Do you need an Estate Plan?

Written by: Nataline Garcia, Esq. Many clients question whether or not an estate plan is necessary. I always ask if either of the following applies to them, and if so, than the answer should be an immediate “YES!” 1. Do you have children or dependent minors? Specifically, your estate plan allows you to select a guardian for your children or dependent minors. In the event both parents die simultaneously, it is of great importance to name ...
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Recent COVID-19 Impact on Bankruptcy Matters

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the CARES ACT which contained changes to the Bankruptcy Code. This CARES ACT will impact small businesses and consumers who have already filed bankruptcy or that may be faced with needing to file, seeking bankruptcy relief in light of the current economic state. The CARES Act contains a provision that amends the definition of “income” within the Bankruptcy Code for Chapter 13 and 7 filings, so that ...
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Florida Law’s Revisions Concerning your Designation of Health Care Surrogate.

Written by Nataline Garcia, Esq. As of 2015, Florida made substantial changes to Chapter 765 which governs the rules on designations of healthcare surrogates. In our previous blog titled, “What is a Designation of a Health Care Surrogate” we discussed the purpose of a designation of health care surrogate and the steps taken to ensure proper drafting and execution. Today, we will discuss the modifications made to Florida law in 2015, which may ...
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Understanding the Real Estate Purchase Contract

Deciding to sell your property without a realtor (FSBO) is always an option and it is easy to become overwhelmed with paperwork. One document you really need to know your way around is the purchase contract. The contract outlines who is responsible for covering which costs and it dictates the terms of the sale. The contract is also State specific, which means it outlines State required disclosures.  If you are selling your property you should ...
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Documents home buyers should expect at closing of real estate property

After much saving and planning the time has come to finally close on your real estate purchase. At the closing you will pay for your real estate purchase, the lender (if you have one) will fund your loan and the seller will transfer the title into your name. Although it sounds easy enough, all these tasks require a heap load of paperwork. Signing the documents necessary for the purchase is the longest part of the closing. If you familiarize ...
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What is a Designation of a Health Care Surrogate?

Written by Nataline Garcia, Esq. A health care surrogate is a person who is appointed by you, to make health care decisions, in the event you become mentally or physically unable to make the decision yourself. Florida Statute §765.202 outlines the proper method of drafting and executing a designation of health care surrogate to establish a rebuttable presumption of clear and convincing evidence of your designation of the surrogate. It ...
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Covid-19, E-Notaries and What It Means for your Real Estate Closing

During the Covid-19 pandemic remote notaries can be an efficient tool to maintain the real estate market while honoring the various Orders for social distancing. Remote notarization became legal in Florida on January 1, 2020 meaning the buyer and seller do not have to be in the same room.  Remote notaries work by affixing signatures and notary seals to an electronic document such as a PDF or Word document. This makes the document securely ...
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Routine Checkups to your Estate Planning

Written by Nataline Garcia, Esq. Congratulations! You have taken the first step in planning for your future by preparing your estate planning. Now comes the question, down the road, does your estate planning need to be revised, updated or checked up on? Read below to find out the different reasons why you may want to consider having routine checkups to your estate planning. Life changes may impact your Florida estate plan such as the ...
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Estate Planning – Differences between Wills and Trusts:

The terms “will” and "trusts” are often used interchangeably, as if they are the one in the same. However, both are uniquely different and should not be confused with one another. A will and a trust are documents that are prepared in furtherance of the broader category of estate planning. Estate planning is an essential process, recommended for every person to take, in planning for their future and disposition of assets upon their death. An ...
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Appealing Your Property Tax: What You Need to Know About Value Adjustment Boards

Appealing the amount of property tax you owe to different government entities in Florida is done through a process that involves your county’s five-member Value Adjustment Board (VAB). Not only can these panels hear arguments and make determinations on altering your property tax burden, but it also handles appeals on denied exemptions or classifications, ad valorem tax deferrals, portability decisions, and change of ownership or control. For the ...
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