Welcome to the Law Offices of Cynthia I. Waisman, P.A. With offices in Tampa and Clearwater, Florida, we devote our practice to immigration, elder law including estate planning, probate/trust administration and guardianship matters. Our firm takes pride in providing quality legal services. We prioritize our clients’ needs and best interests. We recognize that our clients need the best possible legal representation, provided with the right amount of compassion, creativity and professionalism. Our firm provides personalized service to all of our clients, supported by a highly experienced, professional and personable staff. We know that we can provide comfort to our clients through experienced, dedicated representation. We offer translation services and payment plans for many of our clients. We are happy to provide telephone consultations if you are unable to meet with us in person. Call today to discuss your Immigration or Elder Law needs over the phone.
Should you hire an attorney?
Certain areas of law including immigration and estate planning can be extremely complex and therefore an experienced attorney should be consulted. For immigration cases, if a form is completed incorrectly or not submitted timely, the case may be denied and removal proceedings may be initiated. Further, if the case is denied and refiled at a later date, there is no refund available to the applicant, plus valuable time is lost. Immigration law is constantly changing and therefore, choosing an attorney who is knowledgeable and up to date on the laws is important. Many of this firm’s clients have previously filed cases on their own, only to find out they should have hired an attorney from the beginning. Finally, beware of individuals who prepare immigration documents without a law license. Be sure to ask the person you are hiring for their credentials before you pay anything. Many notaries, or “notarios” do not have the required training to guide you through the complicated immigration process. Further they are not permitted to represent you at interviews before immigration officials or before immigration judges. Ultimately the mistakes made by a non-qualified representative can cause great harm to you and your loved ones, including deportation from the United States or extended times of separation.
For estate planning, some states accept handwritten wills, while others do not. Some states require strict witness requirements and notaries while others may not. Therefore, if you prepare your own estate planning documents which do not conform with the laws, your pre-death wishes may not be followed. Moreover in October 2011, Florida altered its Power of Attorney laws thereby allowing more enumerated powers to be granted under certain circumstances. With some much information on the internet, it is hard to say whether you would be using the correct up to date form if you prepare estate planning documents yourself. It is also a good idea to have your estate planning documents reviewed from time to time by an attorney to make sure they conform with current laws.
For Probate, Estate and Trust Administration, a lawyer is typically needed to complete the legal process in a timely, and legally sufficient manner. Except for “Disposition Without Administration” for very small estates (See Florida Statute Section 735.301) and those estates in which the Personal representative is the sole beneficiary, an attorney is required. Even where an attorney is not involved, it is important to remember that the estate administration process has many technical rules. Also, without a legal background, there are many pitfalls which can result in beneficiaries not receiving their inheritance and free from creditor claims.
Cynthia I. Waisman is a member in good standing of the State Bar of Florida, Middle District of Florida and State Bar of Illinois. She is a member of the Clearwater Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Ms. Waisman’s clients are located in various parts of the United States and worldwide. She can handle immigration matters throughout the United States and in all Embassies throughout the world. She has successfully represented many clients in estate matters across the country and overseas as well. Ms. Waisman has spent time overseas and studied law abroad. Cynthia received a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida and her Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. She has taught classes on legal issues and has written several articles concerning various legal topics. She volunteers at local functions in the community and is a devoted mother of two. During her free time she enjoys running, rock climbing, cycling and music.