ESTATE PLANNING Attorney, NONPROFIT, BROWARD, MIAMI Corporate, Business ATTORNEY,

BLOG

Determining Alimony in Florida

There are many questions and considerations that come up when contemplating divorce. Dissolving a marriage often means also dissolving aspects of a life you have invested a lot of time and effort in building. It can be a big decision to make, and there are often a lot of moving parts. For many people, concern over how divorce would impact them financially is a barrier to moving forward. It is important to have a sense of how alimony works so that you can have a genuine sense of your options and feel comfortable moving forward or planning accordingly. Of course,...

What to Know About Reverting to Your Maiden Name After a Divorce

Divorce is a massive change. Not only does it dissolve a marriage, but it also changes much of the life, roles, and identities that accompanied it. For people who took their spouse’s name when they married, divorce may leave them wanting to revert back to their own family name or reclaim their identity independent of the marriage. Of course, not everyone chooses to change their name following a divorce. For some with minor children, keeping their married name may be easier. Others may have built a career on their married name and do not want to change it. However, what...

How to Prepare for a Divorce

Divorce can seem like a daunting and overwhelming endeavor. It can be hard to know how to start without just shattering your life. However, there are a number of steps that can be taken in anticipation of divorce that are far less significant and earth-shaking than filing for it. If you are still deciding if divorce is the right option for you, or you are trying to get organized and prepared for it, you can use this time to put yourself in the best place possible for the proceedings should you choose to move forward or whenever you are ready...

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Florida?

If you are considering divorce, you may be wondering how long it will take and how much of an impact it will have on your life. Certainly there are a lot of stories about long, drawn-out divorces that were costly and dragged on for years. However, the fact of the matter is that every divorce is different. There are dozens of factors that can affect the timeline for divorce. Whether the divorce is uncontested, the amount of assets involved, whether there are shared minor children, and how collaborative versus combative the proceedings are can all heavily affect the length of...

Can I Divorce My Spouse if They are Deployed?

There are no ideal circumstances for divorce. Even under objectively “good” conditions, divorce can be a complex and emotionally complicated process. However, if your spouse is in the military and stationed overseas, this may add a number of obstacles to navigating the divorce process. While a deployed spouse definitely complicated the process, it does not make it impossible. In this article, we will review the reality of filing for divorce while your spouse is overseas so that you can assess whether it is the right option for you. While the information in this article is intended to be general, you...

What is the Difference Between a Revocable and Irrevocable Trust?

If you have started looking into estate planning options, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. Estate planning can seem complicated, as there are many possible mechanisms and trusts that can be employed. However, once you understand the basics, it is easier to determine which of these options will truly meet your needs. If you are wealthy and have a large amount of assets, a trust may be an excellent option for you. The choice between a revocable or irrevocable trust is a personal choice, based on what you are looking to get out...

Vendor Agreements

Vendor agreements are a part of nearly all aspects of a business, regardless of the size. Vendor agreements are a necessary component of any exchange of goods or services. If you are a small business, you may find yourself dealing with vendors for everything from software and office supplies to consulting, legal help, event planning, marketing, and more. Without proper vendor agreements to regulate and clarify these relationships, your small business could pay a big price. Understanding what vendor agreements and how to negotiate them allows you to clarify roles and expectations in business relationships and helps to avoid costly...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Four Benefits of Prenuptial Agreements That Have Nothing to Do With Divorce

Many people struggle to separate the concept of a prenuptial agreement from the idea of divorce. This creates a barrier to even considering such an agreement for many individuals, who fear that a prenuptial agreement is heralding an early end to their marriage. However, this misconception really does a disservice to couples who could benefit in many ways from these kinds of agreements. In fact, in many ways, a prenuptial agreement can serve as a testament to the relationship you are building with your future spouse.  Strengthen and codify your values. A marriage is strongest when it is a true...

Pandemic Estate Planning: Why Make a Living Will?

