lisa was raised in Trenton Falls, New York. She moved to Jacksonville, FL in 2008, and she was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2011.
Lisa is passionate about helping families in Florida navigate the best-case and worst-case scenarios in life. She strives to be a positive influence and force for her clients and the community. She serves on several committees in the community and serve as a mentor for Jacksonville area legal aid volunteers.
DiFranza Law’s Core Focus Areas
Our firm focuses on Guardianship, Guardianship Advocacy, Probate, Estate Planning, Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney. Attorneys in my field are sometimes called Estate Planning Attorneys and Probate Attorneys.
Quality: Our mission is to provide families in Florida with the best quality legal advice and services to make life easier for people. This includes the legal documents needed to prepare you for the best case and worst-case scenarios.
Service: Our vision is to provide better service and in-depth education about the options for protecting assets and personal dignity.
Love: We value the relationships we develop with our clients and we put our heart into everything we do.
Legal Strategies to Help Make Your Life Easier
Here are some of the legal strategies and documents we often use to help make life easier for our clients.
An estate plan is made up of several legal documents that coordinate the transfer of your estate after you pass. Estate planning documents include wills, a durable power of attorney for finances, a living will, and a designation of health care surrogate. We may also suggest certain steps to help you avoid probate, which is a legal proceeding that can slow down the distribution of assets.
More About Durable Power of Attorneys
A durable power of attorney is a type of directive that uses legal documents to allow another person to take care of your legal, business, and financial matters.
A durable power of attorney goes into effect immediately. As soon as a durable power of attorney is signed, the agent has the authority over all property. A durable power of attorney should only be given to someone you trust.
More About Living Wills
Living Wills are an essential component of an estate plan. Unlike other types of wills that are used to pass your property to family members, friends, or even to an organization when you pass away, living wills work very differently.
A living will tells your family and your physician how you want your medical care to be handled if you become unable to make your own healthcare decisions.
In the event you can’t communicate to your family or your doctor, the living will we create outlines your wants and needs, and it also ensures your wishes are followed.
More About Probate
When a loved one passes away, there are many details requiring your attention. There are so many questions that you be facing:
1) Do I keep paying the mortgage?
2) How do I access a checking account if I am not the beneficiary?
3) What if there is no will?
The probate process can be confusing. We work with clients throughout the entire probate process. Get the answers you need with DiFranza Law, a caring law firm that will help you understand your options, making one part of a difficult time a little easier.
Another focus area for our firm is Guardianship. Guardianship is an actual court proceeding where a guardian is selected to handle the legal rights of the incapable or incapacitated person.
When someone is incapable of managing their own personal decisions or their property, a guardian may be appointed by the court to make decisions on their behalf.
The legal rights and decisions the guardian will handle can be related to handling financial issues, living arrangements, medical care, and personal property.
As court proceedings can be expensive, time-consuming, and complex, we work with you to navigate the process so that the end result helps prevent elder abuse and financial exploitation.
We will also help you determine if guardianship truly is the best way to assist your loved one. We will explore if your loved one’s care can be managed with a less restrictive form of assistance, like a durable power of attorney and healthcare surrogate designation or guardian advocacy.
Guardian Advocacy is another focus area of our firm. Guardianship Advocacy is a process under the Florida Statutes that allows for family members, caregivers, and friends of a person with a developmental disability to obtain the legal authority to act on their behalf.
A person is considered to have a developmental disability if they have an Intellectual Disability, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, or Spina Bifida that manifested before they turned 18.
Guardianship advocacy is similar to Guardianship, but it is easier to implement. Like Guardianship, the court will only remove the rights that your child cannot manage.
A Guardian Advocate for a person with a developmental disability has the same powers, duties, and responsibilities required of a Guardian and those determined by a judge.
This includes creating an initial plan and annual reports, making decisions for medical care, making decisions about where to live, making decisions about how to spend money, and advocating on their behalf.
Unlike Guardianship, Guardianship Advocacy does not require a capacity hearing.
Some of the alternatives to Guardianship and Guardianship Advocacy include ABLE accounts and special needs trusts.
Schedule a Consultation Now
As you can see, estate planning and preparing for the best- and worst-case scenarios in life is very complex. Accidents from sports, cycling, driving, etc., can make a healthy person suddenly unable to make their own decisions. Your children with special needs will eventually turn 18.
Allow our firm to help make your life a little easier.