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Published: 2008-03-26

Legal Rights Of Senior Citizens



Senior citizens' lives are affected by many federal, state and local laws and regulations. Many depend on the government for such things as housing, basic income and health care. Many find it confusing dealing with government agencies. Sometimes help is needed with the "red tape" so that benefits are not lost.

But there is help, at little or no cost, to people 60 years of age and over who need legal assistance.

This pamphlet tells you about some of your legal rights and it explains how you can protect those rights. It cannot replace the advice of a lawyer, but it will tell you about some areas of your life that may need the advice of a lawyer.

REASONS YOU MAY NEED LEGAL ASSISTANCE

If you want to make a will. If you die without a valid will, the State of Florida will give your property to people according to a formula fixed by law. It may not be the way you want your property distributed.

If you are buying or selling land or valuable personal property.

If you have been discriminated against because of your age; if you have been fired, refused promotion or refused credit.

If you are threatened with eviction or loss of your home.

If your landlord will not fix your dwelling so it is safe and liveable, as required by Florida's Landlord and Tenant Act.

If you are not receiving your full benefits from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, disability or the Veteran's Administration. If you are not satisfied with a determination by any of these agencies regarding the amount due you, and you want the review of your file you are entitled to.

If your son or daughter divorces and your right to visit your grandchildren is threatened.

If you are not getting the pension you paid for when you were working.

If you receive any legal document or notice that you are being sued.

If you have been cheated by a mail order house, a store, or by a door-to-door salesperson.

If you are bothered by bill collectors at inconvenient or embarrassing times or places.

If you or a loved one are about to be sent to a nursing home or hospital and you do not want to go.

If you are moving to retirement housing.

If your spouse or parent is becoming mentally incompetent to care for him or her self.

If you have these or other legal problems, getting legal assistance is important — the sooner the better. A legal problem is one thing that doesn't improve with age.

HIRING AN ATTORNEY

You know that you should consult with an estate planning attorney to put your affairs in order. Perhaps you have an outdated, out-of-state will that does not reflect your current situation, or you have no will at all. You have heard of living trusts and living wills and possibly attended a seminar, but never followed through to create, with your attorney, an estate plan designed for your needs. Your children have been pressing you to see an attorney, but you delay. This booklet will set forth what you need to know before consulting with an attorney and will help you understand your rights when doing so.

You have an absolute right of confidentiality in conversations between you and your attorney. With few exceptions related to the prevention of crime, the attorney cannot disclose any information that you reveal, no matter how embarrassing or legally damaging. If, for example, you wish to make unequal provisions for your children in your will, your attorney cannot inform your children of these provisions. This is the case even if one of your children brings you to the attorney and pays the attorneys fees. You are the client, not your child. You have the right to speak to your attorney in private, and can be assured that these conversations will remain confidential.

As the client, you have the right to know your attorney's qualifications. You should ask him what are his primary areas of practice. The field of estate planning can be complex and a general practitioner who does not devote a large portion of his practice to estate planning may not be the best choice if you need a will or trust.

You also have the right to know what your attorney is charging you for his services. Ask the attorney what the fee will be in advance. You can then make an informed decision whether to retain the attorney. Have the fee confirmed in writing and state what services will be rendered for you. This will avoid any surprises or misunderstandings later when the bill arrives.

Not all attorneys are acquainted with the special needs of elderly clients. Make sure you inform your attorney of your particular concerns regarding planning for incapacity, planning for long term health care, preservation of your assets and providing for your loved ones after your death. Ask your attorney about the advantages and disadvantages of a living trust as compared with a will. Other documents to discuss with your estate planning attorney are a declaration on life support, otherwise known as a living will, designation of health care surrogate and durable power of attorney.

After the death of your spouse, you will likely retain an attorney to help you settle the affairs of the estate. Often, the attorney who handles probate administration is the attorney who drafted the will. Of course, you are not obligated to retain the same attorney, although he is probably the one most familiar with your family situation.

