Areas of Practice

 

Estate Planning

Everyone has an estate; some are large, some are small, and all are unique, but everyone has an estate since “estate” simply means everything you own. In addition to the typical discomfort one has when discussing what happens "when you die," one of the main reasons people put off creating an Estate Plan is because they feel they do not have a big enough estate to plan. I tell them that everyone has an estate to plan and I ask them if they want a court deciding who receives their hard-earned assets, administering their personal affairs, or making important medical decisions for them, because that is exactly what happens if they do not plan ahead. Everyone should recognize and appreciate that they are putting in long work hours, or have retired after a lifetime of hard work, focused on building up their assets (bank accounts, real and personal property, investments, life insurance, and retirement accounts, to name a few) in order to support themselves and their family during their lifetime, and then passing it on to their loved ones or charities after they die. In my professional opinion, taking a gigantic gamble by failing to protect your estate and create your Estate Plan is a foolish risk to take. The time to plan for your future is now!

When somebody passes away and they have not properly prepared their Estate Plan, the person’s estate will fall into the probate system and state law will determine how the estate is distributed. It is highly likely that the probate process will take at least 6 months before a single asset is allocated to a beneficiary, but this is typically how our extremely busy probate system plays out. In addition to the stressful probate process your family will need to go through, it is unlikely that the distribution of your assets and other postmortem decisions will not match what you would have planned for in a professionally-drafted Estate Plan. To avoid dying without an Estate Plan that is tailored to your unique situation and wishes, it is an invaluable decision to contact an Estate Planning attorney to begin the process of creating either a Trust or a Will, plus, a Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, and Living Will. 

Our goal is to educate our clients to understand the benefits of the Estate Planning process. It is essential to have an experienced Estate Planning attorney listen to all of your questions and concerns and walk you through the entire Estate Planning process in Florida. Creating a basic Estate Plan (i.e., Will, Trust, Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate and Living Will) does not need to be intimidating; in fact, it could provide you with a great sense of security because you can rest easy knowing that your family will be secure and your assets will be distributed as you wish.

For more information on the Estate Planning process and to get started on creating your individualized plan, contact Judd Bean Law to set-up your free initial consultation. Either click on the "Free Case Evaluation Link" and fill in your information or call us at 813-503-4332.

  

Marchman Act - Substance Abuse Intervention

What is the Marchman Act?

The Marchman Act is a law under Chapter 397 of the Florida Statutes that enables family members to obtain help for a loved one who is unwilling to seek substance abuse services voluntarily. Through Florida’s Marchman Act, a civil court of law can issue an order that requires an impaired individual to enter into a drug and alcohol, assessment, stabilization and long-term treatment. The key to a Marchman Act court order is how a substance abuse impaired individual must comply with any drug and alcohol, assessment, stabilization and treatment, or face significant consequences for their failure to do so. Under the Marchman Act, a substance abuser cannot refuse help once a court order is issued. Staying sober and remaining in treatment are the only ways for the addict avoid sanctions by the court. The Marchman Act courts are designed and geared toward getting addicts help. The Marchman Act is CONFIDENTIAL; filings are not open to the public, so any treatment that is ordered is kept confidential and private.

Essentially, the Florida Marchman Act is a legal process whereby friends and family may petition the court to receive a confidential court-ordered substance-abuse assessment and extended treatment. You may be hesitant to seek involuntary alcohol or substance abuse assessment, but taking that step may save the life of someone you love.

Most importantly, the Marchman Act is an extremely effective legal tool to compel individuals, who simply refuse to enter into treatment voluntarily, enter involuntary and in-patient treatment for their substance abuse problem. Sobriety and FULL recovery are definitely realistic goals for everyone abusing drugs or alcohol. Don’t wait until it’s too late. The Marchman Act gives YOU, the friend or family member, the power to ACT on your loved one’s behalf.

What are the specific criteria for a Marchman Act?

Has lost the power of self-control with respect to substance use, and EITHER
  • Inflicted, threatened, or attempted to inflict physical harm on his or herself or another, or,
  • Is in need of substance abuse services and, by reason of substance abuse impairment, is incapable of appreciating the need for such services and of making a rational decision in regard to receiving services. However, mere refusal to receive such services does not constitute evidence of lack of judgment with respect to the need for such services.

