Practice Areas

Information without experience is a thin thing. — Kathleen Raine

Carol W. Wood has years of experience in preparing estate planning documents such as trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney, nuptial and domestic partnership agreements and health care directives.

Put her decades of estate planning experience to use in helping you to attain peace of mind. Carol W. Wood strives to know you as an individual and to provide you with prompt personal attention.  She very much enjoys finding out what she has in common with each of her clients.
Estate Planning

Carol W. Wood can help you determine what estate planning documents and techniques will help you to meet your goals.  She takes the time to learn about your family, your assets and your causes for concern.  There may be opportunities or pitfalls that did not occur to you but that she can recognize and discuss with you.

Estate and Trust Administration
Carol W. Wood represents fiduciaries from all over the country in the administration of Florida estates and trusts.  If ancillary administration is needed, she can assist you (even with an impending real estate closing date).  She can also help estate and trust beneficiaries determine if they are being treated fairly.
Nuptial and Domestic Partnership Agreements

All relationships end at some point – either by separation or death.  Couples can work out issues and enter into an agreement that will determine what will happen if they ever separate.  They can agree to provide for one another in the event of death or preserve their separate assets to descend to their separate beneficiaries.  The purpose of such agreements is to minimize disagreement and expense when the relationship ends because the issues have already been settled.

Florida Homestead Law and Residency
Florida Residency

Florida residency has many advantages besides lots of sunshine!  But there are also some intricacies of Florida law that can frustrate one’s intent.  For instance, it is important to understand Florida’s constitutional restrictions on the devise of one’s homestead property.  Carol W. Wood can discuss the benefits and the possible pitfalls of Florida residency and how to establish your residency when you are relocating from another state.

Inheritance Disputes

Disputes following the death of a family member are, unfortunately, all too common.  Questions may be raised about the interpretation of language in documents or the actions of those charged with administering an estate or trust.  Carol W. Wood can review the relevant documents and advise you on the process, as well as on your legal rights and responsibilities.

Estate Planning for Unmarried and Same-Sex Couples

State and federal laws grant countless benefits to opposite-sex married couples.  When one of them dies, the other has spousal entitlements.  In the event of divorce, Florida law provides for the method of property division and the right to support under the proper circumstances.  It is essential for same-sex and unmarried couples to have proper estate planning documents in order to protect the surviving partner.  Carol W. Wood has years of experience in this ever-changing area of the law.

Trust and Will Modification

Sometimes the terms of a trust just do not suit the present situation.  Carol W. Wood can review the trust document and assess the possibility of getting its terms modified.  Although filing a petition with the court is generally indicated, in certain circumstances, that may not be necessary.  As of July 1, 2011, it is now possible to modify the terms of a Florida Will.

Elective Share Representation
If not properly waived, the surviving spouse of a Florida resident is entitled to thirty per cent (30%) or what is called the “elective estate.”  Carol W. Wood can help to determine what constitutes the “elective estate” in your case and whether or not it would be beneficial to pursue it.  She also advises estate fiduciaries concerning this analysis.
Pet Trusts

Florida law allows you to set up a trust for the care of your pet who might outlive you.  Carol W. Wood understands that for many people, beloved pets are like members of the family.  She can develop a realistic plan so that you won’t worry about your furry friend.

About Martindale-Hubble

Carol W. Wood enjoys an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.

The 140-year history of the Martindale-Hubbell began with two separate publications:

The Martindale Directory was first published in 1868 by James B. Martindale, a lawyer and businessman. Its purpose was “to furnish to lawyers, bankers, wholesale merchants, manufacturers, real estate agents, and all others…the address of one reliable law firm, one reliable bank, and one reliable real estate office in every city in the United States...” read more

In 1930 the Martindale Company purchased the publishing rights to Hubbell’s Legal Directory. This Directory consisted of three parts: a digest of the collected laws of each state; court calendars; and a selective list of lawyers and firms.

The Martindale-Hubbell Ratings provide a review of a lawyer or law firm to aid buyers and referrers of legal services in choosing the right lawyer or firm for their legal issue.