The attorney handling probate administration represents the court-appointed personal representative of the estate. If you, the spouse of the deceased, are not the personal representative, it may be beneficial for you to retain your own attorney to advise you of your rights with respect to the estate. Suppose, for example, your husband leaves the bulk of his estate to his children. His will creates a trust for your benefit, from which you will receive income. Upon your death, the trust principal is distributed to his children. You receive nothing under his will outright. He appoints one of his children as personal representative. Under Florida law, if you have not waived the right by a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, you may elect against the will and receive 30 percent of the probate estate. The attorney handling probate administration, however, represents the personal representative, not you, and is under no obligation to inform you of this right. In addition, as surviving spouse, you have other rights. It may be advisable for you to retain an independent attorney, separate and apart from the attorney representing the personal representative, to inform you of your rights. You should ask him about homestead rights, family allowance and, as discussed above, the right to an elective share.

Attorneys have a duty of loyalty to their clients, and they must act in accordance with this duty at all times. If you and your spouse hire an attorney to prepare estate planning documents for both of you, a conflict of interest may arise between what is in your best interest and what is in your spouse's best interest. This is especially true in a second marriage situation where one or both spouses wish to provide for children from a prior marriage. Feel free to discuss your concerns openly with your attorney.

GOVERNMENT BENEFITS

City, county, state and federal governments have laws that give benefits to their citizens. You may have the right under some of these laws to receive benefits. The law gives you a legal right, that a court can enforce, to receive the benefits.

Many benefit programs are based on laws and rules that are hard to understand. You may need a lawyer to help you get the benefits to which you have a right. The legal aid programs listed at the end of this booklet may be able to help you get your benefits.

Usually, you must file an application with an agency to get your benefits. Contact the agency before applying to find out what information they will need to decide if you are eligible for benefits. In most cases, the agency must decide within a certain number of days whether or not you are eligible for benefits.

If you think the agency's decision is wrong, ask for the reasons in writing and request an appeal. The law requires most agencies to let you appeal decisions you think are wrong. You may wish to talk to a lawyer to see if you need legal help with your appeal. If you want to appeal, it is very important to act quickly. Agencies place time limits on the days you have to ask for an appeal. If you do not agree with the appeal decision, in most cases you may then go to court. Again, there are limits on the days you have to go into court. If you think you want to go to court, it is very important to speak with a lawyer.

Please note that eligibility requirements for the following benefit programs can change as new laws are passed.

Social Security
Social Security Administration is the nation's method of providing continuing income when a worker's earnings are reduced or eliminated due to retirement, disability, or death. If you are eligible for Social Security, you can receive a monthly check. The amount of the check is based on the amount the worker paid into the Social Security Fund.

Local Social Security Administration offices can give full details on how earnings affect Social Security payments in specific cases. They provide free brochures about Retirement, Disability (SSI) and Survivors.

The Social Security Administration office nearest you is listed in the telephone directory under U.S. Government, Health and Human Services, or you may call 1-800-772-1213.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a benefit program to make sure that all disabled persons and persons over 65 years receive at least a small amount of income, SSI is different from Social Security because SSI is not based on a worker's earnings. People who receive SSI get a monthly check for an amount set by law. For more information on SSI, contact your local Social Security Administration office.

Medicaid
Medicaid is a state medical assistance program for low income persons. In Florida, if you receive SSI you are also eligible for Medicaid.

Medicaid covers most hospital and doctor bills. It may also pay for nursing home care, prescribed drugs, and transportation needed to receive health care. Medicaid patients are not required to pay for any covered hospital or doctor bills.

Medicaid pays medical bills directly to the provider of the service. Since Medicaid payments are made to the provider, not the patient, the provider must be approved by the state to receive Medicaid payments. However, not all providers will accept Medicaid. For more information, contact your local office of the Agency for Health Care Administration.

