Understanding Guardianship

In Florida, guardianship is a legal proceeding by which a competent individual or qualified institution is appointed as the guardian of an incapacitated person. This guardian then has the authority to exercise the legal rights of the incapacitated person on their behalf. In some cases, a bank trust department may be appointed to care for the incapacitated person’s assets.  What Constitutes an Incapacitated Person? In order to be deemed incapacitated, a person does not actually have to be comatose or entirely unable to function. Rather, a person is deemed incapacitated by the court if they are found unable to manage some of...

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Do Unmarried Fathers Have a Right to Custody in Florida?

Families take all shapes and forms, and not all families are bound by marriage. While both married and unmarried parents are eligible for custody agreements, the process is different for unmarried parents. Unmarried fathers, in particular, are impacted by Florida’s laws. Under these laws, if parents are unmarried, only the mother is given legal rights to the child. This is true even if the father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate. Many parents assume that they will automatically be given equal legal rights to the child, but unless they are married, this is not true. However, these rights can...

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Why Hire a Lawyer to Handle a Sports Contract?

While sports contracts are contracts, they are truly in a league of their own. Sports contracts are complex, high stakes, and contain many specific and unique terms. In addition to being a far cry from typical contract agreements, no two sports contracts are alike. They also generally involve huge sums of money. The negotiation of these contracts is competitive, and the specific terms can have a huge impact on the career trajectory and earning potential of an athlete. Additionally, sports contracts are generally prepared and negotiated by high-powered, highly experienced lawyers. As much as sports teams have an interest in...

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Can I Amend My Living Trust?

Estate planning can seem like a daunting endeavor. Many people mistakenly believe that it is something they can do once and then be done forever. In reality, a person’s estate is rarely static. Rather, they acquire and part with assets regularly and experience major life changes such as getting married or divorced, having children, starting businesses, and suffering the loss of loved ones, all of which affect their estate. Estates are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that estate plans would need to change over time to reflect the evolving needs of the estate and its benefactor. Luckily, that...

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Can I Get a Legal Separation in Florida?

There are generally three primary means of dissolving or ending a marriage — divorce, annulment, and legal separation. Some people may prefer legal separation over divorce because it essentially allows a couple to dissolve their marriage without ending it. This means that they can divide assets and debts and determine custody and visitation issues without terminating or altering their marital status legally. This can be important for religious reasons or if there is a need to keep health insurance intact. There can also be tax benefits or personal reasons, such as working toward a reconciliation, that make a separation preferable...

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The Pour-Over Will: A Critical Estate-Planning Safety Net

If you live in Florida, it is important to understand probate. Probate is the process of distributing a decedent’s assets and settling their debts after they die. Probate can take months or even years to complete and during this time the decedent’s heirs do not have access to the assets. If the heirs were financially dependent on the decedent while they were alive, this can create great financial hardship. Additionally, probate can be a costly process due to lawyers’ fees, which are all paid out of the assets prior to their distribution. If it is a complex estate or if...

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Top Three Florida Estate Planning Documents

Estate planning can seem like an overwhelming and unpleasant endeavor. No one wants to think about death; it is much more pleasant to imagine we will live forever and hope the details will just sort themselves out. However, it can actually be a huge relief to get your affairs in order. With the help of an attorney, many people find it is not nearly as cumbersome a process as they thought.  Part of the problem is that for many people, “estate planning” can seem like a somewhat vague and daunting process reserved for the wealthy. However, estate planning is really just...

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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in Florida?

Family structures can be complex to navigate and understand. While it may seem like common sense that allowing children to have a relationship with their grandparents would be beneficial to them in most cases, their parents do not always agree. Sometimes the parental reasons are valid, while other times they are genuinely not in the best interest of the child. For instance, abusive parents may isolate their children from other family members in order to hide the abuse and deny them an external support system. This can be scary and frustrating for grandparents who want to make sure that their...

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The Importance of a Partnership Agreement

If you are creating a business with someone, a partnership agreement may not be the first thing on your mind. In fact, often when people are starting businesses they seem to be in agreement on everything, which is great. It is important to recognize, though, that the longer you work together, the stronger each of your opinions will become and the harder it will be to reconcile them. For this reason, making a partnership agreement as soon as possible when starting a business will give you the best chance of starting on and building from the same page. Creating a...

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Benefits of Contract Drafting and Review for Small Businesses

If you are a new or small business owner, you may not be thinking much about contracts. Many new business owners believe that when they are just starting out, it is better to build informal relationships with suppliers and distributors. However, in reality, these informal agreements can cause a lot of ambiguity on both sides, which can result in major miscommunications and fallouts that threaten everything you have built. It is important to understand that contracts are like bricks when you are building your business. Having contracts properly drafted and reviewed helps you build a strong foundation with contractors, business...

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