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Deadline Reminder – Website Requirement for Condominium Associations

November 10th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Pursuant to the recent laws passed during the 2017 legislative session, Florida condominium associations with 150 or more units that do not manage timeshare units must have an independent website or web portal to post digital copies of various official records by July 1, 2018
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Buyer Beware of Ghosts: Does a Seller Have to Disclose Whether a House is Allegedly Haunted?

October 27th, 2017

Posted in General Practice,Real Estate Law

Each year, people visit St. Augustine to experience the rich history that comes with being the Nation’s Oldest City.  Visitors flock to learn about any number of our City’s offerings: the Castillo de San Marcos, which is the oldest masonry fort in in the continental U.S.; the Oldest Wooden School House; or Flagler College, built in 1888 as a luxury hotel for Henry Morrison Flagler.  But as any local will tell you, no visit to St. Augustine is complete without a good ghost story or two along the way.
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Once Bitten, Twice Sued! Homeowners’ Associations may be Held Liable for Dog Bites on Common Areas

October 13th, 2017

Posted in Bankruptcy Information

Pet restrictions are prevalent in condominium and homeowners’ association governing documents.  Some restrict dog breed types, such as Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds, and others restrict animals based on weight.  Many people, including some who are unfamiliar with the risks associated with injuries caused by pets, question the rationale for restricting dog breeds or imposing weight limits.  This brief article discusses an association’s potential for liability and some steps an association may consider to mitigate risks associated with members’ dogs.
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Estate Planning: When is it a Good Time to Start?

September 29th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

There are a lot of misconceptions about estate planning.  One of the major ones is that it is not necessary or important to do until later in life.  I can understand that mindset, because I previously had similar thoughts.  However, after practicing in the estate planning field, I can tell you from experience that waiting on creating an estate plan is not a prudent course of action and can result in a lot of agony, frustration, and economic loss for your loved ones. In this post, we explore how estate planning can be useful over the various stages and circumstances of life.
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Post-Hurricane Irma Cleanup and Safety Tips for Community Associations

September 15th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law,General Practice,Real Estate Law

As communities in Northeast Florida work toward recovering from Hurricane Irma, we would like to share a few important reminders for condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations. While the task of repairing and cleanup is extensive, communities should be on the lookout for the following “scams”:

  • Beware of government “officials” coming to your community offering to perform inspections. Require documentation and contact information from any such individual.
  • Many out of state “contractors” appear offering to do a free inspection of a roof or common areas and common elements. Ask for their licensing and contact information before entering into any contract for work.
  • Do not execute an Assignment of Benefits (“AOB”) without first contacting your insurance agent and attorney.
  • Beware of any contractor requiring a large down payment for “supplies”.


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Florida Property Taxes – You Must Act Soon If You Wish to Contest Your County’s Proposed Assessments

September 7th, 2017

Posted in IRS & Tax Information,Real Estate Law

Your local Florida property appraiser mails out the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (Truth in Millage or “TRIM” form) in August of each year.  Property owners or taxpayers who wish to contest or appeal their property value to the Value Adjustment Board must file a petition (one of the DR-86 forms) with the clerk of court within 25 days of the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes.
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Guardianships: New Laws Aim to Protect Society’s Vulnerable

August 18th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning,General Practice

Friends and family members often worry about how to protect their elderly loved ones.  Particularly at risk are elders with advanced dementia, making them vulnerable to scammers and sometimes unable to take care of themselves. Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs reports that nearly 12% of Florida’s senior population has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which often manifests through dementia. A visit to an attorney frequently leads to the discovery that estate planning, including advance directives that give voice to one’s future wishes and help avoid a guardianship, has not been done. As a result, guardianships are often considered as a last-resort solution. 
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The Property Deed as an Estate Plan: Examining the Varying Distributions of Each of the Co-Ownership Forms in Florida Real Property

August 4th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning,General Practice,Real Estate Law

As the saying goes, “anyone who believes in free will has never heard of probate.”  Attorneys are frequently contacted by clients who need help navigating estates after the loss of a family member or friend.  Probate is often inevitable if there is property to be divided.
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