Medicare
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for persons who are disabled or 65 years or older. The two kinds of Medicare are: Hospital Insurance (Part "A"), which covers hospitalization and related care; and Medical Insurance (Part "B"), which covers physician care and other health services, such as ambulance, rental/purchase of durable medical equipment, etc,

Publications describing these benefits include: A Guide to Medicare, which can be obtained by writing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Medicare Part B, Provider Education Department, P.O. Box 2078, Jacksonville, Florida 32231-0048, or from the Health Care Financing Administration, Bureau of Health Insurance, Division of Management, Administrative Services Section, Baltimore, Maryland 21235.

Food Stamps
Food stamps are coupons which can be used to buy food for members of a household. All households which meet certain income and other eligibility requirements are entitled to receive food stamps. Participants do not have to pay for their coupons. The stamps are issued in an amount based on the household size and total income less certain allowable expenses. If you qualify for SSI you are likely to also be eligible for food stamps.

If you think you may be eligible for food stamps and would like more information, call the toll-free Food Stamp Hot Line (1-800-342-9274) on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., or your local Department of Children and Families. If you are 60 or older or disabled, you can request that the interview to determine your eligibility be held at your home or by phone call.

Publicly Supported Housing
The federal government finances housing in a variety of ways, including public housing programs administered by local housing authorities and a rent subsidy program for private housing. Many programs allow elderly residents to have higher income levels and larger households than young residents. You may not be able to identify federally subsidized housing projects yourself. Your local housing authority, the local office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Florida Department of Community Affairs can give you information about such projects, whether units are available and if you are eligible for them.

Federal law gives certain rights to tenants and applicants for publicly supported housing in addition to the landlord-tenant rights available to all residential tenants. For example, a tenant in a public housing project who doesn't approve of the way something is done might pursue a grievance procedure which may avoid taking the case to court.

Other Benefits
There are a variety of other benefits — federal, state and local — which may be available to you. Sometimes they are improperly denied, but most often people are simply not aware of the programs available to them. The best place to find out what is available is the district office nearest you of the Florida Department of Children and Families or your local area agency on aging.

For information on veterans' benefits, contact the nearest Veterans Administration office or County Veterans Officer.

For information on Social Security, SSI and Medicare, contact your local Social Security office or The United States Government Social Security Office, Tallahassee, Florida 32304.

For information on federal income tax benefits for older Americans, contact the local office of the Internal Revenue Service for their special publication about these benefits.

OTHER RIGHTS

Legal rights affect your relationship not only with the government, but also with other private citizens. It is important for you to have a general idea of what your legal rights are and how they can be exercised. The following are some situations where you have legal rights which you may assert through the specific agencies listed, an attorney, or both.

Pension Rights
Many employers offer pension programs which provide income to their workers after retirement. Your former employer(s) can tell you if any pension program existed when you worked there, and if you are eligible for a pension. If you paid money into a retirement program, but are not receiving benefits from it, an attorney may help you determine whether you are eligible for benefits. In some cases, your pension rights may be protected by law even though your employer says you are not eligible.

Jobs
The Jobs and Benefits Center is required by law to make special efforts to help older persons find jobs. If you need a job, you can contact that office at 2810 Sharer Road, Ste. 30-B, Tallahassee, FL 32312, Tallahassee, Florida 32303, or call (850)488-8701, or an office in your area.

Age Discrimination
If you feel you have been refused a job, promotion, or training opportunity because of your age, contact The Florida Commission on Human Relations, 325 John Knox Road, Ste. 240, Building F, Tallahassee, FL 32303-4149, or call (850)488-7082.

Wills
You should consider making a will regardless of how little property you own. If you wrote your own will or it was written for you in another state, it may not be valid in Florida. If your will was made many years ago or if there have been changes in your family because of birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death, your will should be reviewed by an attorney to determine if it should be updated or changed to express your current wishes. For a free pamphlet on wills, send a self-addressed, stamped legal-sized envelope to Consumer Pamphlets, The Florida Bar, 650 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300.