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered and affected nearly all aspects of our lives, and we have worked hard to adapt by social distancing, home-schooling, and working remotely. One thing that some people may have overlooked in focusing on trying to stay healthy and survive the day-to-day challenges is thinking about what would happen if they actually got sick. It is understandable; it is far easier to survive each day when you are not also holding space for your own mortality and worst-case scenarios. Unfortunately, in our current climate, and with the virus spreading internationally, contracting COVID-19 is no longer a...

Black-Owned Businesses are Thriving in South Florida

You may be shocked to learn that only 2.2% of businesses in the United States have Black owners. While racial disparities exist nationwide, South Florida has been proving itself ripe for boosting Black-owned businesses. In fact, two of the nation’s top five best cities for Black business owners are located in South Florida — Pembroke Pines and Miramar. Both of these cities have a 3.11% Black-ownership rate, above the national average, and higher than the vast majority of the 129 cities assessed for the study.  Obstacles for Black-Owned Businesses  Studies have consistently shown that it is harder for Black business...

How You Can Avoid Florida Probate and Why You Should

Unless you are a wills and estates attorney, you may not be intimately familiar with the concept of probate, but understanding what probate is and how to avoid it can make all of the difference when it comes to effectively distributing your assets after death.  What is Florida Probate?  So, what is probate? Probate is the process by which a person’s assets are distributed after their death. This process may involve settling debts, paying estate taxes, and distributing assets. Depending on the specific circumstances, probate can look different. For instance, probate will unfold differently depending on whether you have a...

Why to Say “I Don’t” to a DIY Divorce

It is no secret that the word “divorce” can instantly conjure fears of long, drawn-out court battles, drained bank accounts, and ruined relationships. So it is also no surprise that many couples hope to avoid these outcomes by taking care of it themselves. However, even though it may look simple enough to fill in the blanks on a flat-rate website, there is a lot that can go wrong with this overly simplified approach. DIY divorces should only be considered in cases where you and your spouse are both honest, transparent, have no shared dependent children, have few assets, are in...

Appointing a Florida Durable Power of Attorney

A power of attorney gives another individual the power to act as an agent on your behalf, for either a general purpose or a specific reason. The scope of the power of attorney can be tailored to your needs for the agent. For instance, you can execute a power of attorney that allows another individual to close on the sale of your home, sell your car, sign a contract on your behalf, or access your bank account. A power of attorney can be executed for just about any legal task, including forming wills, trusts, and giving gifts. Essentially, a power...

Florida S-Corp vs. LLC: Making the Right Choice for Your Business

An important step in any successful business is making it an official, legally recognized entity. There are a number of types of Florida businesses, including S-Corporations, which are technically not legal business entities, but rather, an elected tax status that essentially lets the IRS know to tax your business as a partnership. The best kind of business for you depends on a number of factors, such as the organization and nature of your business, the amount of liability you are comfortable with, and possible tax benefits and drawbacks.  Two of the most popular kinds of Florida businesses are S-Corporations (S-Corps)...

How Healthy is Your Attorney-Client Relationship?

Studies show that from doctors to massage therapists, trust in a person’s provider can have a massive impact on the overall experience and success of an endeavor. Patients who trust their doctors have a 30% higher success rate on average, compared to patients who are apathetic or distrustful of their medical care providers. It is no surprise then, that the healthiest relationship between an attorney and client will be one based in trust. So that begs the question, what exactly defines a healthy attorney-client relationship?  Feeling Seen and Supported in Your Legal Goals  Feeling seen means that you feel supported...

Why Form a Florida Partnership?

If you are considering forming a partnership in Florida, or transitioning an existing business into a partnership, you may have a lot of concerns about how that will affect your overall business structure and bottom line, and whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. In reality, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Whether a partnership is right for you and your business depends entirely on the goals you have and on your specific situation. There can be huge benefits associated with partnerships, as well as increased liability and other drawbacks.  Ultimately, only you can decide whether a partnership is the structure that...

