Florida Probate, Elder Law, and Immigration Attorneys in Largo, St Petersburg, & Clearwater, Florida
Although some of us may be able to navigate life without ever needing an attorney, the truth is that a legal dispute or question can arise at any time and under the most unexpected circumstances. A loved one can unexpectedly pass away, leaving you and your family scrambling to wrap up your loved one’s affairs. You may be receiving Medicare benefits, Medicaid benefits, or other forms of government support only to have these benefits reduced or cut off entirely. You may be concerned about your personal and real property and how these valuable assets will be distributed upon your death. Further still, you may be present in the United States without lawful authorization and are now facing deportation proceedings. Whatever the nature of your legal issue or dispute, it is vital that you obtain the services of an experienced Pinellas County attorney as soon as possible. Legal disputes often spiral out of control if they are not promptly and competently addressed, resulting in additional costs and difficulties. The knowledgeable and talented legal team at Centonzio Law, PLLC is here to assist you in avoiding negative legal consequences and moving past your legal hurdle.
Our Practice Areas
Over the years, the attorneys at Centonzio Law, PLLC have assisted numerous clients in Pinellas County and throughout Florida resolve their legal challenges. Our firm assists clients in a variety of practice areas, including:
- Elder law: Attorney Javier Centonzio assists elderly clients and their families when they face difficulties related to becoming eligible and applying for government benefits (such as Medicaid and Veterans Pension), asset protection, estate planning, guardianships, and other legal issues that impact the elderly. Sometimes elder law is preventative in nature and can help avoid legal problems as you and/or your loved one ages. For example, your Florida elder law attorney can assist you or your elderly family member in crafting an estate plan that includes directives for other family members in case in the event of an unexpected, debilitating illness or death. Your elder law attorney can also assist you in long-term care planning: that is, helping you plan to take advantage of Medicaid benefits and/or paying for the expenses of a nursing home, assisted living facility, or home health care.
- Estate planning: The legal team at Centonzio Law, PLLC is committed to helping our estate planning clients draft wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other legal documents to ensure their final wishes are carried out upon their death. Estate planning is much more complicated than simply directing who should receive what item of property. Estate planning begins by examining the assets of the grantor (a creator of a will) or testator (a creator of a trust) and speaking with the individual to determine what he or she wishes to accomplish with these assets upon his or her death. The attorney should speak with the individual about potential hurdles, such as taxes and inheritance laws that may prevent his or her goals from being accomplished. Through the creation of powers of attorney or healthcare directives, the attorney will also address contingencies such as illness or incapacity that can prevent the person’s desires during his or her lifetime from being carried out. Even after an estate plan is created, periodic review of that estate plan is important to ensure one’s assets are properly protected.
- Immigration law: The United States’ immigration laws are notoriously complex, and made even more so when one considers these federal laws are supplemented by regulations, executive orders, and court decisions. Unless you are a United States citizen, are present in the United States lawfully, or qualify for a program such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), you face the possibility of being deported and barred from reentering the United States. Unfortunately, obtaining lawful status is often a complicated and time-consuming process. If you have a loved one who is a United States citizen, you may have a basis for obtaining lawful admission into the United States. Even if you have been denied admission into the United States, having a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can be an asset in obtaining a waiver that would allow you to remain in the United States while you pursue a visa or other form of lawful status. Having a knowledgeable attorney’s advice and counsel is crucial to navigating the immigration law landscape efficiently. Centonzio Law, PLLC attorney Centonzio will evaluate your situation and help you determine what immigration or visa programs you and your family may qualify for that will enable you to live and (perhaps) work lawfully in the United States.
- Probate law: When an individual dies (whether with a will or without), that individual’s assets – his or her personal and/or real property – may need to pass through a court-supervised process known as “probate.” The probate system exists to ensure that a decedent’s affairs are concluded in a prompt and orderly manner. Florida’s probate laws require a decedent’s executor or representative – the individual appointed and empowered by the court to wind up the decedent’s estate – to notify heirs and beneficiaries of the decedent of the decedent’s death, admit any will to court, pay the decedent’s last expenses and any lawful claims submitted by creditors, and distribute the decedent’s property according to the terms of the decedent’s will (or according to Florida’s laws, if the decedent did not leave a will).
Our experienced legal team is prepared to assist you with your legal needs in these practice areas and others. The sooner you contact our firm, the sooner we are able to evaluate your case and help determine the best course of action to help you achieve the results you desire. Contact Centonzio Law, PLLC today and let us assist you in resolving your legal challenge or question.
Why Do I Need a Pinellas County Attorney?