Probate
Probate is a process for notifying creditors of a person's death, settling debts and claims, and distributing property according to a will or — if there is no will — then in a way prescribed by law. Probate gives the estate certain benefits and protections and is usually of reasonable cost. Florida law provides a simpler way to distributing modest estates. An attorney can tell you if those provisions apply. To obtain a pamphlet about probate, write. The Florida Bar, at the address listed in the previous paragraph on Wills.

Guardianship
In guardianship, a court gives one person (a "guardian") supervision over another person (a "ward") who has physical or mental impairments which make the ward unable to handle his or her own affairs. The court entrusts the guardian with the custody and control of the ward's person or property or both. The ward may lose many rights, such as the right to sign contracts and to make a will.

If you are capable of handling your own affairs, you have the right to resist efforts to appoint a guardian for you. You have a right to an attorney to represent you in a guardianship proceeding. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court is required by law to appoint one.

If you feel a guardianship is necessary, an attorney can help you begin the process. Contact The Florida Bar for a consumer pamphlet on guardianship.

Advanced Directives
Florida has numerous tools to help people plan their futures in the event of illness or incapacity, as well as death (see wills section). These planning tools, called advanced directives, include durable power of attorney, trusts, declarations of pre-need guardian, health care surrogate and living wills. An attorney can help you in such planning, which may also prevent or delay the need for guardianship.

Institutionalization
You cannot be committed to an institution against your will (except temporarily in an emergency) unless a court authorizes the commitment after a hearing. At the hearing, the court must determine that you are mentally ill and either unable to care for yourself or a danger to yourself or others. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at the hearing. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court must appoint one. If you sign a document waiving your rights to a hearing and to an attorney, you can apply to the court at any time to have those rights reinstated.

If you have a problem or concern regarding the care of someone who resides in a nursing home or adult congregate living facility, contact the State Long Term Care Ombudsman Council, 154 Holland Building, 600 South Calhoun St., Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0001, or call (850)488-6190, or the District Office closest to you:

District 1Pensacola(850)444-8243
District 2Tallahassee(850)413-9000
District 3Gainesville(352)955-5015
District 4Jacksonville(904)723-2058
District 5St. Petersburg(727)588-6912
District 6Tampa(813)871-7185
District 7Orlando(561)245-0640
District 8Fort Myers(941)338-1493
District 9West Palm Beach(561)837-5038
District 10Fort Lauderdale(954)467-4223
District 11Miami(305)663-2085

Criminal Matters
If you are arrested, you have a right to remain silent and to contact and be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, and there is a possibility you may be sent to jail, the court must appoint an attorney for you.

If you are the victim of a crime, contact your local police, county sheriff or state attorney's office. Some counties have established Citizen's Dispute Settlement Centers which provide informal, free mediation as an alternative to court action. Both parties agree to have their case heard by a trained mediator, and to abide by the mediator's decision.

If you need to report abuse, neglect or exploitation, assistance may be provided by calling the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873.

Consumer Protection
Senior citizens at home can be victims of dishonest door-to-door and telephone salespersons. The best rule for consumer protection is this: NEVER SIGN ANYTHING YOU HAVE NOT READ AND FULLY UNDERSTAND. Make sure the written contract describes exactly what you think you are buying. If you do not understand a contract, do not rely on a salesperson's explanation: Ask someone other than the salesperson to explain it before you sign.

When you buy goods from merchants, you have certain rights which exist unless you sign them away or "waive" them.

You also have rights which you cannot sign away even if you try. Here are some examples:

"Cooling Off" Period. If you buy something on credit costing more than $25 from someone away from a place of business (for example, from a door-to-door salesperson), you have a right to cancel the sale until midnight of the third business day after the credit agreement is signed. You must give the seller notice of this cancellation in writing.

