Tampa Law Blog

Use a Lady Bird Deed Very Cautiously

A "Lady Bird Deed" (or more accurately called an "Enhanced Life-Estate Deed") is a type of deed which provides the grantor--i.e. the real estate property owner--with certain rights during life, with the remaining interest going to a named grantee at the grantor's death. The grantee under a Lady Bird Deed receives a "remainder" interest.. This means that the grantee gets title to the property upon the death of the grantor but has virtually no rights during the grantor's life. Florida is one of a list of states that recognize the use of this type of deed.

Common Estate Planning Mistake: Naming as Personal Representative a Nonresident Not Related by Blood or Marriage

When doing basic estate planning, one of the most important instruments to set up is a Last Will and Testament. This allows you to designate beneficiaries, i.e. who will receive your estate assets. The Will also designates the Personal Representative, i.e. who will be in charge of your probate estate. [Note: in some states, this person is referred to as an "Executor" or an "Administrator" but regardless of the name, they are essentially the same position.]

Is intellectual property part of your business purchase?

When buying a business, you more than likely purchase all of its assets as well, in order to avoid duplicating your efforts. In addition, you also purchase its goodwill and intellectual property. Valuing those assets is not as easy as valuing inventory, however.

This article focuses on the purchasing and valuing of intellectual property as part of a business acquisition. These intangible assets, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks, can add a significant amount of value to the business. Failing to include them in the purchase of an existing business could cause it to fail in the future since these assets are often the ones that provide the most revenue for the company.

What I learned from my broken crown!

I recently broke my crown. I'd worn the crown for a few years and it served me well. However, people noticed when I broke my crown because I was unhappy and had a pained look on my face. No, I'm not talking about the kind of crown that rests on your head---I wish I had one of those but it wasn't in the genes! The crown that I broke is of the 'dental" kind. When it broke, I learned a valuable lesson which can be applied to my estate planning law practice. Don't put things off!

Being of "Sound Mind" to Execute a Will

In Florida, as in most states, it has long been emphasized that the right to dispose of one's property by Will is highly valuable and it is the policy of the law to hold a Last Will and Testament good wherever possible. Not uncommonly, disgruntled beneficiaries sometimes challenge a Will on the grounds that the person who executed the Will (known as either the Testator if a man or a Testatrix if a woman) did not have testamentary capacity. In other words, they allege that the person's mental state was such that they could not validly sign a Will. 

The hard truth about soft tissue injuries from car accidents

You know that the consequences of a Florida car accident can impact various areas of your life. From your financial losses to your physical injuries, even a minor accident or low-speed collision can require a lengthy recovery. If your accident was the result of the actions or negligence of another person or party, you may have a rightful claim to financial compensation to aid you in your recovery.

Soft tissue injuries are common types of car accident injuries, and victims often find that this type of damage can be quite significant. You may not always be able to see soft tissue injuries, but the pain and suffering is real. If you suffered from soft tissue injuries in your accident, you may require support, care and time to rest to get better.

Preparing for Alzheimers and Dementia Ahead of Time

"Dementia" is an umbrella term describing a variety of diseases and conditions that develop when nerve cells in the brain die or no longer function normally. The death or malfunction of these nerve cells, called neurons, causes changes in one's memory, behavior and ability to think clearly. Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia, making up as much as 80 percent of dementia in elderly persons. Ultimately, after losing one's quality of life, Alzheimers leads to death. In fact it is the fifth leading cause of death in person over age 65 and it is the only cause of death in the top ten that has little treatment, ability to slow progression, or cure.

How do I transfer Florida real estate after the owner has died?

Not uncommonly, we have prospective clients come into the office after a loved one has died. Their request is often simple...for example:"I need a deed to put Mom's house into my name. Her Will says I'm supposed to get it. Can you prepare that deed for me?" Unfortunately, it's not that simple. In most instances, there will need to be a court order to transfer the property. And in Florida, that means opening a probate.

Avoiders, Do-it-laterers, Around-to-iters, Out-of-sight, Out-of-minderers, and Other Procrastinators!

As an estate planning law firm, we advise and counsel clients, and establish and implement a plans in order to protect individuals, families, and businesses in the event of illness, incapacity, disruption from the unexpected, and death. Who needs this advice, planning and protection? Simply put-everyone! Illness, incapacity, disruption from the unexpected, and death are inevitable. We all face these realities, so why not be prepared?

What is an "adversary proceeding" in Florida probate?

In Florida probate, certain types of disputes are considered adversary proceedings. This designation has several implications, including that fact that the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure apply. In effect, an adversary proceeding proceeds as if it were a civil lawsuit within the probate. In particular, the parties can conduct discovery, including Requests for Production of Documents, Interrogatories, and taking depositions.

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