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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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Condominium and Homeowners’ Associations may Contract with Municipality or County to Regulate Traffic on Private Roads within the Community

July 21st, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Encouraging residents in condominium and homeowners’ associations to safely drive their vehicles while in the community can be difficult for many associations.  If the streets within the community are public streets, or streets owned by a county or municipality, the association can contact law enforcement and request an increase in patrolling.  However, if the streets are private, or owned by the association or other non-governmental entity, law enforcement may not have the authority to regulate traffic within the community absent an agreement with the association. 
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Six Reasons to Create a Revocable Trust

July 6th, 2017

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

What is the difference between a revocable trust and a will?  Should I create a revocable trust? These are among the most frequently asked estate planning questions at our office. Here are some advantages of a revocable trust: 
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Natural Disaster Planning and Management for Condominium and Homeowners Associations

June 23rd, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Is your condominium or homeowners association properly prepared for a natural disaster event such as a hurricane?  The Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1st of this year and will continue until November 30th. While September is usually the most active month for tropical activity, last year’s Hurricane Matthew demonstrates that communities should be prepared well before a hurricane hits to mitigate confusion in the aftermath.
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Vacation Rental Regulations in Florida

June 9th, 2017

Posted in Business Law,Real Estate Law

For some St. Augustine homeowners, vacation rentals are a steady source of income, but others argue that this revenue isn’t worth the cost to the community and describe these transient rentals as a “nuisance.”  Transient rentals are units or homes that are rented more than three times in a calendar year for a period of less than 30 days.  A search in the St. Augustine area for Airbnb or VRBO reveals that the industry is alive and well.   
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Associations Should Amend Governing Documents to be Better Prepared for Next Economic Downturn

May 26th, 2017

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Community associations experienced a record number of delinquencies during the economic recession that began in 2007-2008.  As a result, associations were forced to dedicate most of their resources to the collection of delinquent assessments.  Community associations were also severally impacted by the mortgage foreclosure crisis.  The increased amount of cases created a traffic jam for courts resulting in prolonged foreclosures, which decreased the associations’ chances of recovering all the past due amounts.      
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IRS Collection Due Process

May 12th, 2017

Posted in IRS & Tax Information

Taxpayers should know that the IRS cannot typically levy your assets without first giving you notice.  There are a few exceptions to this general rule, however.  For instance, the IRS may levy without prior notice if it feels collection of the tax is in jeopardy or when the IRS levies a state tax refund.  Absent an exception, the IRS will typically provide a formal Notice of Intent to Levy prior to levying any of a taxpayer’s assets.
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