Protection from Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices. For example, a merchant cannot "bait and switch." That means the merchant cannot advertise a product or service without a good faith effort to sell it, as an inducement to sell you something more costly.

False, Misleading and Deceptive Advertising. Anything advertised as "free" must be free. No strings can be attached unless they are stated with equal prominence on an advertisement.

Right to Keep Unsolicited Goods. Free papers or periodicals are gifts and you have no obligation to pay for them or return them.

Unconscionable Contracts or Clauses. If a contract or clause is "unconscionable" (that is, unfair because it is too one-sided), a court can refuse to enforce it.

Protection from Garnishment and Assignment. Sometimes a creditor may try to garnish your wages, that is, to take money you owe out of your paycheck before you get it. In Florida, the law protects many persons from garnishment of wages, including heads of households. An attorney can explain other restrictions which may protect your wages from garnishment.

Creditors can also try to freeze your bank account and try to get the money in it. Federal law says that creditors cannot take Social Security, SSI, Railroad Retirement, or Veteran's Benefits even after they are deposited in a bank.

In Florida, you also have other rights to protect your home and your personal property from creditors. You must, however, assert both your state and federal rights or the creditor might collect the debt.

Consumer Self-Help
Besides taking legal action, you can get agencies and consumer groups to help you with consumer complaints. For general consumer information, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services, Mayo Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0800, or call (850)488-2221 or (toll free) 1-800-435-7352. You may also contact the Division of Consumer Services to find out whether there is any record of consumer complaints against a particular company before you make a purchase. For criminal violations, contact the state attorney's office listed in your telephone directory.

If you have a claim against someone for less than $2,500, you may also want to consider bringing an action in your local small claims court. Proceedings in these courts are designed to allow you to represent yourself without the aid of an attorney. The clerk at the county courthouse can explain the proper procedures to you.

The local Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and newspaper, radio or television consumer advocates (such as "Action Line") may be available in your area to help you.

LANDLORD/TENANT

If you rent a house, apartment or mobile home, you have certain rights under the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Law. You still have these rights even if the lease you sign waives them. For a free booklet on the Landlord and Tenant Act, write: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services, Mayo Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0800, or call (850)488-2221 or 1-800-435-7352.

WHERE TO OBTAIN LEGAL ASSISTANCE

If you can afford a private attorney but do not know how to locate one, contact your local lawyer referral service listed in the yellow pages of your telephone directory under "Attorneys" or "Attorney Referral Services." If there is no lawyer referral service in your area, you can call The Florida Bar Statewide Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-342-8011. This service will provide the name of an attorney in your community who will charge you $25 for a 30-minute consultation, (Local bar associations have lawyer referral programs which charge between $20 and $50 for the initial consultation.) You are not required to hire that attorney, but if you do, the fee for any additional service can be arranged during the consultation.

The Bar's referral service also offers a special program of legal services for low-income senior citizens in some areas. These lawyers help persons over 60 on a low or fixed income by providing the initial 30-minute consultation free of charge. This program usually includes reduced attorney's fees.

Legal Aid
If you cannot afford a private attorney, contact your local legal services program listed in your telephone directory or you may obtain the number through directory assistance. If you meet income and eligibility guidelines, you will be able to obtain free legal assistance. Some legal aid programs have special units to assist persons age 60 and older. These programs are listed at the end of this booklet. If there is no program in your area, the nearest legal aid office can direct you where to find help. For a free pamphlet on legal aid or lawyer referral offices in Florida, write Consumer Pamphlets, The Florida Bar, 650 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300.

LEGAL AID PROGRAMS

The following legal aid programs have been established specifically or have special units to assist persons 60 years or older. These programs receive funding through the Older Americans Act.

