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Cape Coral Legal Blog

How can I avoid foreclosure scams?

When faced with foreclosure, it's natural to want to do everything in your power to prevent it from happening. This leads to many well-meaning people to fall prey to foreclosure scams, which promise homeowners help that never actually materializes. Being able to identify these scams is a must to prevent you from throwing your money away. In this case, PennyMac offers the following advice. 

The first step is to understand how some of the most common scams work. You may be contacted by an individual who claims to have a strong relationship with your lender. After providing this person an upfront fee, and possibly a few mortgage payments, he or she will claim to be negotiating on your behalf to get a lower mortgage payment. In some cases, homeowners are even instructed to cease making mortgage payments until negotiations are complete. This leads to even more issues and might speed up the foreclosure process. 

Why do people procrastinate estate planning?

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make with your estate planning is just putting it off. If you procrastinate for too long, there's a chance that you could pass away before you get around to it. This can create all sorts of problems for your heirs and may lead to some serious estate disputes.

To better understand why this happens, even though everyone knows they will need an estate plan someday, let's take a closer look at why people opt to procrastinate.

Know the inheritance rights of the surviving spouse in Florida

Florida law has many rules in place for managing probate and estate issues. Generally speaking, if the family members of someone who dies don't agree with the terms of the last will or estate plan, the family can challenge the plan in probate court. The courts will also handle arrangements for those who die without a valid last will or estate plan on record.

In some cases, the courts find themselves in the uncomfortable position of helping one individual whose rights wind up violated through the administration of an estate or the terms included in a last will. Many times, it is a spouse who has to worry about whether the terms of the last will violate their legal rights under Florida state law.

Should you accept a prelisting home inspection?

If you are looking to buy your next house in a Cape Coral neighborhood, you will likely be searching for any strong selling point to recommend a home. Some buyers are attracted by prelisting inspections since they lessen the chances that something wrong will turn up with the house after the sale. Still, not all Florida buyers automatically accept a prelisting inspection on its face.

While a prelisting inspection may pass a home with flying colors, the fact remains that the inspector was hired by the seller. It is like buying a boat that was checked out by the mechanic of the seller. You would probably still want your own mechanic to look at the boat before you buy. Similarly, according to U.S. News and World Report, some home buyers prefer to ask an inspector they know and trust to look at the house before committing to a sale.

Do all Florida estates have to go through formal probate?

If you have been left in charge of a loved one’s estate following his or her death, you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a drawn-out probate process. We at Burandt Adamski Feichthaler & Sanchez PLLC are familiar with the state of Florida’s probate laws, and we have helped many clients navigate the efficient administration of their loved one’s estates, so they can focus on grieving and moving forward.

Probate is the court-supervised transference of your loved one’s assets to those who are entitled to them. This includes his or her creditors and beneficiaries. While this process is important for passing on ownership of an estate’s assets and settling any final debts, there are alternative options to going through this formal process, which can take several months or more to finalize.

If you're remarrying, you need to update your estate plan

Life has a way of surprising us with the way it changes and develops over time. The first time you got married, you probably thought it would last a lifetime. You probably planned your family and maybe even your estate in Florida with your spouse. However, you wound up divorced. Now, you're in love again, and you're ready to make a commitment.

Remarrying can be a wonderful thing. If you have children, your new spouse can help provide a more stable and happy home. If you don't have children, remarrying may be a way to change that. Even if you are past the age of starting a family, a new spouse can provide you with companionship, love and support for many years to come.

Litigation targeting a new business

Business lawsuits can spell disaster for any company, regardless of the industry or the size of the business. Moreover, these lawsuits can be especially challenging for recently-formed businesses for a variety of reasons. If you recently launched a business and are facing a lawsuit, it is imperative to understand all of the options you have and take every measure to prevent litigation from destroying what you have worked so hard to set up. Unfortunately, the consequences of litigation have been so severe in some instances that business owners have had to shut their doors following legal action.

Lawsuits arise for countless reasons. Perhaps you are being taken to court by one of your competitors over claims that have been fabricated or exaggerated. Or, maybe a recently-hired staff member has decided to move ahead with a lawsuit over some type of employee rights violation. Regardless of the reason for litigation, the ramifications can be severe and may impact your business in multiple ways.

Do you need to fund a trust for your pets?

People who feel comfortable that they have tended to all of their estate-planning needs sometimes forget to make provisions for their companion animals. What will happen to Fido or Fluffy should you die before they do? Will a friend or relative step in and care for them or will they wind up in a shelter, heartbroken and confused, or be euthanized?

It's distressing to contemplate such a harsh future for a pet that has lovingly lived its life by your side. But take heart, as there is a way to make sure that your pet will be lovingly cared for even after you have left this earth.

Probate disputes and beneficiary rights

After a loved one passes on, various challenges surrounding their estate may arise, which can make daily life especially tough for those who are already struggling with the loss of someone they love dearly. Sadly, probate disputes are not uncommon and they can wreak havoc on an entire family. These disputes surface for various reasons, but some disputes are centered around a beneficiary not receiving assets that they were entitled to. If you believe that your rightful inheritance was kept from you, it is pivotal to examine all of the legal options you may have.

Unfortunately, many beneficiaries have had their rights violated during the probate process, often at the hands of another relative. For example, a beneficiary's brother or sister may be in charge of managing an estate, and they may intentionally withhold assets. Or, someone who was married to a loved one that passed away may purposely ignore their responsibilities and fail to distribute assets properly. This can be an incredibly confusing and emotional time for those whose rights as a beneficiary have been violated, and people subjected to this mistreatment should not remain silent.

Do adults who don't have a spouse or kids need an estate plan?

Adults who don't have children or a spouse might think that they don't need to have an estate plan, but this isn't the case. Instead, they need to think carefully about what is going to happen to their assets when they pass away. They also need to consider how they want their affairs handled if they are incapacitated and can't make decisions on their own.

Having an estate plan can address these issues, but it must be set up carefully so that it accurately represents your wishes. When you don't have things in order, there is a chance that your assets will be considered intestate.

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