Welcome to the Law Firm of Victor S. Kostro, P.A.
Read Vic's Biography
Victor S. Kostro has extensive experience as a corporate, transactional, healthcare attorney having recently served for six years as Associate Corporate Counsel/Corporate Risk Manager for Health First, Inc., where he often served as lead attorney over substantive corporate transactions. He provided advice and counsel to Health First Physician’s, Inc., as well as to the Board of Directors, executive and hospital leadership, and department heads. In his role as in-house counsel, Vic provided representation related to physician employment, practice sales/acquisitions, regulatory and compliance issues, peer review and disciplinary actions, and counseled on issues related to fraud and abuse, anti-kickback laws and the False Claims Act. In addition, Vic managed the entity’s Risk Management Department, which included oversight of all medical negligence and personal injury claims asserted against the entity, its hospitals and physicians. Vic is well versed in entity formation and contractual matters, including employment, real estate, shareholder and partnership agreements and purchase and sale agreements. Additionally, Vic previously worked in private practice, having started his career in Melbourne, Florida over twenty-five years ago where he gained experience in the areas of estate planning, probate, estate and trust administration, guardianship, elder law, Medicaid planning and tax representation before the Internal Revenue Service and various government agencies. He holds a Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.) from the University of Florida. Vic assists individuals and families in planning and implementing their intentions regarding asset distribution, estate and trust administration, charitable gift planning, and business succession and provides counsel on achieving tax-efficient transfers of wealth.
Victor S. Kostro, P.A. serves individuals, small and medium size companies, entrepreneurs and professionals. Our clients enjoy a practical and competitive alternative to traditional large firm representation.
- Licensed in Illinois and Florida
- Holds Masters of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.)
- from University of Florida
Vic established his roots in Brevard County, raised a family and had the good fortune to meet and represent hundreds of individuals and corporations locally. He has developed an affinity and compassion for the needs of the elderly, having witnessed some of the abuse and financial exploitation that occurs far too often for our senior population.
If you're an individual or you represent an entity that needs assistance with legal matters, we would be honored if you considered us the next time the need arises. Thank you.Contact Us
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Victor KostroAttorney at law
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question not covered in this section, contact us.
What is Elder Law?
Elder Law covers the legal issues encountered by an aging population. In general, an Elder Law attorney will address issues related to estate planning and will counsel clients about planning for incapacity, designating fiduciaries and caregivers to "stand in your shoes," assisting clients in planning for long-term care needs and coordinating the private and public resources that may be necessary to finance the cost of care. The attorney should work to ensure that the client (and family) are well advised when it comes to quality of care issues. Further information and referrals to appropriate resources related to elder services and activities here in Brevard County, Florida can be obtained by calling the Elder Helpline at 321-504-2038.
What should I know about Medicaid planning?
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage or nursing home coverage to certain categories of low-asset, low-income people, including children, pregnant women, parents of eligible children, people with disabilities and elderly needing nursing home care. As it relates to the elderly, qualifying for Medicaid is based upon three primary criteria. Increased care must be "medically necessary," which means that a physician must opine that more significant care, such as placement in a nursing home is needed. Secondly, an individual must not directly receive more than the allowable amount each month in income. For calendar year 2020, an individual cannot receive more than $2,349 in gross income per month. Lastly, there is an asset test, in which an individual is not allowed to have more than $2,000 in assets in their name at the time a Medicaid application is submitted. If an individual is married, the non-institutionalized spouse may have up to $128,640 in his or her name. Please note, there are several exceptions to this general rule. Under current laws there are several permissible and legally responsible methods and strategies that are permitted by the government, which, when put into action, may assist an individual in qualifying for the program. One should not assume that they will not qualify if they do not meet the income and asset test, on its face. If you have questions on eligibility criteria, we would be pleased to discuss your personal situation.
What does Probate mean?
Probate is a court supervised proceeding in which a decedent's assets are collected and protected, creditors are paid or addressed and distributions to appropriate beneficiaries are made. Probate is typically necessary when an individual passes away holding assets titled in his or her name alone, with no beneficiary or survivorship designations noted. Whether or not an individual has a Will is not the determining factor when deciding if probate is necessary; rather, it is the title of how a particular asset is held. The probate process can take anywhere from four months to as long as several years depending upon the complexity of issues, types and locations of assets and family dynamics.
What are Guardianships?
Guardianships are also court supervised proceedings in which an individual (known as the "Ward") is alleged to be (typically by a family member) incapacitated and no longer capable of managing his or her own healthcare or finances. It is an intrusive and often expensive proceeding. Once the allegation of incapacity is made, an examining committee is appointed by the court to visit with the Ward and determine if it is in the best interest of the Ward that the court appoint a full time guardian over the Ward's person and property. Often times guardianships are contested, especially when there is disagreement as to the appropriate person to be named guardian. Generally, once the court determines an individual is incapacitated, a guardian is appointed, assets become restricted and the guardian becomes a fiduciary charged with preparing annual accountings.
Do I need Estate Planning?
Estate Planning is a process that all Florida residents should think about at some point in their lives. It is a continuing process, flexible enough to allow for changes and modifications as a person's life moves forward, relationships change and families grow. Typically, a Florida resident, in consultation with an attorney and perhaps a financial advisor will develop a plan and prepare documents designed to conserve, protect and ultimately distribute his or her Florida assets to designated beneficiaries. When preparing an estate plan it is important to consider planning for your own future needs and planning for federal and state tax issues that may arise upon your passing.
At a minimum, most people should consider executing a Living Will, which describes your personal wishes for end stage health care, a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate, wherein you identify one or more individuals to help make medical decisions on your behalf if you're unable to do so, a Power of Attorney, wherein you identify one or more individuals to assist you in making financial decisions, and a Last Will and Testament, identifying the heirs who will inherit your estate. There are other complimentary documents that you may learn about when you visit with your attorney.