Do You Qualify for an Uncontested Divorce in Florida?

If you are considering divorce, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the prospect and unsure of where to start. It is easy to understand why. We all know couples who have spent years and fortunes on seemingly endless divorce battles only to both end up completely emotionally and financially depleted. However, this is not the only way. Under Florida law, there are options available that would allow you to have a very different experience of divorce. That is not to say that divorce is ever easy, but if you and your spouse are committed to making this a collaborative process,...

Three Unconventional Views That Make Divorce More Palatable

Oscar Wilde wrote, “an optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” When it comes to divorce, a lot of people see the hole left behind after the fallout and pain of losing a marriage. This is especially true of marriages with small children. There can be emptiness and a sense of failure. For Christians who are left with the reality of a divorce, the devastation can even be more intense. After all, there can be a deep sense that one has failed, not only in marriage, but in their faith.  Perhaps the most difficult part of a divorce...

Paying for Home Healthcare with Medicaid

Just because you worked hard to save up money your whole life does not mean that you want to spend that hard-earned savings on medical care. Sadly, Americans are facing a crisis of rising healthcare expenses, and many seniors find their entire retirement savings end up going to providing medical care for themselves and their spouses. Even the adult children of many seniors find themselves footing the bill for home healthcare and other related services that are simply too much for families to provide.  So, how do you ensure quality medical care late into your retirement, while preserving some of...

How Stay-at-Home Parents Can Pay for Divorce

Think that you could never afford a divorce, or that you are stuck in a bad situation because you do not make any money? Well, think again. Stay-at-home moms (and dads) are still within their right to get divorced from a spouse. Even if you are not the financial breadwinner, this does not necessarily mean that you are stuck in that loveless and painful relationship. In some cases, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you with your divorce and get the other spouse to pay the bill. This requires a lot of advanced planning, however, and you will want to...

Three Things You Should Know About Special Needs Trusts

If you have a loved one with special needs or severe disabilities, then you might have at some point heard of a special needs trust. These special planning tools are widely regarded as a ‘silver bullet’ for protecting a disabled person’s right to state and federal aid, while preserving any inheritance or assets they may have. But before you run out and spend the time and effort to have a trust drafted for your loved one, there are a few key considerations that a lot of people overlook. Before signing anything or spending your hard-earned cash on an estate plan,...

Where Do I File for Divorce in Florida?

When you are considering a divorce in Florida, one of the first decisions you will need to make is where to file. After all, filing for a divorce in the wrong place could waste your money and create unnecessary delays. In some situations, even the slightest delay or misstep could cause serious consequences. This is why it is often a good idea to first check with a Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer to make sure you are following all the right steps from the very start.  Understanding Jurisdiction in Florida Family Courts First, before you file for divorce, you must make...

Four Common Medical Conditions that Can Lead to Mental Incapacity

When a loved one begins to lose the mental ability to make decisions about their finances and healthcare, it can be extremely terrifying. What will happen to the person’s home, money, property, and so forth? Will they get the care they need? Who will sign contracts and hire caregivers? Who has the right to make decisions for them now? These are all questions that must be answered, and it can be a complex and dizzying process for adult children or spouses. As a faith-based law firm in south Florida, the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC is poised to help families make...

Choosing the Right Board for Your Florida Nonprofit

Many people dream of running a faith-based business. Whether it is a church, shelter, or some other type of service that helps those in need, our local nonprofit businesses provide invaluable services that simply cannot be provided by the government or private for-profit industry. As a  faith-based law firm in Fort Lauderdale, the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC, has helped many local churches and charities develop their strategic plans and business structures. But one thing we cannot do is choose your board for you. So, here are some key considerations when selecting individuals to serve and lead your nonprofit.  What You...

