Sawyer & Sawyer, PA

Elder Law Attorney-Orange County Florida,Planning Across Generations

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Firm Overview

We focus on planning for life's challenges to our ability to manage our property and our health care independently by developing legal strategies and documents tailored to each client's needs, resources, and wishes. The planning begins with a detailed analysis of the client's circumstances. Options are developed for consideration. Preservation of goals and assets, minimization of costs are discussed with an emphasis on clarity and understandability. A member of the support staff as well as an attorney is assigned to each case in order to ensure that clients receive attention and responsiveness.

The idea of the firm began when my husband, Tom, and I started law school at Stetson College of Law in our 50s after very successful careers in Radiation Oncology. The change from medicine to law was challenging but energizing. We were older than most of our teachers. After graduation, we chose Elder Law because we were at the right age and the right stage in life to feel very comfortable with elderly clients and their families. The nurturing character of Elder Law also had much in common with former careers in Radiation Oncology. The sense of family in the firm was strengthened when our daughter, Cary L. Moss, joined us in the practice after her graduation from Stetson College of Law in 1998. That gave my husband Tom the freedom to go part time on his own and indulge his interest in ceramics. In 2001, Cary's husband, Thomas P. Moss, also a graduate from Stetson College of Law, joined the firm to cover for her while Cary was on maternity leave. We persuaded him to join our firm after the first of their two sons was born. Jessica Lillesand, a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law, joined us last year. She has a special interest in Social Security Disability and Special Needs Trusts for the disabled.

Example cases

We are assisting a client whose wife is in a nursing home in Medicaid planning, guardianship and estate planning. He now has a revocable living trust which will provide for his young grandson. The Qualified Special Needs Trust under his will ensures that in the event he passes away first, his wife will not lose her Medicaid benefits and there will be funds available for the supplemental care of his wife, with the remainder after her death to pass to his children. A guardianship was established in order to access her funds for Medicaid planning and assets were positioned according to Medicaid rules with court approval. Finally, an application was prepared and submitted to obtain Medicaid nursing home benefits for the client's wife. This case combined our expertise in estate planning, guardianship, probate, trust administration and Medicaid planning.

Main Office

Main
8913 Conroy Windermere Road
Orlando  FL  32835

Phone
  • (407) 909-1900
Fax
  • (407) 909-1992

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

No, I do not. However, I do like to get acquainted with a potential client through a brief telephone interview at no cost to be sure we can meet the needs of the client.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

We have several different ways of pricing our services. We generally do not quote fees until we have conducted a discussion of a client's needs to be sure we are able to help the client.

Hourly Rates

$275 per hour for myself, $175 to $250 for other attorneys in the firm, $110 per hour for our paralegals.

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Office Manager

Mary Brooks.

Emergency After Hours

No

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

Elder Law, as I practice it, does not involve much litigation. Instead, it is a counseling and problem solving kind of work. There are not many attorneys who specialize in Elder Law and there is a growing value and demand for the services we offer as our population ages. We also provide services for the disabled in the area of public benefits, disability determination, and protection of assets. This is an area of great personal satisfaction.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I welcome clients who seek information independently and work collaboratively to achieve the best result.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I prefer to prepare documents collaboratively with clients, based on my knowledge and experience.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

If pro se representation is appropriate, I am willing to do it. There are many situations in my practice where it is not appropriate.

Carolyn H. Sawyer, Esq.

After graduation with a Master of Science degree from Rollins College, I became chief radiation physicist at Orlando Regional Medical Center in the Radiation Oncology Center. After that, I became the Technical manager of the private radiation established by Central Florida Radiation Therapy Associates for 15 years. I became certified in Therapeutic Radiological Physics by the American Board of Radiology in 1982. I left the practice in 1990 and began law school a year later.

My early experience as a school teacher for middle school students is helpful in getting across complex concepts to my clients. Also, my experience in physics has developed my quantitative analytic skills as well as given me good computer skills. Finally, my experience with an extended family reinforces my understanding of family dynamics.

My strengths include my enthusiasm for learning, communicating and problem solving. My staff provides a framework of planning and scheduling that make my efforts more effective.

Personal interests:

I enjoy my membership in the Dr. Phillips Rotary Club, my many grandchildren and now great-grandchildren, and sharing my life with an inspirational husband, a remarkable 90 year old mother who lives with us and four little Maltese dogs. I love to read and my husband is constantly loading audible books on my iPod so I am "reading" all the time.

License
  • Bar Number: 0004073
    Florida , 1994
Education
  • Stetson College of Law
    Juris Doctor , 1993
    St. Petersburg, FL
  • Southern Methodist University
    Bachelor of Science , 1966
    Dallas, TX
    Physics.
  • Rollins College
    Master of Science , 1975
    Winter Park, FL
    Physics.

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