Is a Life Estate Deed an Effective Estate Planning Tool?

Written by: Nataline Garcia, Esq. Many people come to me with the idea of creating a life estate deed to transfer their interest in their property. They believe it is a quick, affordable and effective way of protecting their interest in property. This article will explain the many foreseeable drawbacks in having a life estate deed prepared in place of other estate planning tools. A life estate deed effectively gives property away during the ...
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Sued by a Creditor or Debt Collector

A debt collection lawsuit can be quite intimidating for some, as this may be their first experience with the legal system. A person may receive a lawsuit for debt collection on an old or unpaid medical bill, credit card, or other consumer debt that they may have accrued. The creditor that is suing you, is more often than not, unlikely the original creditor. Debt is usually sold, several times over, and may now be handled by a debt collection ...
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Keeping a Vehicle within a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, most of the debts are discharged. However, one thing most consumers worry about is that they’ll lose everything, such as personal property, but that is not the case. Although a Trustee may have the debtor give up their nonexempt property to use the proceeds to pay unsecured creditors – there is various exemption laws that allow a debtor to protect certain property in a bankruptcy, one of those being motor ...
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Probate: Summary Administration vs. Formal Administration in Florida

If a loved one of yours has recently passed away, you will probably need to help navigate his or her estate through the Florida probate court, which is the venue in which estates are settled.  When it is determined that your loved one’s estate needs to go through probate, there are generally two options for you: summary administration and formal administration.  Formal administration is the standard operating procedure for many estates, ...
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4 Tips for Making an Offer on a House

After months and months of searching, you and your family have finally found a home you can envision spending decades in. You feel a sense of excitement, but not relief; you know that you have to make the right offer on the house or the sellers will not pull the trigger. This blog is intended to serve as a general guide for making an acceptable offer on your dream home that will seal the deal.  Work with your own agent to advocate for you. ...
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Are your property taxes too high?

Your property tax notice has been mailed to you and you are shocked by how much you have to pay in property taxes this year! Despite the recent economic downturn and a slipping real estate market your property taxes may actually go up this year. If this is your reality, you should know your rights to ensure a proper “fight”.  In August of each year, Miami-Dade county property owners receive a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (“TRIM Notice”). ...
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Overview of Irrevocable Trusts in Florida

Written by Nataline Garcia, Esq. When determining your estate planning needs it is essential to understand the differences between an irrevocable trust and a revocable trust. In this blog article I will discuss the fundamental benefits and drawbacks of an irrevocable trust, and how it may, or may not, be beneficial for you. Who are the parties involved in a Trust? First it is important to understand the parties involved in a Trust, this ...
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How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

In our previous blog titled "What You Should Know if a Hurricane Damages Your Home in Florida" we discussed the proactive and immediate steps to take immediately following a hurricane or major storm. In effort to help reduce the stress, anxiety and damage brought on from a storm, this article will discuss the different steps to consider to adequately prepare for hurricane season. As hurricane season approaches South Florida, taking precautionary ...
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First Time Home Buyer’s During COVID-19

Written by: Nicole M. Garcia Buying a home for the first time is an achievement and incredibly exciting. However, it can also be confusing and scary if you are not aware of what is required in order to close the deal. Deciding whether to purchase a home during the COVID-19 adds even more pressure and uncertainty. In this blog we will look at some of the necessary steps to take when planning to purchase a home and how COVID-19 is affecting the ...
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How to Make Changes to a Will: Codicils and Your Will

Written by Nataline Garcia, Esq. During your lifetime, while you have full mental capacity, you have the legal right to make any changes or amendments to your will. These changes can range from a minor change to a complete revocation and republication of your will. To accomplish this, a codicil may be prepared, if it is appropriate for your desired revision. A codicil is a legal document that changes specific provisions of your last will ...
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