Trusts are Useless if You Do Not Know How to Use Them

You read it correctly; a trust is entirely useless without skilled advice to go with it. After all, a trust is just a document. Much like a contract, a will, a power of attorney, or a set of instructions from a furniture store, a trust does nothing until a living person takes action. So, although it is important to draft the trust correctly, many times it is the attorney advising the trustee later that makes all the difference. If you have been named trustee of a Florida trust, and you are concerned about honoring the deceased individual’s wishes, while protecting...

Restraining Orders in Florida Family Courts

Divorce and custody battles are often some of the most heartbreaking cases that come through the courts. This is especially true when there are small children caught in the middle. While divorce can be ugly, there are certainly times when it is unavoidable. One case, in particular, would be in situations involving domestic violence. Miami family lawyers can help clients through their underlying family court case as well as in seeking an order of protection against an abusive partner (also referred to as a restraining order).  What is a Restraining Order? A restraining order is pretty much what it sounds...

Adopting a Child in Florida

When small children are taken into state custody in Florida, there is a preference for finding relative caregivers. Unfortunately, there are times when parents cannot get their lives in order and get their children home. When this happens, adoption is the typical result. If you are a relative with custody of a loved one’s child, you may have high hopes for them to get their child back, but you should also prepare for the potential reality that you may be asked to step up and adopt that child at some point in the future. When you are adopting children in...

Four Things to Know About Starting a Nonprofit Corporation in Florida

In recent years, there has been a notable surge in the creation of nonprofits throughout the country. In Florida, there are specific rules that apply to the creation and operation of a nonprofit corporation. But despite the complex rules and regulation that may apply, starting a nonprofit does not have to be as difficult as it sounds. At the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC, we are devoted to helping nonprofits of all sizes get off the ground. We are especially motivated to help religious nonprofits as they navigate the law and ever-changing rules. Here are four things that you need to...

How Does Cannabis Affect Custody in Florida?

As cannabis moves slowly from serious illegal drug to generally accepted for recreational and medicinal use nationwide, Florida family courts remain largely opposed to the drug. If you are facing a custody battle in Florida, you need to be prepared. This means understanding how your behavior can impact the outcomes. For those seeking to protect their children and provide the best life possible, a faith-based law firm may be just the right option.  Cannabis Law in Florida First, it is important to note that marijuana is still illegal in Florida. In fact, even medicinal marijuana comes with many exclusions and...

Adult Guardianship in Florida

As we age, many adults will experience some decline in health, including cognitive decline. In fact, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 11.7% of all adults will experience some form of cognitive decline once they are over 65. Cognitive decline can be defined as a relative loss of mental capacity and functioning. Cognitive decline can happen for many reasons, including organic brain disorders like dementia or due to stroke or other health conditions. As we age, the risk of decline becomes more pronounced. In addition to the human toll of decline, there are legal concerns facing...

2020 Divorce Statistics and the Impact of COVID-19

With the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 still plaguing much of the world, divorce rates have skyrocketed in 2020. According to the National Law Review, as many as 20% of all couples who have been married for less than five months sought out a divorce during the early months of the pandemic. More startling, divorce rates went up by as much as 34% by April 2020. But what is really behind this trend, and what does it mean for those looking to get divorced during a health crisis? After years of counseling divorcing couples, the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC is poised...

Pros and Pitfalls of a Ladybird Estate

The Ladybird Estate got its delightful name after the late wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Ladybird Johnson. Her real name was Claudia Alta, and her late husband’s bequest of their homestead set the stage for the nickname of an estate planning document also dubbed the “Life Estate.” But what exactly is a life estate, and should you be using one to avoid probate?  What is a Life Estate? Whenever someone deeds a property to another, they can do so in several ways. First, they can opt to grant the receiver everything – the whole package, so to speak. This...

Do I Need to Probate an Estate in Florida?

