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Lauren Nagel Richardson

Lauren Nagel Richardson

Of Counsel to Bogin, Munns & Munns, P. A.
  • Estate Planning, Elder Law, Family Law...
  • Florida
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

Lauren Richardson moved to Gainesville in 1993 to complete an LLM in Taxation at UF Law. Since then, she has focused her practice on protecting families and property through estate planning, guardianship, probate, special needs, and elder law. She also serves as co-counsel on wrongful death, personal injury and probate and trust litigation cases. Lauren's probate practice is Statewide. All other areas are throughout North Florida. Free phone consult. Reasonable fees.

Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Family Law
  • Probate
  • Nursing Home Abuse
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Real Estate Law
  • Free Consultation
    Free office consultations in medical malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death cases. Free phone consultation in all other areas of practice.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Other forms of payment: Checks Cash Money Order
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
  • French: Written
Professional Experience
Of Counsel to Bogin, Munns & Munns, P. A.
- Current
Continuing to provide affordable and compassionate legal services in estate planning, probate, guardianship and elder law in Gainesville and surrounding areas. Now with the support of a law firm with 12 offices in Central Florida and North Central Florida. Free phone consultations. Statewide Florida Probate. Flat fees for summary administration and some estate planning.
Founding Attorney
Lauren Richardson Law, PLLC
- Current
Serving North Florida in estate planning, probate, guardianship, elder law and some family law matters. Also probate administration Statewide. LLM in Taxation. 20 years experience. Welcoming and professional. I will meet you at your home, nursing home or hospital if you are unable to come to my office.
Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates
practicing probate administration Statewide and estate planning, probate, guardianship, wills, trusts, elder law, and some family law throughout North Florida.
University of Florida
LL.M. (1997) | Taxation
Tax Thesis: Private Inurement After the United Cancer Council Case
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Florida State University College of Law
J.D. (1993) | Law
Honors: Graduated Magna Cum Laude; Book Awards: Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property
Activities: President: National Association of Public Interest Lawyers
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Rollins College
B.A. (1990) | Philosophy
Honors: Bruce Wavell Philosophy Prize; NEH Younger Scholars Award
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Pro Bono Service Award
Three Rivers Legal Services/Southern Legal Counsel
Pro Bono Service Award
Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc.
Book Awards: Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property
Florida State University College of Law
Bruce Wavell Philosophy Prize
Rollins College
NEH Younger Scholars Award
National Endowment for the Humanities
research, writing and publication of paper, Russian Avant Garde Art and Relevant Scientific Theory
Professional Associations
The Florida Bar # 0083119
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Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association
Board Member
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Websites & Blogs
Florida Estate Planning Attorney | Wills | Lauren Richardson Law
Legal Answers
142 Questions Answered

