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July 2015 Archives

Supreme Court rules on health care subsidies

After spending so much time and money fighting the Affordable Care Act, Florida's governor Rick Scott received another blow recently as the Supreme Court upheld subsidies for those who purchase insurance through the federal exchange program.

Planning for long-term health care

Some people need constant, long-term health care as they get older and can no longer take care of themselves. Those with chronic disabilities, terminal illnesses or other incapacitating conditions find the care and treatment they need through either in-home health care providers or nursing homes. However, this treatment is not free, and the costs associated with such specialized care can be overwhelming to those who do not have the means to afford it.

Severance agreement may help avoid future litigation

To help avoid potential litigation when laying off or otherwise terminating an employee, many businesses choose to offer severance packages or agreements. A severance agreement can be an important aspect of an employment contract as it can help protect the business against any future litigation from the ousted employee.

Assigning a power of attorney: the earlier, the better

Planning for the future of one's estate is important to ensure one's assets, properties and beneficiaries are protected and provided for in the event of one's passing. However, it is important to draft an estate plan when one is mentally competent to do so; otherwise, the estate plan may not have merit in the eyes of the court. As important as making plans for what will happen to one's estate after death, one should also plan for what will happen to him or her in the event of incapacitation. One approach many choose is a power of attorney.

Home foreclosure rates down nationwide

More good news for the troubled real estate market: According to a recent report, home foreclosure rates are continuing to drop across the country. Although Florida was still named as one of the states with a high share of residential properties in foreclosure at 2.9 percent, the news is, nevertheless, encouraging and indicates the Great Recession, as it was called, may be coming to an end.

South Florida sees decline in zombie foreclosures

After the real estate bust in Florida a few years ago, some homeowners who were facing foreclosure opted instead to just abandon the property and move somewhere else. This created the so-called zombie foreclosure issue that faced many lenders in the state. Now, according to a recent report in the Daily Business Review, more homeowners are choosing to stay in their homes throughout the foreclosure process.

Consider durable power of attorney as part of your estate plan

While many of us like to believe that we will live our lives healthy and in full control of our faculties, the fact remains that many of us will face some sort of incapacitation as we get older. If this incapacitation should result in your not being able to make decisions for yourself, then someone will need to step in to make those decisions. Having a durable power of attorney appointed as part of your estate plan will help ensure that the decisions made on your behalf will be decided by someone you can trust.

What is probate and how can I avoid it?

When someone loses a spouse, parent or sibling, the process of dealing with the person's death is usually hard enough. However, when the survivors must also deal with the probate process afterward, they are often left even more drained and overwhelmed. Few may understand probate, and that lack of understanding leaves them even more at odds with how to deal with it when the time comes.

Wealthy investors ready for more property

As the real estate debacle of a few years ago seems to be settling, many wealthy investors in the U.S. and around the world are prime to begin investing in North American properties again ? and Florida land will ostensibly be on their list. According to a recent report, a survey conducted on private bankers and wealth managers showed that 53 percent of these professionals expect that their high-net-worth clients will increase the amount they invest in real estate during the next five years.

Revocable living trust is a good option

According to a recent entrepreneur.com article, more than half of Americans do not have a plan in place for their estate after they die. Ostensibly, some percentage of those Americans probably live in Florida, and without a solid plan, the distribution of their assets will be left up to the courts. Although many instruments exist for estate planning purposes, many choose to create a revocable living trust, or RLT. An RLT can be just one part of a person's overall estate plan, and it can be a good choice for people to implement for several reasons.

How can a guardianship assist with special needs children?

Florida parents who have children with special needs may worry about the time when those children reach adulthood, and the parents may lose the right to make important decisions on their child's behalf. To help alleviate such concerns, those parents should look into obtaining a guardianship that will ensure the continued care of their offspring.

How to avoid getting ripped off by a fake charity

Many people enjoy donating to charities. Not only does it make people feel good to help others who are less fortunate, but donating also offers tax incentives for those who give. However, those with big hearts may also face big disillusionment when they learn that the supposed charitable foundation they gave money to was nothing but a scam. Before deciding to give money to a charity, a would-be donor needs to keep the following suggestions in mind.

Land conservation groups seek to enforce Amendment 1

A lawsuit was filed in Leon County this week accusing the state of Florida of ignoring a constitutional amendment and misappropriating funds that were supposed to be earmarked for land conservation. By a 75 percent vote, voters approved Amendment 1 to the Florida Constitution. The amendment is supposed to ensure the state sets aside 33 percent of real estate transfer tax dollars for land conservation purposes over the next 20 years. For the 2015 budget, that amounts to over $$740 million.

Seminole Tribe in dispute with state over gambling agreement

business-litigation-gambling-law-frese-hansen.jpgAfter paying enormous amounts of money to retain the rights to certain gambling games, the Seminole Tribe is now seeking mediation in a dispute with the state of Florida after the state apparently voided a compact by allowing certain games to be played at other casinos.

Real estate market returning to sanity

After years of fluctuating between great highs and lows, a new period of modest growth and security seems to be settling in for the residential real estate market in Florida and across the nation. Home prices both in the state and nationally seem to be returning to normal levels and rising at modest, single-digit rates. That fact, coupled with low, stable interest rates, means that more potential buyers are in the market for a home.

What steps are necessary for creating an LLC?

Are you thinking of starting your own business? If so, one of the first things you must consider is what type of business entity you will create. While different options exist for the type of legal entity your business will be, many people choose to create a limited liability company or LLC. An LLC can offer tax and personal liability benefits, but in order to start one, you need to ensure you have all the steps in place.

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