Frequently Asked Questions
Get Answers from Our Experienced Fort Myers Firm
From the start to the finish of your case, you will likely have many questions
that will require the focus and interest of a knowledgeable legal guide.
At Your Advocates, we can help you during your case and provide you with
the level of communication you deserve. To begin, we have answered a number
of common questions in each field of law we handle:
General Firm Questions
What sets you apart from other firms?
At Your Advocates, we value communication and place a huge emphasis on
going above and beyond in our representation. We do not believe in one-size-fits-all
solutions. In addition, we will not rest until we know that you are satisfied
with the end result of your case.
How much is the initial evaluation?
You will not have to pay anything for the initial consultation with our
team. All you need to do is fill out the form on our website and we can
help you get started by scheduling the introductory appointment.
What is the overall mission of the firm?
At Your Advocates, we are so confident about the service we offer that
we do not hesitate to make the following promises to each of our clients:
- We focus on you and protecting your rights
- We perform tasks with integrity and honesty
- We treat you with honor
- We will not stop working until we reach a successful result
- We make client experience our top priority
- We represent you in a way that makes sense you
- We aim to exceed your expectations
- We tailor our representation to suit your needs
- We strive to provide legal service that is unmatched
What are the legal requirements for a valid will?
Every will must be put in writing and signed by the testator. If the testator
is not able to sign the document, it can be signed by another in the testator’s
presence at his or her request. All of the legal documents must be signed
in the presence of two witnesses who are required to sign in the presence
of one another and the testator.
Are self-proving wills accepted?
Under Florida law, self-proving wills can be used for estate planning.
A self-proving will is the same as a regular will, but it includes a page
signed by the witnesses. The purpose of this page is to show that the
witnesses attest to the soundness of mind of the testator. The page and
signatures are then accepted as proof of the testator’s signature
and state of mind, rather than having to obtain this testimony upon the
death of the testator.
Can I make my own will?
It is possible to create your own will, but is highly discouraged. There
are often many unknowns with a self-made will, such as the validity and
effectiveness of the document. With the assistance of a knowledgeable
attorney, you can know what type of will to create and have confidence
in the future of your estate.
What is probate?
Probate is a court-supervised process used to identify and gather the
assets and debts of the decedents, and distribute to beneficiaries as
necessary. Florida Probate Code is Chapters 731 – 735 of the Florida
Statutes. The purpose of probate is to wind up the affairs of the decedent.
Under Florida law, the decedent is allowed to make certain decisions through
a valid will.
What areas of probate do you assist with?
At Your Advocates, we can help you handle various probate matters, including:
- Will Contests
- Trust Contests
- Formal Estate Administration
- Summary Estate Administration
- Ancillary Probate Administration
- Disposition Without Administration
There are various types of probate administration that our firm can help
you with. We can help you determine which type is necessary for your situation!
Where are probate documents filed?
Probate is filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county where
the decedent lived. The filing fee will be paid to the clerk to begin
the probate administration.
Do you represent both tenants and landlords?
At Your Advocates, we focus on the representation of landlords, rather
than tenants. We handle a variety of real estate disputes and litigation
matters on behalf of landlords. We provide experienced guidance for clients
who are faced with boundary disputes, title transfers, evictions, and
other issues that may arise.
Do I need an attorney to evict a tenant?
If the landlord wishing to perform the eviction is an individual, he or
she can act as his or her own lawyer. There are many situations, however,
when you will want to be represented by an attorney during the eviction
process. Hiring an attorney can also improve the success of the eviction
and help avoid battles.
Should I hire an attorney for my real estate closing?
The number one thing you do
not want in a real estate closing is a delay. Setting a deal back just one
day could mean the end of it. With a real estate attorney by your side,
you can eliminate legal hurdles that may have cropped up unexpectedly
and hampered your real estate closing had you only relied on a real estate agent.
Should I get title insurance before buying a home?
In most real estate transactions, title insurance is a necessity before
you can buy a home. If there are any defects on the title, such as a co-owner
who doesn’t want to sell it or a lien imposed by a creditor or bank,
title insurance protects the potential buyer from losing significant deposits.
In some cases, it can also hold the property until the defects are eliminated,
ensuring the buyer can still get the home they wanted, just a little later
What do real estate closing costs typically run?
The closing cost for your real estate transaction will vary depending
on the details of the property, its history, and who is buying or selling
it. On average, however, you can expect closing costs to be anywhere between
2% and 5% the purchase price of the property.
What types of paternity tests are available in a Florida divorce?
Determining the fatherhood of a child can be done through a blood test.
In a Florida paternity case, either a Human or DNA test can be used, dependent
on the circumstances. If the Human test indicates that the man tested
has a 95% or higher chance of being the biological father, the court will
follow the assumption that he is the child’s biological father.
What does a home study involve in an adoption process?
An adoption home study includes an independent investigation to ensure
that the prospective family is suitable to take on the responsibilities
of raising an adopted child. In the state of Florida, a positive home
study evaluation is valid for one year after the date of completion.
If I have a background of domestic violence, can I still retain child custody?
The court will evaluate the best interests of the child when assessing
child custody. With a background of domestic abuse, your chances of receiving
child custody may be decreased depending on the assessment of the court.
With the help of a knowledgeable
Fort Myers family law attorney, we can help you build a case.
What factors are considered when choosing a business type for my company?
When choosing a business form, many considerations will be made. Some include:
- Preference of tax treatment
- Intention for capitalizing the business
- Whether you plan to issue stock and trade publicly
- Liability of the business owners
It is important to work closely with a knowledgeable business lawyer when
you are establishing your company.
What is a non-profit corporation?
Non-profit corporations are formed to carry out a charitable, religious,
educational, literary or scientific purpose. This type of company does
not pay federal or state income taxes on the profits that they obtain.
Are buy-sell agreements a good idea?
Corporations that are shared by more than one person should consider buy-sell
agreements. In the case of a shareholder’s termination, disability,
death, or divorce, a buy-sell agreement can protect the company and its
What is considered a violation of the FDCPA?
Some of the actions that are violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices
Act include, but are not limited to:
- Collecting money that was not owed
- Contacting third parties
- Creating false sense of urgency threats
- Contact after retaining an attorneys’ services
Can I sell my house for less than I owe on my mortgage?
If the sale price of your home falls short of the amount you owe to the
lender, it is called a “short sale.” For this to occur, you
will need permission from your lender.
Can bankruptcy stop foreclosure?
Filing for bankruptcy can delay a foreclosure, but it will not be able
to permanently stop the process. When you file, the court issues an automatic
stay which requires all creditors to cease collection activities, including
foreclosure. The sale of your home will be postponed until the bankruptcy
What is considered as “negligence?”
Negligence is defined as any conduct that is done against the standards
of care that are established to protect against the unreasonable harm
How long do personal injury lawsuits last?
The length of a personal injury lawsuit will depend on the severity of
the accident and the participation of the involved parties. Your attorney
can provide you with a more detailed assessment of the length of your
What if I am unable to afford medical treatment?
Accident victims often have a difficult time dealing with the expenses
related to emergency care and treatment, and recovery is not immediate.
Many physicians and healthcare providers will treat the patient with the
promise of future payment. Our office can help you find a medical provider
who can help you resolve your case.
Working with Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A.
At Your Advocates, we recognize that you will likely have many more questions
related to your specific case. For that reason, we offer
free case evaluations to listen to your situation and provide you with a thorough analysis of
the situation. We can answer your questions and fight for your best interest.
Take the first step today and share your story with our firm!