ALACHUA
Alachua County Senior Services
730 N. Waldo Rd., Ste. 100
Gainesville, FL 32641
(352)334-0808

BAKER
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc.
604 N. Hogan St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904)356-8371

BAY
Legal Services of North Florida
204 E. Fourth St.
Panama City, FL 32401
(850)769-3581

BRADFORD
Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc.
1171 Nobles Ferry Road
Live Oak, FL 32060
(904)362-4115

BREVARD
Community Services Council
1149 Lake Dr. Cocoa, FL 32922
(407)631-2745

BROWARD
Legal Aid Services of Broward County, Inc.
Senior Citizen Law Project
609 S.W. First Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954)765-8955

CALHOUN
Legal Services of North Florida
8 W. Jefferson St., Ste. 200
Quincy, FL 32351
(850)875-9881

CHARLOTTE
Florida Rural Legal Services
2254 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(941)334-4554

CITRUS
Citrus County Human Services
P.O. Box 310
1300 S. Lecanto Hwy.
Lecanto, FL 34460
(352)746-7777

CLAY
Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc.
312 Highway 19 Plaza
Palatka, FL 32177
(904)329-8963

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc.
1488 Park Ave.
Orange Park, FL 32073
(904)264-2713

COLLIER
Florida Rural Legal Services
2254 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33901
(941)334-4554

COLUMBIA
Columbia County Council on Aging
P.O. Box 1772
Lake City, FL 32056
(904)752-8235

DADE
Legal Services of Greater Miami
3000 Biscayne Blvd., Ste. 500
Miami Beach, FL 33137
(305)576-0080

Guardianship Program
8350 Northwest 52nd Terrace
Ste. 101
Miami, FL 33166
(305)592-7642

DESOTO
Florida Rural Legal Services
2254 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(941)334-4554

DIXIE
Tri-County Council for Senior Citizens, Inc.
P.O. Box 906
Cross City, FL 32626
(352)498-1281

DUVAL
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc.
604 Hogan St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202-4092
(904)356-8371

ESCAMBIA
Cheryl Johnson Howard
700 South Palafox St., Ste. 220
Pensacola, FL 32501 (850)433-0121

FLAGLER
Central Florida Legal Services, Inc.
128 Orange Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(904)255-6573

FRANKLIN
Legal Services of North Florida
2119 Delta Way
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850)385-9007

GADSDEN
Legal Services of North Florida
8 W. Jefferson St., Ste. 200
Quincy, FL 32351
(850)875-9881

GILCHRIST
Tri-County Council for Senior Citizens, Inc.
P.O. Box 906
Cross City, FL 32628
(352)498-1281

GLADES
Florida Rural Legal Services
2254 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(941)334-4554

GULF
Legal Services of North Florida
204 E. Fourth St.
Panama City, FL 32401
(850)769-3581

HAMILTON
Hamilton County Council on Aging
P.O. Box 866
1509 S.W. First St.
Jasper, FL 32052 (904)792-1136

HARDEE
Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc.
963 E. Memorial Blvd.
Lakeland, FL 33802
(941)688-7376

HENDRY
Florida Rural Legal Services
963 E. Memorial Blvd.
P.O. Box 24688
Lakeland, FL 33802-4688
(941)688-7376

HERNANDO
Mid-Florida Community Services, Inc.
Hernando County Senior Services
820 Kennedy Blvd.
Brooksville, FL 34601
(352)796-1425

Hernando County Department of Aging
820 Kennedy Blvd.
Brooksville, FL 34601
(352)796-1425
(Not funded through Older Americans Act)

HIGHLANDS
Florida Rural Legal Services
963 E. Memorial Blvd.
P.O. Box 24688
Lakeland, FL 33802-4688
(941)688-7376

HILLSBOROUGH
Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.
829 Martin L. King, Jr.
Riverbrook Professional Center, Second Floor
Tampa, FL 33603
(813)232-1343

HOLMES
Legal Services of North Florida
204 E. Fourth St.
Panama City, FL 32401
(850)769-3581

INDIAN RIVER
Indian River County Council on Aging
694 14th St.
Vero Beach, FL 32960
(561)569-0760
(Totally pro bono services and speakers program)

