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Posts by Andrew Jackson, Esq.

Florida Leads the Way Revolutionizing Estate Planning by Allowing Electronic Wills

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September 20th, 2019

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Florida is leading the way in estate planning as a new bill is revolutionizing the way Floridians execute their last will and testaments. The Florida Legislature passed House Bill 409, which allows for electronic wills and electronic signatures starting January 1, 2020. Like a traditional will, an electronic will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses.  An electronic signature is defined as “an electronic mark visibly manifested in a record as a signature and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”


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

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August 22nd, 2019

Posted in IRS & Tax Information

Your local Florida County Property Appraiser mails out the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (Truth in Millage or “TRIM” form) in August or September 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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How to Transfer Title after a Car Owner Dies

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August 12th, 2019

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Transferring the title of a decedent’s vehicle is relatively easy in Florida, courtesy of Florida Statute 319.28.  The initial step in transferring a vehicle title is assessing the ownership.  If the vehicle is owned jointly, then it automatically passes to the co-owner by operation of law at death.

For example, a vehicle titled John Smith and Mary Smith automatically passes to Mary Smith upon John Smith’s passing and vice versa.  Contact the DMV to update the title along with a death certificate.  Form 82152 can be used by surviving spouses.  The DMV’s website is here:  FL DMV


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Florida Sales Tax on Commercial Leases Reduced in January 2020

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July 1st, 2019

Posted in Real Estate Law

Good news for Commercial Landlords, the reduction on state level sales taxes continues to decline. Florida is reducing the state-level sales tax rate on commercial leases for occupancy periods beginning on or after January 1, 2020 down to 5.5%.  

However, counties are still imposing the local option surtax so be careful to check your county’s guidelines. The local option surtax varies between 0.5% to 1% for those counties that impose it.  Currently, for 2019 St. Johns County has an additional 0.5% surtax.


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Sales & Use Tax on Building Contractors

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May 23rd, 2019

Posted in IRS & Tax Information

The St. Johns County and surrounding areas have seen a recent boom in the housing market and work by building contractors.  The complexity of the sales and use tax rules has led to erroneous and misapplication of the taxes, making this area ripe for Tax Audit with the Florida Department of Revenue (“DOR”). 


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7 Things Accomplished by Having a Will

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March 19th, 2019

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Let’s start off with what happens if you do not have a Will. If you die without a will (this is called dying “intestate”), your property will be distributed to your heirs according to a formula fixed by law.


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Important Deadlines for Taxpayers in 2019

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January 11th, 2019

Posted in IRS & Tax Information

Calendaring important IRS and tax authority deadlines can save you a lot of headaches at tax time.  To avoid paying penalties and other tax consequences, keep a calendar and plan for tax deadlines with your accountant, attorney, and other members of your professional team.  The below items are a few examples of important tax deadlines:


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Florida Sales Tax on Commercial Leases Reduced in January 2019

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December 21st, 2018

Posted in Real Estate Law

Florida imposes sales tax on rental payments for the lease of commercial real estate. The 6% state-level tax was reduced to 5.8% for 2018. The Florida legislature passed another law to further reduce the state-level rate to 5.7% for occupancy periods beginning on or after January 1, 2019.
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