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December 2016 Archives

Questionable wills may lead to probate litigation

Occasionally after a loved one dies, family members in Florida may question the validity of a will, especially if its provisions seem unusual or unexpected. There are a number of reasons why a will may be invalid, but they are difficult to prove. A person wishing to dispute someone's will must be prepared to present the court with evidence during probate litigation.

New law allows disabled individuals to more easily create self-settled special needs trusts

Families of those with special needs know that there are challenges to ensuring their loved one has adequate financial support as an adult. Although state and federal assistance is available to help those with special needs, these programs usually require families to meet strict financial requirements.

Ensuring capacity in trust-making: one reason to work with an experienced attorney, P.2

In previous posts, we've been discussing a recently passed federal law which allows disabled and special needs individuals to more easily create self-settled trusts. We've also been looking at the issue of capacity in the creation of wills and trusts, as capacity is a requirement to create a self-settled special needs trust under the new law.

Three things to keep in mind about parenting time and the holidays

The holiday season can be stressful in a variety of ways, including dealing with cold, managing more business at work, and planning for family celebrations. For divorced parents, an additional source of stress can be managing hectic parenting time schedules. While such plans may be easy enough to set down on paper, actually making them work isn’t always an easy matter.

Claim: Miami Beach cultural center condo unit riddled with construction defects, P.2

In our previous post, we began looking at a lawsuit filed by a condo unit buyer in connection with the Faena Forum, a high profile cultural center in Miami Beach. As we noted, breach of warranty was one of the claims the unit buyer included in his complaint.

Claim: Miami Beach cultural center condo unit riddled with construction defects, P.1

We have previously written on this blog on the issue of construction defects, particularly defects involving condominium units. As we’ve noted, condo defects are not an uncommon occurrence, and can be a pain to deal with, particularly when the developer or seller fails to disclose defects as required by law.

Sealing divorce, custody records: looking briefly at the requirements, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the issue of sealing court records in divorce and child custody cases. Generally speaking, of course, the interest in keeping court records open to the public outweighs the interest in keeping such matters private, but as we pointed out last time, there are certain grounds on which courts can order the sealing of records.

Sealing divorce, custody records: looking briefly at the requirements, P.1

Readers who pay attention to pop culture and celebrity news may know that Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been working through a messy divorce and custody battle. One of the most recent updates in the case is that Brad Pitt was unsuccessful in requesting that divorce records in the case be sealed.

Filing an estate tax return when the estate doesn’t owe any taxes

We’ve been looking in recent posts at Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate the estate tax, and considering the changes this will bring to wealthy and moderately wealthy Americans. As we noted last time, changes in estate taxation at the federal level do not necessarily mean changes in death taxes—whether as estate tax or inheritance tax—at the state level.

When the condo of your dreams turns into a nightmare ...

The picture-perfect Disney town of Celebration, Florida, started out like a dream come true. Twenty years later, many of the town's condo owners have found their dreams turned to nightmares. Problems with leaky roofs, pervasive mold, structural issues and slanting balconies have made it difficult for condo owners to sell. In a lawsuit filed against the developer last spring, the owners' association is seeking compensation for more than $15 million in repairs.

How do Florida courts make child custody decisions?

Custody battles are difficult for adults and children alike. There's much at stake: your relationship with your children, their day-to-day lives and their long-term opportunities. How does a judge - who doesn't truly know your children as you do - make such big decisions about their future?

Looking at the impact of Trump on the federal estate tax, P.2

In our previous post, we looked briefly at some of President-elect Trump’s planned tax policies, noting that changes are coming to federal estate tax. As we pointed out, federal estate tax law has gone through significant changes in recent years, particularly regarding the estate tax exemption, which was $5.43M for the 2015 tax year.

Looking at the impact of Trump on the federal estate tax, P.1

The election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States was certainly a surprise for many people. Nearly a month after the election, individuals and businesses are anticipating and preparing for the changes that are likely to come. Trump has already made known to the public what his plans will be in the first 100 days of his presidency, and it is clear that there will be significant changes coming with respect to taxes.

Terminating the parental rights of a sexually abusive parent, P.2

In our previous post, we began looking at the issue is terminating the parental rights of those accused of sexual assault. As we noted last time, there a various grounds for terminating parental rights under Florida law. Another important ground for terminating parental rights is important to mention in this regard.

Terminating the parental rights of a sexually abusive parent, P.1

In a previous post on this blog, we spoke about the various factors Florida courts consider when making child custody determinations. As we noted, these factors include things like the resources and abilities of the parents, the special needs of the child, and the relationship between the child and other family members with whom he or she would be in close contact.

Disclosure of construction defects in condominium sales in Florida, P.2

In our previous post, we noted that Florida law requires condominium sellers to make a number of specific disclosures to buyers. Statutory law does not explicitly require condo sellers to make disclosures regarding construction defects or litigation concerning construction defects to sellers. That requirement, instead, comes from case law.

Disclosure of construction defects in condominium sales in Florida

In recent posts, we’ve been looking at the issue of condominium construction defects, specifically the warranties condo owners and associations enjoy under Florida law. These warranties allow owners and associations to take legal action when there has been a breach of warranty by a developer.

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