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Melbourne FL Business & Real Estate Law Blog

Asset distribution in cases without wills and heirs

Many individuals of an advanced age, with heirs or significant assets, may have wills in place that state their wishes as it relates to which belongings they want their loved ones to inherit. At the same time, others may not. While Florida law generally outlines how the division of assets should be handled in the absence of a will being in place, there are a number of circumstances that may get in the way of settling an estate.

In instances where there is no will in Florida, the state is entitled to take the decedent's assets if he or she has no heirs. At the same time, though, it's pretty uncommon that a decedent doesn't have any descendants.

Elements you can't miss in drafting a construction contract

Construction projects involve the investment of significant sums of money. This is one of the reasons it is so critical that, in drafting a work contract, you do so in a way that keeps your interests at heart.

A well-crafted construction contract should thoroughly describe the project you're looking to have completed. It should also spell out such things as what materials are going to be used to carry out the project and what permits are going to be secured.

What is litigation?

When you want to take someone to court, you'll go through the process of litigation. In real estate, there's always a chance that you may need to sue or pursue a claim in court. Perhaps a contract is breached or a tenant does not pay on time. Regardless of the event, if you want the court to hear your case, this is the process you need.

Litigation can be criminal or civil. In most cases involving citizens or businesses, the cases are civil. In cases where someone has violated a federal or state law, the case may be criminal. Both cases can run simultaneously or one following the other, depending on what has happened.

Four reasons a contract may not be upheld

When drafting a contract, it's important to make sure it's going to stand if it winds up in court. Below are four reasons it may not be upheld that you want to watch out for.

First, the contract may not stand if it was made under duress. Both parties have to willingly enter into the contract for it to be binding. If one was forced, the court doesn't have to honor it.

The different ways doctors can escape noncompete agreements

No matter who you work for, most employers ask their employees to sign a noncompete clause in this day and age. Doctors aren't, unfortunately, immune to this. Hospitals have taken to utilizing noncompete clauses as a way to ensure that the doctors they hire don't walk away and take their patients with them or work in a neighboring area for a certain period of time.

While from the hospital's point of view, this protects their interests; for doctors, this can greatly impact their ability to pursue other employment. It's because of the punitive nature of this particular covenant that judges are ruling that noncompete agreements should not be upheld, much to the dismay of hospitals.

What can you do if you have buyer's remorse over a house bid?

"Buyer's remorse" is something that almost everyone recognizes. At some point in your life, you've probably purchased something that wasn't in your budget and paid more for it than you intended.

It's one thing, however, when your buyer's remorse is over a pair of designer shoes or a high-tech toy and quite another when the object of your distress is the house you just put a bid on.

How to protect yourself when hiring a contractor

Having a home built is a milestone in a person's life. It is exciting, stressful, overwhelming and fun all at once. Whether you've had a home built before or this is your first experience with new construction, it is in your best interest to protect yourself when hiring a contractor. Here are some tips to make this happen in Melbourne, Florida.

Before you lay pen to paper and sign a contract, ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance. You don't need to see a policy from the contractor, but a certificate of insurance can make you feel at ease during the relationship. A certificate of insurance shows you proof of the contractor's current coverage. All they need to do is ask their insurance agent for this document.

How seniors can protect themselves from investment fraud

While there are many crimes that exist that seem to be targeted at one group or another, when it comes to seniors, they often are victimized by investment or securities fraud. Fraudsters engaging in this type of crime rely heavily on using their smooth talking ways to convince seniors that they're making wise investment choices in working with them.

Considering the many different ponzi schemes that have had light shed on them in the past decade or so, it's more important than ever that seniors are even more vigilant in making investment decisions. In this case, asking more questions before investing is critical.

What happens if I buy a home with material latent defects?

If you purchase a home in Florida and discover immediately afterward that there are issues that the seller did not disclose before the closing, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. Keep in mind that not every potential problem that you encounter with your home is something that the previous owner should tell you about. Some issues that may occur after you close on your home are natural, such as the settling of the foundation.  

Here is a brief overview of what you should know about purchasing property with material latent defects. 

Review the homeowners association rules before buying a property

For some Melbourne residents, their homeowners' association (HOA) is a boon because it helps keep their neighborhood up to certain standards of beauty and makes sure their neighbors behave themselves. For others, their HOA is a burden because it's overly strict, requires expensive fees and -- for lack of a better word -- it's annoying.

Ultimately, the decision to buy into a neighborhood with an HOA is your decision. Approximately 25 percent of neighborhoods have an HOA that regulates the activities of property owners within the community. Because of their potential to be a pain in your backside, however, you'll want to review the HOA agreement associated with any new home purchase before agreeing to buy.

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