One of the simplest, yet most common questions estate planning lawyers get is, “Will I need to probate my estate?” The answer is relatively simple, yet complicated at the same time. At Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC, we are a faith-based law firm, guided by principles of law and heartfelt devotion to Christ. As such, we see one’s final wishes in a different way than many attorneys. We understand that there is often far more to one’s final estate than dollars and cents. Sometimes, matters of conscience are just as important. So, when deciding whether a probate estate will be needed,...

How Do Florida Courts Determine Custody?

Florida courts, like most state courts in the country, look to the “best interests of the children” when determining issues of custody. Florida no longer considers it custody. Rather, it is discussed as shared parenting time and responsibilities. There are several key reasons for changing the language of custody in recent years, but the key takeaway should be that courts no longer view custody as an “all or nothing” proposition. It is not a matter of “who gets the kids,” but rather how much time each parent will have and what duties and rights each parent will have. In reaching...

Saving the Florida Small Business During COVID-19

Since March 2020, COVID-19 has kept much of America on lock-down. With ups and downs along the way, small family-owned businesses have struggled to stay open, while complying with rapidly evolving rules and local mandates. Florida has been a hotspot at times, with higher than normal infection rates, leading to a lot of concerns about extended harm to businesses and the likelihood of the shutdown lasting indefinitely. At The Sejour-Gustave Law Firm PLLC, our attorneys remain devoted to protecting and preserving small businesses in our region, even in these difficult times. Planning for Business Succession Succession planning is always a...

Can I Afford a Divorce as the Victim of Domestic Violence?

Perhaps the most devastating part of domestic violence for so many victims is that leaving seems impossible. Whether it is the psychological toll that domestic violence can take on its victims or the high financial cost of freedom, many victims do not feel they have the resources or power to fight back and get free from the abusive partner. The truth is that most people are able to break the cycle effectively once they get legal assistance from a professional. So, how does one afford a divorce when going through domestic violence? Step One. Acknowledge the Power of a Protective...

How MacKenzie Scott Became the Richest Woman in the World by Divorcing Jeff Bezos

The headlines are outrageous and filled with scandal. A woman has become incredibly wealthy simply by getting divorced. If one were to read the headlines, they may get the impression that this woman has somehow fallen into luck and capitalized on her husband’s success. So, just how exactly did MacKenzie Scott manage to receive such a significant financial windfall in her divorce, and what lessons should every divorcing woman and man learn from this story? The Real Scoop Most news stories focus on the $68 Billion fortune that she now possesses, but long before there was a fortune, and long...

Moving for a New Spouse’s Job After a Divorce

So, you are divorced and have children by your ex-spouse; however, you have recently begun dating someone or re-married, and that new partner has an incredible job opportunity across the country in another state. What do you do? You know the new opportunity could change life for you and your children forever, but it would mean the kids not seeing your ex nearly as much. Can you up and move? If you move without permission, what is the harm? How do you convince your ex it is the right thing for the kids? These are among some of the more...

Five Common Challenges in Adoptions

For those seeking to adopt a child, there are three primary ways it can be done. Each has its pros and cons. First, there is a traditional adoption. This is where an adoptive parent or parents contact an agency or find a private individual seeking to place a child for adoption, and the parties reach an agreement. Second, there are international adoptions. Finally, there are foster adoptions. Each has a unique set of challenges. However, in all situations, there are a few common challenges that potential adoptive parents should understand before making the commitment to bring a new child into...

Estate Planning Basics for the Family Owned Business

Few things in life can bring more joy and satisfaction than owning a business. It can provide flexibility, autonomy, and a great income for generations. Successful family-owned businesses often are handed down to children and grandchildren, creating legacies as well as wealth. But business owners face more complex questions when preparing their final affairs. Unlike most Americans, small business owners have added concerns about who will take over the business, how the business will be run after they are gone, and what would happen to the business if they became incapacitated in some way. These and more are issues that...
Please subscribe to our newsletter to stay abreast of what’s happening at The SG Firm.
Get the latest content first.
We respect your privacy.