Can you recommend another type of attorney to me?

Yes, we can recommend attorneys who practice different types of law and, occasionally, who practice in other states. Please call or email, and we will be happy to give you their contact information.

I was contacted by the IRS, is it a legitimate call/letter?

The Internal Revenue Service has made a habit of not calling for initial tax matters. If you do receive a letter, please call us and we can walk you through identifying if the letter did in fact come from the IRS.

I received a letter from a third party asking for more money for an additional copy of my deed or saw an advertisement on TV for title fraud detection. What should I do?

We are not associated with any third party which may contact you after we send your deed for recording or advertises title fraud detection. Please call or email us if you have any questions or concerns in this regard.

What procedures are you following during the COVID-19 pandemic?

We are following OSHA and CDC guidelines and requiring everyone who enters our offices to wear a mask. Disposable masks and hand sanitizer are available for your use. Before and after your visit, the door handles, pens and meeting room will be sanitized. We ask that you not bring more people than necessary to the appointment, as we are trying to limit the number of people in the building at any time.

Please keep in mind that we see a number of people who are extremely vulnerable to infection, and we ask for your help in minimizing their risk while at our office. Please reschedule your appointment if you have recently been exposed to infection, have symptoms or have tested positive. As well, please let us know if you have any health conditions that make you especially vulnerable so that we can take extra precautions or make special arrangements for you.

Thank you for your understanding during this time.

Can I drop by the office and meet with the attorneys?

Please call ahead to make sure that the attorneys will be available to see you before stopping by the office. They travel between our St. Petersburg and Clearwater office locations several times a week and often have client meetings and phone conferences scheduled when they are in the office. The best way to be sure they are available is to call ahead.

When will the attorneys be at the Clearwater office?

John and Jerry are at the Clearwater office by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will not be able to meet with you unscheduled,  so please call ahead before dropping by to make sure that someone will be available.

Should I send mail to the St. Petersburg or Clearwater office?

You should address all mail to our St. Petersburg address.

How should I make out a check to your office for fees or deposits?

Please make checks payable to “John Fitzgerald Correa, PLLC.”

What should I bring to my consultation appointment?

A valid form of identification (i.e. a driver’s license or state identification card) and copies of any deeds we will need to work on, especially deeds to property not located in Pinellas County, Florida. If you have previously created a last will and testament or trust agreement with another office, please bring a copy of those documents.

What other information do you need to know before preparing my deed?

Please inform our office if you are a member of law enforcement, have a protective order against another party or are aware of any other circumstances which would prevent us from viewing your property records online as a necessary part of the process. If you are unsure as to whether this is the case, please mention it to us before we begin work on your deed. We will need to receive those records from you personally.

What documents or information does your office need to prepare my tax return?

Please provide us with the originals of any social security benefit statements, Forms W-2, Forms 1099 and Schedule K-1 statements that you may receive for benefits, earnings, income or losses from investments for the tax year in question. You should also provide us with a list of any estimated tax payments made in the past year. The best way to determine which documents are necessary is to speak with the attorney regarding your tax matters.

Who should or should not accompany me to my signing appointment?

For certain estate planning documents to be properly executed, you should not be accompanied or driven to our office by anyone named as a beneficiary or trustee in your estate plan.

How do I execute this document you sent me to sign?

Please carefully read any directions we send to you regarding the execution of any document. We ask that you execute all original documents in blue ink.

Please pay careful attention to our witness and notary requirements, and ensure that any notary you use outside of our office reads the notary paragraph and fully understands how they are to execute the document before they begin.

If you are at all unsure as to how to execute a document we send to you, please contact our office.

My deed was sent out for recording, when will I receive it?

Please allow for approximately two weeks after your signing appointment for your recorded deed to be returned to you. If your original, recorded deed still has not arrived after that time period, please contact us. If it has been lost in the mail, we can order a certified copy from the clerk.

When can I expect to get my documents back after they are submitted for recording or filing?

In general, please allow for approximately two weeks after your signing appointment to receive your original, recorded documents. Some documents cannot be e-filed and will need to be submitted by mail. Documents that are sent to other or multiple jurisdictions for recording may take several weeks longer to be returned to you. As well, some original documents will only be returned to the trustee or personal representative at the end of the process, stay in our file, or be permanently filed with the court or other agency. Please contact our office if you have any questions or requests in this regard.

When should I update my estate planning documents?

We advise that you talk to us every two to three years and review your estate plan. You might want to make changes to your estate plan, and there can be changes to laws and regulations regarding estate documents.

Why can’t I just scan or fax a signed document to return it to you?

In most cases, the courts and IRS both require that original, signed documents are either submitted to them or kept on file with our office.

I’m unable to travel to your office. Can one of the attorneys meet me at my home or long term care facility?

Yes, if you are located within Pinellas County and when COVID-19 restrictions allow. For an additional traveling charge, either one or both of the attorneys can meet with clients at their homes or at long term care facilities if the client is unable to travel to our office.

Please make arrangements with staff at the facility to ensure that the appointment can be made and witnesses will be present at signing appointments. We ask that you make these types of appointments at least two weeks in advance so that we can factor travel time into the attorneys’ schedules.

How long will it take to complete a probate administration?

The answer to this question is complicated and depends on a variety of factors unique to each probate administration.

As well, new variables can arise during the course of an administration that will change the timeline of events. Depending on factors such as the existence of outstanding debts, complications with annuity policies or retirement benefits, estate or probate administrations occurring simultaneously within the family, beneficiary disputes, etc., the process can become more complicated and drawn out.

The best way to determine the status of a probate administration is to be in contact with your attorney.

I am a beneficiary of a trust or estate your office is administering; are you my attorney?

This is a complicated question, and you should speak to us directly about who is and is not your attorney.