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January 2015 Archives

A look at guardianships in Florida - Part I

Do you have a plan for your estate after you die? If you're like a lot of our readers, you may have said yes. Most people have a will already drafted by the time they retire because they know how important it is to have a plan in place just in case something unfortunate happens to them later on. But now we're going to ask a question you may not have considered: do you have a plan in place just in case you become incapacitated?

Act extended to help short sellers get more back on their taxes

In 2007, the United States government passed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which was designed to give tax relief to people who had discharged debt on their primary residence during the tax year. This included mortgage restructuring, short sales and even foreclosures. Because of the act, taxpayers could write off this debt as an exemption instead of having it count towards their taxable income.

Having a lawyer is good when explaining inheritance to your kids

It's hard for a lot of parents to talk about their own deaths, especially with their own children. Death is so final and if you're like a lot of our Melbourne readers, there are still probably a lot of things that you want to do before you kick the proverbial bucket.

Florida governor requests funding for new veterans nursing homes

veteran-nursing-home-florida-frese-hansen.jpgDid you know that here in Florida, our state has more than 700,000 veterans who are 65 years of age or older but only six nursing home facilities dedicated to their care? With the number of elderly veterans in need of care on the rise, there is a growing need for health care at facilities such as this. It's a problem Gov. Rick Scott is trying to address now before it gets out of hand down the road.

Are Jimmy John's noncompete agreements enforceable in Florida?

Most people in Florida don't think too much about the law beyond what they have to in their day to day lives. It isn't until they encounter a violation of it that they realize just how complex our legal system is. It's only at this time that most people realize the value of obtaining a skilled lawyer, especially because their experience with the law may mean the difference between returning to your normal life and facing serious legal consequences down the road.

Gift or charitable donation? The question one dispute raises

charity-disputes-litigation-after-death-fresehansen.jpgThere comes a point, after decades of collecting, that we come to realize one important thing: we can't take it with us when we die. We know it's morbid to consider but this realization is ultimately what forces us to consider what will happen to our belongings when we pass away, allowing us to make decisions now according to our wishes instead of letting our possessions fall into intestate succession, where we have no control over where it goes.

Knowing what bad faith is could save you from litigation

When a person buys an insurance policy -- whether it's for a home, motor vehicle or health -- the person holding the policy has a reasonable expectation that their insurance provider will act in good faith when it comes to maintaining their policy and act in the best interest of the policy holder when it comes time to pay out on a policy. When a policy holder suspects that the insurance provider has not acted in their best interest, the insurance provider is considered to have acted in bad faith, which can leave them liable for damages in civil litigation.

Recent case shows difficulty with spotting real estate scheme

real-estate-fraud-frese-hansen.jpgIf you're like a lot of our Melbourne readers, then you have probably been meticulous about your savings so that when you retire, you can afford that beautiful retirement home you've always wanted. Maybe it's right on the ocean or perhaps in a well-to-do neighborhood that caters to your love of peace and quiet. Whatever your intended lifestyle, it's very likely that your move will come with a price tag that you have been equally meticulous about picking.

Technology helping veterans to walk after spinal cord injury

exoskeleton-suit-spinal-cord-injuries-veteran_frese-hansen.jpgThere are a lot of people across the nation, including many here in Florida, who would not hesitate to shake the hand of a veteran on the street. That's because many people appreciate the hard work and sacrifice that goes along with military service. For some service members, their sacrifice results in life-altering injuries that most Americans can only hope they will never experience in their lifetime.

New law about full-time employees could be around the corner

full-time-employment-health-law-frese-hansen.JPGFor quite some time now, the definition of a full-time worker, in the eyes of the federal government, has been someone who works at least 30 hours in a work week. The importance of this threshold is that it sets the bar for employers who are required to provide health benefits, such as access to insurance, if their employees are considered full-time.

Integrity of Social Security now may affect estate plans later

social-secuity-retirement-estate-plan-frese-hansen.jpgYou hear a lot of time from financial experts that everyone should save early and save as much as they can before they retire. This makes sense when you consider one important fact: you won't be working anymore, which means no steady paycheck each week. Whatever you save now will determine the lifestyle you can have when you're retired -- padded, of course, by the retirement benefits you receive through Social Security. Right?

Two lawsuits uncover Medicare and Medicaid fraud in Florida

medicare-medicaid-fraud-frese-hansen.jpegThe reason President Obama's Affordable Care Act has been so popular among many people here in the United States is the fact that many people believe that having access to affordable health care is incredibly important. Because many of our readers are nearing retirement age or are perhaps already retired, they know this fact perhaps better than anyone else.

Arby's 'we have Pepsi' ad shows resolution to contract violation

Agreement-partnership-business-frese-hansen.jpgAlthough most of the business world is all about competition, in some instances it actually makes more sense for some businesses to create partnerships instead. This strategic move is considered mutually beneficial because the companies are benefiting from the hard work that their partner is putting in.

Are senior apartments safer than nursing homes?

senior-living-frese-hansen.jpgThe growing number of abuse stories in nursing homes across the nation in the last few years has led a lot of people to reconsider the living arrangements they make after retirement. For many, this has meant foregoing a stay at a nursing home, choosing instead senior apartments, which offer independence and a reduced risk of abuse by a health care worker.

Is long-term insurance really worth the added cost?

If you've been given good financial advice throughout your life and have made smart investment decisions, then you may think you're financially prepared for retirement and what comes afterwards. But there is one thing that can make you second guess your nest egg and wonder if you really have enough to stay financially afloat for the rest of your life.

Is a lawyer necessary when dealing with a trust?

At some point in each person's life, establishing an estate plan becomes necessary. Whether this need occurs earlier in life or after retirement though, it often becomes clear after starting the estate planning process that it is no easy task. Oftentimes, when people come to this realization, they turn to a lawyer whose skill and expertise typically ensures that no mistakes will be made.

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