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General Practice

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

August 24th, 2015

Posted in Asset Protection,General Practice,IRS & Tax Information,Real Estate Law

The Firm is republishing a September 2014 blog post regarding the ability of Florida property owners to contest or appeal the assessed value of their property.  The republished blog, below, includes updated information for 2015.
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Florida Legislature’s Response to Concerns of False Service Animals May Affect Your Condominium or Homeowners Association

July 21st, 2015

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law,General Practice

Distinguishing between a pet and a service animal has been a common concern for many community associations. In addition to applicable federal law, Section 413.08 of the Florida Statutes provides that an individual with a disability has the right to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas of public accommodation. A “public accommodation” is defined as places to which the general public is invited, such as a hotel or lodging place, and common modes of transportation, such as an airplane or bus. Community associations (particularly a condominium association) may be deemed to be a public accommodation depending on its rental restrictions and other factors.
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Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship – What it Means and Pitfalls to Consider

June 26th, 2015

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

Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship (JTWROS) is a form of joint property ownership available to two or more people and characterized by the right of survivorship. Upon one tenant’s death, the share of the property passes to the surviving co-tenants. There are five requirements for creation of a JTWROS: the right of survivorship and the four unities of possession, interest, title, and time.
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