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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...

Do Workers’ Comp Benefits Get Divided in Divorce?

Divorce can strike at the most inopportune times in one’s life. Starting a brand-new business? Illness? Loss of loved ones? While we can always try to delay the inevitable, divorce can happen no matter what unfortunate events are taking place in your life. A workers’ compensation claim may be pending at the time of your divorce, as well. When a worker’s compensation claim is pending, many people are expecting funds to help them pay medical bills and get by until they are able to return to work. So, should they have to share those future anticipated funds with a spouse...

Understanding Relocation in Florida’s Divorce Courts

The average American, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will hold about 12 jobs in a lifetime. This is markedly more jobs than most people would have had just 30 or 40 years ago. Changing workforce requirements, educational opportunities, women working outside the home, and changing corporation structures all play a big role in this. However, one thing is definitely certain, if you have a custody order in place and are offered a phenomenal job opportunity that would require relocation, you are in a catch-22. Florida law does not make it easy to simply pick up and move if...

What is a Q-Tip Trust, and Does it Make Sense for Your Family?

Lawyers love a good abbreviation. The Q-Tip or “Qualified Terminable Interest Trust” is a tool that Florida estate planning lawyers can deploy when trying to protect the long-term growth of a family’s estate. In general, under a Q-Tip Trust, when one spouse passes away, his or her trust assets remain invested, while the income from the trust is payable to the surviving spouse for the remainder of that person’s life. After the second spouse passes away, the remaining funds are distributed to other heirs as indicated in the trust. One may read this and think it is too simple. After...

Five Signs of the COVID Custody Grab

In uncertain times, people do unusual things. In family courts across the country, people are trying to deal with how to handle the pandemic when determining custody and parenting time. Attorneys and courts are ill-equipped, because a pandemic of this magnitude has not occurred in our lifetimes. For those in south Florida who are trying to resolve a family law matter, this can be an immensely stressful time. Fortunately, a dedicated Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer might be able to help make sense of your rights and guide you through keeping as much time as possible with your children.  One particular...

S Corp Problems: Are You Set Up for Success?

Many small business owners struggle when starting out. There are a lot of reasons for this, but perhaps the most common early pitfall is setting up the business with the wrong foundation. While a good accountant is a necessity for any business, what they think is best for you may not actually be the best for your business. In particular, many CPAs will advise small business owners to set their company up as an S Corp. While this is generally a great idea for some companies, it is not always your best option. When it comes to long-term success for...

Why Non-Offending Parents Must Act Quickly When Children are Taken by the State

There is perhaps nothing scarier for a parent than discovering that your child has been removed from the home and placed into the care and custody of the State of Florida. Often, this occurs when parents are separated or divorced, and the child is with the other parent at the time of removal. Consider this example: You are separated and your ex-partner has the children for the weekend. You receive a phone call from a Child Protective Services worker late in the evening on Saturday, explaining that your children have been taken into care. You are then served with notice...

Religious Liberty Gets a Huge Victory at Supreme Court

America has a long and proud tradition of upholding individual liberties, including perhaps one of the most precious liberties – the right and freedom to worship as one chooses. Under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, this freedom is clearly and unequivocally preserved. In a landmark decision earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a remarkable victory to a Catholic order of nuns whose religious faith prohibited them from supporting insurance coverage for contraceptives. At the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC, we are carefully monitoring the progress of these issues, as they directly relate to the rights of all...

The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Valuation of Divorce Assets

Besides washing our hands frequently and considering wearing a mask when you go out in public, COVID-19 has impacted countless aspects of our lives. For one, the pandemic has significantly disrupted the US economy as well as weakened financial markets and caused the unemployment rate to go up substantially. As far as Florida divorces and the equitable distribution of marital assets are involved, the valuation of assets is a critical role in the resolution of the end of marriages. If your divorce involves the valuation of businesses or other assets, the potential for unjust results exists given the significant economic...
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