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Do You Always Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

Do You Always Need a Real Estate Lawyer?

Real Estate
When people are buying or selling a property, they often want to try to economize and save money. After all, buying a house has become prohibitively expensive. One place where people should not try to save a few dollars is by going without an attorney. There are too many things that can go wrong in a real estate deal. Even the slightest mistake in the documents can cause you financial and logistical headaches. The contract of sale is exactly that - a contract, meaning that you are bound by its terms. If you do not have the protection afforded to you by specific terms that you need, you can face a financial loss, whether you are a buyer or seller. There are other issues that arise in a real estate…
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General Counsel Services for Your Business

General Counsel Services for Your Business

Civil Litigation
No matter what stage of growth your business is at, you will always need legal help at some point. Whether it is reviewing a contract, handling a dispute, or negotiating a corporate agreement, an experienced attorney can provide value. However, you may not have the need or budget for a full-time attorney. We help businesses in this position by providing outsourced general counsel services. An outsourced general counsel partners with you. They know your business because they work with you on a regular basis. Not only do they help you as legal issues arise, but they also are on the lookout for things that can affect your business. In addition, an outside general counsel can assist your business by building out your legal function and establishing an infrastructure that will…
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Is it Time to Amend Your Estate Plan?

Is it Time to Amend Your Estate Plan?

Estate Planning
Once you have established an estate plan, it should not be on autopilot for the rest of your life. Circumstances can change, whether it is because of the passage of time or a major life event. There are times when you must change your estate plan to reflect a new reality. From time to time, you should review your estate plan with an experienced attorney. Here are some reasons why you may need to change your estate plan: Someone listed in your estate has passed away You may have had a major life event like a marriage or divorce Your relationship with someone in your estate plan may have changed Your financial situation has changed You may have rethought your aims and what is important to you Estate Plans Are…
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What is the Role of a Probate Judge?

What is the Role of a Probate Judge?

Estate Planning
Most estates will go through probate after someone dies before the family can close the estate. During this process, the will is validated, and creditors are paid back what they are owed. Each case will be assigned to a probate judge. In the best-case scenario, the role of the probate judge will be limited. If there is a will, the executor will handle the matters of the estate. The role of the probate judge will usually be to review and sign off on the paperwork. If the probate judge must take on a larger role, it is a sign that something is wrong in the process. The probate judge will become involved if there is litigation. For example, if an interested party is challenging the validity of the will, there…
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What is Title Insurance?

What is Title Insurance?

Real Estate
When you are completing a real estate transaction, you are relying on the representation of the seller that they really fully own what they are selling you. If the seller does not fully own the property, you could be facing a large financial loss. Title insurance protects you from this happening. When you close on a property, you receive title. This is a legal document that says that you own the property. The seller has promised that they own the property in full. There are a number of things that can go wrong at closing. Even a mistake in the paperwork can come back to haunt you. Some of these issues could include: Unpaid tax liens Fraudulent impersonation of the owners Unreleased mortgages Errors in preparing the documents These are…
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When is a Contract Provision Unconscionable?

When is a Contract Provision Unconscionable?

Contract Disputes
While two people generally have the freedom to enter into a contractual agreement with one another, there are some limits. One party cannot strike a bargain that takes advantage of their bargaining power that is so significantly unfair and unbalanced that it would be considered unconscionable. In that case, the court may decline to enforce the agreement. An unconscionable contract is one that is unfair and oppressive to another party. The terms of the contract would suggest that one party had much more power in the formation and took advantage of it through these contract terms. This contract is so one-sided that requiring performance would be unjust. This is one example where a court would intervene to save someone from themselves when they have agreed to a lopsided contract. The…
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Steps to Incorporate Your Business

Steps to Incorporate Your Business

Business Law
Incorporating your business is a process that must be done right to save time and money. Here are some steps that you need to take to incorporate your business. Choose a Name You will need to incorporate your business under a specific name. Perform a search to make sure that the name you want is available because you cannot incorporate it under an existing business name. You can check on the Florida Secretary of State’s website. Choose Your Corporate Entity This may be the most important decision that you will make when starting a business. You will usually choose between a corporation and an LLC. Then, you will choose what type of corporation you are starting. Create Your Business Documents Each business must have incorporation documents and bylaws. These will…
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What Happens When Partners Disagree?

What Happens When Partners Disagree?

Business Law
Partnership disputes can be among the most challenging because each person has their livelihood on the line. Partners may be dug into their position and have their own desired way of doing things. The best thing is to avoid litigation, but it is a definite possibility. If you find yourself in a disagreement that cannot be resolved, you should attempt to mediate the dispute with the other partner or partners. Try to talk through a neutral third party or through your lawyers to help lower the tension and find common ground. Many disputes can be resolved when the parties are able to take a step back from the brink. Always Check the Partnership Agreement If you cannot settle the dispute, the partnership agreement will dictate what happens when there are…
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Who Do You Want as Your POA?

Who Do You Want as Your POA?

Estate Planning
Choosing someone to act as your agent with power of attorney is a choice that should not be taken lightly. This is a person who will have an immense amount of power to make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf. The wrong choice can cause problems for you and your family at a difficult time. Factors to Consider When Selecting a POA The first consideration is that the potential agent has the expertise necessary to make decisions. For example, if the person has a financial power of attorney, they should be financially literate. The person with a medical power of attorney should be able to talk to doctors and process medical information. Second, you also want someone who is nearby to you to make decisions. This is extremely important…
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What are Intestate Succession Laws?

What are Intestate Succession Laws?

Estate Planning
It is always better to prepare in advance and have a will in place if something were to happen to you. However, Florida has laws on the books that provide more certainty if a person dies without a will. Nonetheless, your family would rather not be in a position of needing these laws. Intestate succession laws will determine who inherits property when someone does not have a will. Oftentimes, these laws would not even apply to much of your property. For example, assets such as retirement accounts and life insurance proceeds do not go through the court. So long as you have designated beneficiaries, they will receive the property directly from the institution that holds the assets without the need for court intervention. Property Shares When There Is No Will…
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