JACKSON
Legal Services of North Florida
8 W. Jefferson St., Ste. 200
Quincy, FL 32351
(850)875-9881

JEFFERSON
Legal Services of North Florida
2119 Delta Way
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850)385-9007

LAFAYETTE
Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc.
P.O. Box 70
Live Oak, FL 32060
(904)362-4115

LAKE
Mid-Florida Community Services, Inc.
Lake County Senior Services
1127 N. Boulevard East
Leesburg, FL 34748
(352)326-3540

LEE
Florida Rural Legal Services
2254 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(941)334-4554

LEON
Legal Services of North Florida
2119 Delta Way
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850)385-9007

LEVY
Tri-County Council for Senior Citizens, Inc.
P.O. Box 906
Cross City, FL 32626
(352)498-1281

LIBERTY
Legal Services of North Florida
8 W. Jefferson St., Ste. 200
Quincy, FL 32351
(850)875-9881

MANATEE
Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
430 12th St. West
P.O. Box 1373
Bradenton, FL 34205
(941)746-6151

Legal Aid of Manasota
1900 Main St. Ste.302
Sarasota FL 34236
(941)366-0038

MARION
Marion County Senior Services
1644 N.E. 22nd Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470
(352)629-8661

MARTIN
Council on Aging of Martin County
1071 E. 10th St.
Stuart, FL 34996
(561)283-2242
(Services totally pro bono)

NASSAU
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc.
1367 S. 18th St.
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
(904)261-0701

ORANGE
Legal Aid Society of the
Orange County Bar Association
100 E. Robinson St.
Orlando, FL 32801
(407)841-8310

Seniors First, Inc.
5395 L.B. McLeod Rd.
Orlando, FL 32811
(407)297-9980

PALM BEACH
Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc.
423 Fern St., Ste. 200
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561)655-8944

PASCO
Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.
8406 Massachusetts, Ste. B-2
New Port Richey, FL 34653
(727)847-5495

Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.
37718 Meridan Ave.
Dade City, FL 33525
(352)567-9044

PINELLAS
Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
314 S. Missouri Ave., Ste 109
Clearwater, FL 34616
(727)443-0657

Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
641 First St. South St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727)821-0726

POLK
Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc.
963 E. Memorial Blvd.
P.O. Box 24688
Lakeland, FL 32802-4688
(941)688-7376

PUTNAM
Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc.
312 Highway 19 Plaza
Palatka, FL 32177
(904)329-8963

ST. JOHNS
Central Florida Legal Services, Inc.
128 Orange Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(904)255-6573

ST. LUCIE
St. Lucie County Council on Aging
1505 Orange Ave.
Ft. Pierce, FL 34950
(561)465-5220

SARASOTA
Gulf Coast Legal Services, Inc.
1750 17th St., Bldg. I
Sarasota, FL 34234
(941)366-1746

Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
641 First St. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727)821-0726

Legal Aid of Manasota
1900 Main St., Ste. 302
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941)366-0038

SEMINOLE
Seminole County Better Living for Seniors
1097 Sand Pond Road
Lake Mary, FL 32746
(407)333-8877

SUMTER
Sumter County Senior Services
P.O. Box 519
Center Hill, FL 33514
(352)793-6111

SUWANNEE
Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc.
1171 Nobles Ferry Road, Bldg. 2
Live Oak, FL 32060
(904)362-4115

UNION
Suwannee River Economic Council, Inc.
1171 Nobles Ferry Road, Bldg. 2
Live Oak, FL 32060
(904)362-4115

VOLUSIA
Central Florida Legal Services, Inc.
128 Orange Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(904)255-6573

WAKULLA
Legal Services of North Florida
2119 Delta Way
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850)385-9007

WASHINGTON
Legal Services of North Florida
204 E. Fourth St.
Panama City, FL 32401
(850)769-3581

The material in this pamphlet represents general legal advice. Since the law is continually changing, some provisions in this pamphlet may be out of date. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your particular case.

Rev. 4/99

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