Q. I'm one of 3 people as tenants in common on a deed. 1 died 30 years ago , 1 is 96 yrs old. How should I proceed?
A: You will need to hire a probate attorney and open probate estates for each of the deceased people for their share to be transferred to their heirs by a court order. Then the heirs will have a court order authorizing them to sell the property. There is no other way to transfer the property from the name of the deceased owner to the current heirs. There is no deed that can transfer this interest of the deceased person to the heirs--only a court order in the probate case works to transfer the property interests to the heirs. You are welcome to call my office for a free phone consultation to discuss the estate process. We handle summary administration (small estate administration) anywhere in Florida for a flat fee.
Q. 2 sisters inherit a house from their father, it goes through probate court and both sisters names are on the deed.
A: If both sisters received their shares via a probate order determining homestead status or a PR Deed, they would have each received an undivided one half as tenants in common. This means that their one half passes to their heirs. The sister's next of kin should open an estate to transfer the one half to the heirs. Our office handles estates anywhere in Florida. You are welcome to call me for a free phone consultation. Flat fees available for summary administration.
Q. Hi,How do I file an objection to a "Consent to appointment of personal representative" in the state of Florida?
A: Dear Kim, If the rest of the siblings want to appoint someone else, one of you is going to have to retain an attorney to represent you to file a counter petition for administration which requests that sibling be appointed personal representative and then have the siblings who support that petitioner file their waivers and consents to appointment of the that sibling. All other things being equal, the person with the majority of consents to their appointment will be appointed. Your sister did not serve you with a waiver. She sent you a proposed waiver and asked you to sign it. If you don't sign it, then there will likely be a hearing on her appointment; however, if no one else has filed their counter petition, then it may be likely that she will be appointed. If your father was your mother's 100% heir, you also have the issue of opening your father's estate under which estate there would be a distribution ultimately to the children. If there is cash in the estate, then anyone who goes out of pocket to hire an attorney and is then appointed personal representative will be able to be reimbursed out of the estate funds. If there are no funds and only real estate, for example, then typically the heirs pitch in and share the cost of the estate administration. First step is hiring an attorney. You will need one if you are going serve as personal representative. And remember, if there is cash in the estate, then your out of pocket expense to retain the attorney will be reimbursed to you as an estate expense but only if you succeed in being appointed personal representative.
Q. We want to sell my Mom's home in Florida, but don't know where to legally place the funds afterwards. Help please?!?!
A: You need to contact an experienced elder law attorney who can explain your options to you. If your mom's home is her homestead, and she is now in need of skilled nursing and may qualify for Medicaid, please take the following into consideration: Homestead is not a countable asset; it is exempt. However, if you sell the homestead, then the cash from the homestead is a countable asset, and a single person (without a community spouse) can only have $2,000 in cash to be under the asset cap for Medicaid. The children who would be the heirs of the estate have the option of taking over the responsibility for payment of the expenses to maintain the home, pay mortgage or pay property taxes, as they will be the ones to benefit someday by inheriting the homestead, and when homestead is part of an estate, it is exempt from creditors even if one of the creditors is the State of Florida for the Medicaid that the elder used. Another issue is that if you were to rent her home to a third party, then you are going to lose the homestead exemption for property tax purposes and in her estate, and then the property is considered by Medicaid to be an income producing property and the net income after expenses would be added to her income to determine the income cap. Once someone qualifies for Medicaid for skilled nursing (ICP program), all of their income except $130 goes to the nursing home. $130 is the personal needs allowance, which you can see is not enough to pay for maintaining the homestead; thus, this is why family members usually pick up the expenses to preserve the homestead, so it passes through the elder's estate someday, gets a step up in basis based on FMV on date of death, and then the heirs sell the home after the elder dies. Another option if the family does not want to pay to maintain the homestead is to sell the home and enter into a personal services contract, which is based on the actuarial life expectancy of the elder and is a front loaded payment for future services to whichever child or children agree to serve as the elder's care manager. The payment for services is income to the care managers, but then after income taxes are paid, usually the family members set that money aside in case the elder has needs for which their $130 per month personal needs allowance does not cover. This agreement needs to be prepared by an attorney, as there are several steps that must be taken to make sure that the transfer of funds does not constitute a penalty transfer. Again, you can see that there is some good planning that can be done to preserve some assets, but this will involve hiring an experienced elder law attorney near you to make the full assessment and advise you regarding your options.
Q. I am successor trustee in my fathers trust. Am I able to sign the title of his car over to a buyer in the state of FL?
A: I agree with attorney Thorgaard that if the car is titled to the trust, and you are the successor trustee, then you will be able to transfer/sell the vehicle. You will need to take the death certificate and a copy of the trust agreement to the tag office. However, I always recommend that successor trustees have at least a consultation with an estate planning attorney to review all the steps they will need to take during what is called the "period of administration" which is after the death of the grantor and up until the trust is fully distributed and terminated. Sometimes accounts need to be updated with an EIN, basis step up, trustee acceptance, trust certification, before they are distributed to trust beneficiaries. If there is real estate in the trust, then you will definitely need an attorney to prepare and record a trust certification, trustee's deed, and also record the death certificate. There may also be issues related to trust income taxes. For these reasons, I think that it is prudent for every successor trustee to have a consultation with an attorney who is experienced in trust administration.
Q. Can someone tell me if the deed that I have is a ladybird deed ?
A: A real estate attorney or an estate planning attorney who prepared these types of deeds would have to review your deed to answer this question for you. There is specific language which must be included for it to be a "ladybird deed" or "enhanced life estate deed." You are welcome to call my office for a free phone consultation and we can discuss this and help determine what type of deed you have.
Q. My stepfather left me his home in his will, was told I will have to sell to pay off debt but I want to keep to live in.
A: The issue here is that you are not an heir at law, and the homestead exemption as the property passes through the estate does not pass to you as a non-heir. Typically, the court still signs a homestead order, but it states that the property is non-exempt homestead and subject to administration. Once a real property is deemed to be subject to administration, then it is subject to the creditors of the estate. If it was only subject to the reverse mortgage (i.e. if it had been left to a heir at law), then the homestead order would distribute the home to the heir at law, subject to the reverse mortgage, and the heir would have to refinance after the property was distributed to them via the homestead order. This is likely what would occur if you were to disclaim the property. If you do not disclaim the property, then it is correct that the property is subject to claims and would then need to be sold in the estate, and at the time of sale, the mortgage and the debts would be paid, and the balance remaining distributed to whomever are the named residuary beneficiaries under the will. This happens whenever someone who is not an heir at law is left a homestead property in a will; it just does not have these consequences of a sale inside the estate if there are no creditors.
Q. My brother has been on SSI and Medicaid. He received an inheritance but failed to report it right away.
A: Your brother can transfer the money to a 1st party special needs trust if he has been determined to be disabled by SSA or Medicaid and is under the age of 65. There is particular language which must be included in the special needs trust for it to meet the requirements for him to keep his benefits, for example, the State must be the designated beneficiary of the remainder upon his death up to the amount of the benefits that he received, with any balance thereafter going to his estate. You should work with an experienced elder law/special needs attorney in your area to make sure that the special needs trust is drafted correctly.
Q. Ward is confined to memory care at ALF. Son is guardian, can wards house hold bills be paid through the guardianship?
A: You will need an order from the court before the ward's expenses can be paid. There are quite a few options including petitioning the court for the ward's son to be determined to be the ward's dependent. Also with the guardianship court's order, the house could be transferred to a child who has been the caretaker for a period of time. You should work directly with the guardianship attorney that you have hired to represent you to explore the options under chapter 744, and always petition the court for authority to act if the authority requires a court order, if there are objections to actions not typically requiring a court order, or if the funds have been placed in a restricted depository by the court.
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Contact & Map
Lauren Richardson, Attorney at Law
Of Counsel to Bogin, Munns & Munns
2700 NW 43rd Street
Suite C
Gainesville, FL 32606
Telephone: (352) 204-2224
Cell: (352) 872-2183