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General Practice

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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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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Post-Hurricane Safety Tips for Our St. Augustine Neighbors

October 11th, 2016

Posted in General Practice,Real Estate Law

As our community looks toward recovering from Hurricane Matthew, we would like to share a few important reminders. While the task of taking care of your property may be overwhelming, remember to take care of yourself by keeping the following in mind:
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St. Johns County Local Business Tax

September 30th, 2016

Posted in Business Law,General Practice,IRS & Tax Information

When the State of Florida turned St. Johns County over to local government in 1972, the county elected to collect local business taxes (formerly known as occupational licenses). The local business tax, County Ordinance 72-2, requires all individuals or organizations doing business located in or operating in St. Johns County to obtain a local business tax receipt. The tax is paid annually with the fiscal year beginning on October 1.
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Importance of a Durable Power of Attorney

May 27th, 2016

Posted in Asset Protection,Estate & Personal Planning,General Practice

While we are happy to assist clients with creating wills to ensure assets are distributed according to clients’ wishes at their death, we offer a much broader service to clients.  In addition to revocable trusts which can allow for control over assets titled in the name of the trust during lifetime, one of the most important documents that we draft for clients is a durable power of attorney.
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Associations May Adopt Reasonable Rules Regarding Record Inspections & Need Not Deliver Records to Members

January 22nd, 2016

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law,General Practice

Section 718.111(12)(c) of the Florida Statutes grants condominium association members a general right to inspect and copy official records of the association not expressly excluded by the statute. An association’s failure to provide records within ten days of a written request creates a rebuttable presumption that the association willfully failed to comply with section 718.111(12)(c). Under the statute, a member who is “denied access” to association records may recover damages for the association’s willful failure to comply. Fla. Stat. § 718.111(12)(c). Further, a “failure to permit inspection” entitles the person prevailing in an enforcement action to recover attorney’s fees “from the person in control of the records who, directly or indirectly, knowingly denied access to the records.” Id.
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Do I Need to Write “Trustee”, “Attorney-in-Fact”, or “POA” after My Signature on Documents?

November 4th, 2015

Posted in Asset Protection,Estate & Personal Planning,General Practice

When you act as a trustee under a Trust or as an attorney-in-fact or POA under a Durable Power of Attorney, you are doing so as a fiduciary and under a legal role where you have certain legal authority. The above question could apply to any documents you sign such as a mortgage, promissory note, contract, or check. The short answer to the above question is – no, you do not need to. However, you may want to (depending on the type of document), and it may better practice to do so. Moreover, what the document actually says may control despite however you may sign.
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