Walk into any bookstore or library and you can find any number of “do-it-yourself” books and tools claiming to be able to help you accomplish complicated tasks like creating a trust or will, creating an estate plan, or tackling your immigration situation without needing to go through an “expensive” attorney. There are many advantages to having an attorney represent you, however, including:
- Knowledge of current laws: Federal and state laws are constantly changing and being modified. Unless you are familiar with the current laws in effect that govern your legal matter, the advice you receive from a book may be outdated and of no use to you. Not only can this cause a delay in the resolution of your case, you may be foreclosed from asserting certain claims and/or you may waive important rights. An experienced attorney will be familiar with the current federal, state, and local laws that are pertinent to your legal matter and will be able to help you understand how these laws impact your rights.
- Knowledge of the courts: Many local courts have their own rules and guidelines that individuals appearing before the court or filing a case with the court must follow. Legal pleadings may be rejected if these rules and guidelines are not followed. Your knowledgeable Florida attorney will be familiar with these rules and guidelines, saving you time and resources and helping ensure your case is advanced promptly.
- Ability to take a “broad view”: A book may be able to teach you about the essential terms of a will, but that book cannot analyze your assets and goals and determine if a will is the most appropriate document for your situation. If you have a considerable amount of assets, for example, a will may create significant tax obligations for your executor and heirs. Similarly, a will may not be the most appropriate choice if you have children and wish to provide resources for them or are concerned that they may squander their inheritance.
These are just a few of the benefits that you may experience by hiring an attorney to handle your legal matter rather than attempting to “do-it-yourself.” When you entrust your legal matter into the hands of an experienced Florida lawyer, you can obtain peace of mind knowing that your matter is being timely addressed by a professional who knows the law and how to use the law to help you get the results you need. At Centonzio Law, PLLC we pride ourselves on being able to provide our clients with this peace of mind. Let us help you: contact our firm today.
What To Expect When You Meet With Centonzio Law, PLLC
Taking the bold step of consulting with an attorney can seem intimidating. Any number of thoughts may cross your mind: What will this law firm think of me and my situation? Will this firm judge me for getting myself into the predicament in which I find myself? Will the attorney just be interested in my money? Do not let such concerns prevent you from seeking legal assistance! At Centonzio Law, PLLC, we want you to feel empowered by your decision to seek our advice and representation. Although each case is different, you can expect that our office staff and legal team will:
- Treat you with respect from the outset: Our staff and team of attorneys will treat you with respect and dignity from the moment you call our office until our work for you is over and thereafter. We believe individuals who seek our advice are making one of the best decisions for themselves and their families that they can make. Our staff and lawyers will always be polite and professional when interacting with you and your loved ones.
- Take time to understand your situation: Every person is different, so it only makes sense that the solution to your specific legal need or concern will be different from the solution for another individual. “One-size-fits-all” solutions rarely provide you with the type of results that you are expecting. That is why our team takes the time to understand the facts and circumstances of your situation and what concern(s) led you to seek our firm’s assistance. We actively listen in order to understand your needs and goals so that we know how to best assist you.
- Partner with you in resolving your situation: Some law firms do not involve their clients in hardly any decisions. The client pays one of these firms the appropriate fee and then a lawyer for the firm sets off to “solve” the client’s problem. You will not find this at Centonzio Law, PLLC. We believe that the more you understand about our work and are involved in the resolution of your situation, the more satisfied and empowered you will feel. That is why we go to great lengths to make certain that you are kept informed and involved in the major decisions that must be made in your case. We explain how one decision or the other might impact the outcome of your case and help you decide the best course of action for you and your family.
- Aggressive and dedicated representation: Not all cases end up in court, but some probate, immigration, and elder law cases do. When a case is being presented in court, it is important to the potential success of your case that your attorney is not only knowledgeable as to the law but is confident in presenting the facts of your case and the controlling legal principles to the court. The attorneys at Centonzio Law, PLLC are skilled and persuasive advocates – we pride ourselves on being able to competently and confidently represent our clients’ interests in court and out of court. You can expect that we will advocate for you in a professional yet firm manner, advancing and protecting your interests while remaining professional with the court and any other parties involved.
We want to take away any stigma or fear you or your loved one(s) might have about seeking legal advice. Do not delay: The longer you wait before taking action to resolve your legal matter, the more difficult – and more costly – finding a solution can become.
The Pinellas County law firm of Centonzio Law, PLLC is available to assist clients in Pinellas County and throughout Florida, including residents in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Largo, Clearwater, and Seminole. Contact our firm today by calling (727) 900-7290 or by completing our firm’s online contact form and let us go to work for you.