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Melbourne FL Business & Real Estate Law Blog

When does a Florida estate qualify for summary administration?

If you're dealing with the estate of a loved one who was a resident of Florida when they died, you may find some of our state's probate laws confusing. Don't worry -- you're not alone.

You may have heard that smaller Florida estates can qualify for something called "summary administration." This is a simplified probate process that can save time and money if a loved one has assets that need to go through probate.

Questions to ask about a non-compete agreement

You sign a contract with a non-compete agreement. At the time, you're just happy to have a job. Ten years later, though, you decide to leave that job and go into business by yourself.

It's time to take another look at that non-compete agreement. Your employer does not want you to become the competition, and that clause makes it legally impossible for you to do so. Here are a few good questions to ask:

  • Is your new business idea going to compete directly with the company you are leaving?
  • Does the non-compete agreement have a start and end date? If you have been there for 10 years, does it still stand?
  • If it does still stand, how long does it last after you quit your job?
  • Is there a geographic element to the non-compete agreement? Perhaps you cannot start a business in Melbourne, but you can start it elsewhere within the state. Perhaps you can't start it in Florida at all.
  • Was the agreement explained to you when you signed the contract?
  • What happens if another company bought out your employer? Maybe you want to leave because you do not like the new management. You never signed a non-compete agreement with them, so does the agreement from your previous employer still stand?
  • What does the agreement say if your company is going to operate online?

A Miami-Dade condo association sues a contractor over damage

The Brickell East condo association filed suit against the Echo Brickell and the construction company John Moriarty and Associates in Miami-Dade circuit court last week. The former accuses the latter of having reneged on their agreement to keep the impact to their building to a minimum.

Brickell East maintains that Echo Brickell's Property Markets Group's (PMG) construction has caused their multistory residential building to sustain cracking, discoloration and structure damage. It's also resulted in debris being strewn about everywhere.

How can mental incapacity be proven post-death?

It's common for questions to be raised regarding the mental capacity of a decedent after they have passed away. These questions are often raised because the beneficiaries of the estate are surprised about the wishes that their loved one has expressed in their will or trust.

Mental incapacity and undue influence often go hand in hand. This is because those with diminished mental capacity can be easily influenced and manipulated by others who have bad intentions. The following are some ways that you can prove that your loved one was suffering from mental incapacity after they have passed away.

Judicial ruling challenges overcharging in Florida condos

Homeowners expect to see a lawyer twice in the span of possessing a house or condominium. The first time is when it is time to close on a home, and the second is when it is time for someone else to close while they are buying it. People often feel like something went wrong if a lawyer shows up some other time.

This is sometimes correct, and Florida's real estate history has often moved on lawsuits and changing regulations for changing times. A recent decision could affect thousands of condo owners in Miami and surrounding areas as it determined a violation of the Florida Condominium Act that may apply to many buildings.

How do minor and material breaches of contract differ?

There are two primary types of breaches of contracts: minor and material ones. Parties that enter into contractual agreements with one another may be required to meet certain obligations or be subject to certain penalties depending on the type of breach that they're alleged to have had a hand in.

A material breach is the more serious of the two types. It occurs when a party fails to carry out its obligations as outlined in their contract. If the person that they're contracted to provide services to receives something markedly different from what they were supposed to have, then a breach of contract is deemed to have occurred.

Real estate investment—good experience or big mistake?

Perhaps a friend or neighbor of yours has become successful by investing in real estate with a focus on flipping houses. You are intrigued and want to try your luck at this kind of venture.

Investing in real estate has its rewards, but you should keep in mind that pitfalls are common. Here are four mistakes you should avoid making.

Your options for handling a construction dispute

Disputes between a client and a contractor can often arise if work is not completed on time or not done to a standard the client believes is adequate. Becoming involved in a dispute can have the potential to ruin a contractor's reputation, and it will undoubtedly cost more money and time. This is why disputes must be resolved as soon as possible after they arise.

There are several possible routes to go down once a dispute starts. The first thing that both parties should do is read through the signed contract carefully to learn about what clauses are in place. It may be that a negotiation or mediation clause is there. This means that these prescribed processes should be used before any other dispute resolutions can take place.

Many Florida commercial real estate markets are thriving

When asked last year how they would expect the commercial real estate market to be doing last year, many brokers expressed concern that it would be experiencing a downturn. The opposite has happened for the land development, retail, industrial and office sectors in major markets in Central and West Florida, though. The Lakeland, Fort Myers, Sarasota and Tampa Bay commercial real estate markets are thriving.

Vacancy rates are currently the lowest that they've ever been and they are continuing to decline. Consumer confidence in the market remains high.

4 tips to help you find a reputable contractor

Florida is in the midst of hurricane season. While everyone certainly hopes that no big storms head this way, there is always a chance that one will. Once a hurricane hits, people need to have home repair jobs done. You might even have some that you want to finish without a storm arriving. In all these cases, you must ensure that you have a reputable contractor working for you.

First, determine whether you need a contractor or not. Some smaller projects, such as retiling the floor or possibly building a small patio, can be handled by a handyman. Other projects, such as changing where a wall is in the home, will require a contractor. You might opt to get quotes from both so that you can see what you're looking at for the full scope of the project.

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