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January 2017 Archives

Estate planning necessary to avoid Florida’s default plan for your assets

Last time, we began looking at the issue of intestate succession as it is impacting Prince’s estate right now in Minnesota. As we noted, a determination of Prince’s proper heirs has been unable to proceed due to claims that have been made to his estate.

Prince estate still on hold due to claims of alleged heirs

Florida readers may remember the iconic 2007 SuperBowl halftime performance of Prince in 2007. For those who weren't there and haven't seen it, a visit to YouTube may be in order. For Prince fans, the performance is a perfect example of the energy, creativity and commitment Prince had for his art. As committed as Prince was to his career as an artist, though, he did not take much thought for estate planning.

Work with experienced attorney to address construction contractor complaints

Last time, we began looking at a recent investigation of alleged problems with the Pinnellas County Construction Board. As we noted, the investigation showed that the board has little to no oversight. Because of this, critics say, the board is basically free to decide which contractors they want to discipline and which contractors they want to favor.

Investigation highlights problems with county’s construction contractor complaint process

In any construction project, numerous things can go wrong, and contractors, subcontractors, and consumers have to work together to come up with a clear project plan and to resolve any problems that arise along the way. When contractors fails to address problems and disagreements, violate contract terms or fail to abide by the various codes, consumers need to work with an experienced attorney to determine the available legal options.

In wedlock, out of wedlock: the challenges of establishing paternity of a married woman’s child, P.3

We’ve been looking in recent posts at the issue of establishing paternity, and the difficulties that are typically faced by fathers of children born to a woman married to another man. As we noted, establishing paternity is one hurdle these men have to face. The presumption of fatherhood for the married woman’s husband and the uncertainties of paternity testing itself are only the first hurdle, though.

In wedlock, out of wedlock: the challenges of establishing paternity of a married woman’s child, P.2

Last time, we began discussing at the case of a Florida man who is looking to potentially challenge current Florida paternity law, which makes it very difficult for men to establish paternity and obtain parental rights of a child born to a married woman.

In wedlock, out of wedlock: the challenges of establishing paternity of a married woman’s child, P.1

Paternity rights can present significant challenges, both legal and emotional, for fathers. Paternity confusions and difficulties can, of course, come up in a variety of circumstances, but often arise when relationships get messy and multiple partners are involved. This is especially the case when a woman becomes pregnant by a man other than her legal husband.

Why estate planning should be part of your wedding planning

So you're engaged to be married - congratulations! During this exciting time in life, both you and your intended will have a lot of decisions to make. With all the waffling about who to invite, where they should sit and what you should serve, it's easy to overlook far more critical decisions - such as estate planning.

Estate planning in Florida can include one's pets

Over 90 percent of pet owners feel that their pets are members of the family. They dress them up, share their beds with them and pose with them in family portraits. Some pet owners even create social media pages for their pets or take them to visit Santa Claus. Nevertheless, each year, many pets in Florida are given up to shelters or abandoned altogether when their owners die. In recent years, many pet owners have begun including their pets in their estate planning.

Construction defects, questionable ethics plague hi-rise project

Despite the fact that a major downtown project is 70 percent complete, the Tampa Housing Authority fired the contractor of a $26 million apartment building. The THA claimed the project was bogged down with inadequate management and construction defects. The Florida contractor also pleaded guilty to fraud in a public housing kickback scheme. With the dismissal of the construction company, the project came to a halt.

Florida stylists watch for signs of domestic violence

There are some people who provide services but who also become friends. Many people have a favorite server, bartender or barista who always seems to remember their favorite menu items and understand their personal troubles. This is why some states have begun training beauty professionals to look and listen for signs that their customers are victims of domestic violence. Some in Florida wonder when such a program will be funded statewide.

Use walkthroughs to get the most out of your building contract

For those eager to see the blueprints of a project evolve from sketched images to an inhabitable structure, the construction process can seem endless. It's often tempting to push deadlines and provide financial incentives to hasten the process along. However, those seeking too quick a turnaround may end up disappointed when it comes to the end quality.

Property division may be jeopardized if approached with emotion

Because divorce is a complex and emotional undertaking, many people in Florida risk making mistakes that could adversely affect them for years to come. Instead of approaching the situation rationally, they may turn to friends who may serve only to stir up their emotions. As a result, they may jeopardize their financial future by failing to protect their rights during property division.

Secure retirement benefits with a QDRO

If you have been following our blog, you are familiar with the phrase "gray divorce," a descriptor referring to those seeking to end their marriage as their retirement approaches. In contrast with the decline in divorce for couples under 50, there has been an increase in filings for those nearing the end of their careers. While couples separating at this age typically do not have to grapple with problems associated with raising young children in a split household, other concerns need to be addressed.

Courts see rising child custody cases involving addicted parents

Police knew they would stir up emotions when they posted a certain picture to their Facebook page, and they were right. The image went viral, causing a world-wide reaction, and prompting much needed discussion about the growing heroin epidemic in Florida and across the country. Additionally, the photo generated questions about child custody issues, especially in families with generations of drug addiction.

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