Law Matters

Real Estate Contracts Must Be In Writing

LAW MATTERS

Real estate purchase and sale agreements can and should be complex. They involve an expensive commodity with significant obligations of both buyer and seller. Detail and clarity are essential to make sure the intent of both parties is met so the agreement will travel smoothly to closing. In English common law, an agreement to purchase and sell real estate had […]

Anatomy of an Eviction

LAW MATTERS

Rental homes are in short supply in Southwest Florida but that does not mean they are filled with good tenants. Landlords still have to deal with problem tenants and even resort to court when things go awry. This column will provide an outline of a landlord-tenant eviction case. Tenants cannot be evicted before the end of the lease. But, when […]

A Lawsuit Primer

LAW MATTERS

Participation in a lawsuit can be frightening. Even involvement as a witness can involve uncertainty. Part of the fear is based on the unknown, and attorneys often do a poor job of explaining what is going on. This column will be an effort to help those poor souls who get stuck in the litigation machine and do not know what […]

Florida Makes Effort to Protect Home Buyers

LAW MATTERS

Florida’s legislature has gone out of its way to mandate disclosure to buyers of residential real estate. Many statutes presuppose that buyers cannot or will not investigate a property on their own and must be warned or offered written information from the seller. Florida courts have also created protection in addition to that provided by the legislature. Perhaps the most […]

Assisted Living Facility Contracts and Their Problems

LAW MATTERS

Few will argue that Florida is a mecca for the elderly. Warm climate, medical facilities that specialize in ailments of the elderly and no state income tax make Florida an attractive retirement destination. Whether it would be house or condominium, many start early with a second home and transition to full time residence when income tax and other burdens of […]

Homeowners Face Insurance Bad Faith

LAW MATTERS

It has been more than eight months since Hurricane Irma visited our area and many homeowners are still fighting their insurance company for payment. In some cases, the insurer claims the property was not damaged. In others, the insurer claims repairs can be done a lot cheaper than the proposals obtained by the homeowner. For those homeowners who have not […]

No Will? Statutes Direct Distribution

LAW MATTERS

A properly drafted Will provides many benefits. One important benefit is avoiding conflict. A Will can help minimize dispute by clear direction for distribution of estate assets. A Will can provide other benefits. An estate plan can be created to minimize or eliminate debt or inheritance taxes. Although Florida has no estate tax, there is still a tax at the […]

Undue Influence Voids a Will

LAW MATTERS

Florida is a mecca for the elderly. No state income tax and no snow attract many retirees. Retirees often pay increased attention to estate planning, as many anticipate the road ahead will be shorter than the road behind. Beneficiaries may be even more interested, particularly if they see an opportunity to get a bigger part or all of the retirees’ […]

Real Estate Sale Under IRC 1031 Defers Tax

LAW MATTERS

The real estate market has certainly improved and with it profits for investors. Many investors like to turn over their money, which means they buy property, hold it until it can be sold at a reasonable profit (usually at favorable long term capital gains tax rates) and reinvest the proceeds in other property they believe positioned for future gain. Sometimes, […]

Equitable Distribution, or How to Split the Marital Pie in Divorce

LAW MATTERS

William G. Morris Florida is a no fault divorce state. Under Florida law, there are two grounds for divorce: the marriage is irretrievably broken or mental incapacity of one of the parties. If one of the parties claims the marriage is irretrievably broken, that is enough for the court to grant a divorce. Determining a marriage is irretrievably broken is […]


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