WHAT IS "ESTATE PLANNING FOR LIFE"?Traditional "Estate Planning" centered around the manner in which a person disposed of his or her assets upon death, and the avoidance or reduction of estate taxes. These are important considerations, but today, in this age of great medical advances, people are living much longer than in the past, and it has become apparent that there needs to be an estate plan that determines how a person will live during their advanced years or if they are unable to care for themselves.
If you do nothing to plan for your possible incapacity, the State of Florida has laws regarding incompetency and guardianship which will make those decisions for you. Wouldn't you rather decide for yourself how you will live and who will take care of you and your affairs under those circumstances?
Fortunately, we now have the tools available to allow an individual to "tailor" an estate plan to meet his or her particular needs and desires, both during life and upon death. What are these tools?
HOW DO I MAKE THE PLANS I NEED?
You have the right to make decisions based upon your own desires and beliefs, even if others disagree with you. To do this, there are questions which you need to consider and answer before you make decisions regarding your future. Primary among these questions are:
WHO DO I CONTACT TO FINALIZE MY PLANS?
In attempting to answer the questions presented,
you may decide that you need the assistance of someone experienced in estate
planning to explain the options available to you and the advantages and disadvantages
of each. A qualified attorney is the only professional that can explain all
of the options available, and implement your plan by drafting all of the documents
you have determined will be necessary.
The process starts with an appointment, where we answer the questions posed above and consider your particular needs. Naturally, we want you to call this office for your estate planning needs.
N. MICHAEL KOUSKOUTIS, P.A.
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623 East Tarpon Avenue o Tarpon Springs, Florida 33689
TELEPHONE: (727) 942-3631 | FAX: (727) 937-5453
E-MAIL - [email protected]
N. MICHAEL KOUSKOUTIS is a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney and primarily practices in the areas of Elder Law, Probate, Real Estate and Corporate Law.
N. Michael Kouskoutis was born in Gary, Indiana and has lived in Tarpon Springs, Florida for most of his life. He and his wife have been married for 18 years and they have two children.
Mr. Kouskoutis was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1991; the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida in 1991; the Supreme Court, State of Florida in 1991; received his education at the University of South Florida (B.A. 1981); and Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (J.D. 1991).
Mr. Kouskoutis is an active member of various legal groups including the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, the Florida Association of Elder Law Attorneys, the Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar, the Real Property, Probate, and Elder Law Sections of the Florida Bar, the West Pasco Bar Association, and the Pasco County Estate Planning Committee.
N. Michael Kouskoutis is also an active member of the
community and serves on a number of boards and community groups including
the Helen Ellis Hospital Foundation Board of Directors; the Helen Ellis Hospital
Board of Directors where he serves on various committees; other community
service includes Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce; Tarpon Springs Boys &
Girls Club Past President (1998);Vice President (1996,1997, and 1999); and
Board Member (1985-present); Tarpon Springs Elk Lodge; and Tarpon Springs
For many homebuyers, the purchase of a home represents the single largest investment they may make in their lifetime. Buying real estate can be a complicated process, however, many buyers and sellers choose to embark on this process without the benefit of a qualified professional who will safeguard their interests. In view of the importance of your purchase, the benefits of obtaining legal representation in your real estate transaction are numerous.
Normally, at the closing the seller gives the buyer a deed, which transfers the title to you and warrants your title against claims of other persons. However, you should not accept a deed without a thorough title examination of the property. Title insurance secures your claim to property and protects you against any hidden defects. If you are forced to defend your title in court, the insurer agrees to pay the costs.
Many companies sell title insurance. However, a title agency only prepares documents for closing and issues your title insurance policy - the title agency does not represent your legal interests and cannot give you legal advice. Since your ownership rights must be legally protected, a professional in real estate law is best qualified to issue your owner's title insurance policy. That's your real estate attorney.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you should have a professional on your side who is expert and knowledgeable. Your real estate attorney can protect you and your investment for the future.
Trade Commission - Aging Parents and Adult Children (A/PACT)
Administration on Aging - Web Sites on Aging
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services formerly Health Care Financing Administration
Social Security Online
National Council on Aging - Benefits Checkup
Veterans Administration - File for benefits online
Alzheimer's Association of Tampa Bay
Web sites for and about seniors:
American Association of Retired Persons
State of Florida:
State of Florida - Agency for Health Care Administration