Without the intervention of the legal system, the stress, tears and anger can build inside someone who is living in a nightmare with an alcoholic or addict. These bad emotions make it seem imminent that something terrible is going to happen to a loved one under the reigns of addiction (i.e., a DUI, job loss, incarceration, and death, to name a few). Floridians are incredibly blessed to be able to employ the Marchman Act, if needed, to force treatment on a loved one’s drug abuse and/or alcohol addiction. The Marchman Act can be a lifeline to a family member or friend who is dangerously addicted.

How can Judd Bean Law help?

Whether you have a sibling, cousin, mother, or any other family member or a close friend struggling with substance abuse and/or addiction, the Marchman Act is CRUCIAL to take action and intervene into your loved one’s life-threatening problems. YOU are our potential client, the petitioner, and the friend or family member that desperately wants to cease any further damage caused by drugs or alcohol. With the help of JUDD BEAN LAW, we will fight to get your loved one into a detox and treatment facility. Someone who is abusing prescription drugs, alcohol, illicit street drugs, or other substances that cause mind-altering effects, can and will cause serious and irreparable damage to their body (physically and mentally), employment, finances, family, strangers, etc. The virtually unlimited effects of substance abuse are overwhelming, causing you to think there is no chance of giving your family member or friend their life back through a recovery program. JUDD BEAN LAW gives much-needed hope and positive expectations to our Clients and their families, who are stuck in dreadful situations with a loved one controlled by drugs or alcohol. We give our Clients optimism by involving them first- hand as a “teammate” in their Marchman Act case; combining their knowledge and love with our legal skills and experience, to fashion the appropriate plan of action. We pride ourselves on teaching our Clients (family members and friends of substance abusers) how to be proactive in their familial and loving relationships with the substance abuser in their lives. Not only do we work together towards forming an intervention game plan under the Marchman Act to force loved ones into treatment, but we work tirelessly to change any dejected or dismal thoughts or attitudes clients have into trusting their Higher Power and maintaining a prayerful mindset.

So, why are you still waiting? Don't put that phone call off any longer!

If your loved one is showing substance abuse signs and symptoms, such as experimenting with drugs or alcohol, lack of motivation, changing behavior at home, school or work, a poor self-image, a change in friends, manipulative or deceitful behavior, violent outbursts or hostility, lack of desire to take part in healthy activities, or the desire to hurt themselves or others, they are in serious danger and need to receive help as soon as possible. Don’t wait until their life is destroyed. Get them the help they need now. Plus, the Marchman Act can even help you get the treatment covered by insurance or help you find treatment plans that are structured to fit your ability to pay.

If this is happening in your family or circle of friends, you may feel scared, helpless and unsure about what to do. Watching a life being destroyed by substance abuse can be heartbreaking. You may want to help them, but don’t know how, or you may have tried to help, but were not successful. You don’t have to go through this alone. Contact Judd Bean Law now and let us get those bad emotions out of your head and protect your loved one’s life. We will immediately form a plan of action and begin to take positive steps towards the recovery of your “lost” family member or friend. This, in turn, will start to free your mind from stress and worry, stopping the endless speculation about what perils may come upon your loved one.

Don’t let a substance abuse dilemma linger! Be PROACTIVE! Immediate action is CRITICAL to address the perilous situation and provide intensive therapy to the substance abuser. Experienced psychologists and drug and alcohol abuse professionals will team together to figure out why your loved one is abusing drugs, address it, and help remind them how beautiful Life can be when their mind is not clouded with alcohol or drugs. Not only has the Marchman Act restored HOPE to countless Floridians in the grips of addiction, but it probably saved their lives as well. Do not be afraid to reach out to! Take this step now to free your loved one of the chains of substance abuse, and help them to start fresh on building a new life. Do not be afraid! Reach out now to Judd Bean Law, where you will find a friend waiting to hear your story and ready to provide a game plan for your situation.