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Santa Rosa Beach Law Blog

Real estate litigation may be necessary in disputes with HOA

Millions of Americans live in neighborhoods or other locations where they must be a member of a homeowner's association - and pay dues to belong to the HOA. Florida is not immune to the presence of these organizations and, for the most part, many people are willing to pay their dues in order to provide for the maintenance of common areas, landscaping throughout the neighborhood and even community-use pools. However, it is not uncommon for homeowners to, at times, be at odds with the rules and regulations established by an HOA. When a dispute with an HOA occurs, real estate litigation may be necessary, even if it is a last-ditch option.

But, how would a dispute develop? And how would it get to the point where it cannot be resolved out-of-court and litigation is necessary? Well, there really is one simple way: you want to do something on your property or to your home that the HOA will not allow.

Know your options when it comes to complex family law issues

There are thousands of people in Florida who find themselves in family law court for the first time and don't know what their options are. From divorce to child custody and support to alimony issues, there are many family law cases that can become complex in a hurry. Knowing your options can help when it comes to navigating family law courts in Florida.

Divorce cases can be, without a doubt, some of the most complex family law cases a person might experience. Many divorce cases involve families with children, which just adds a whole other layer of issues and potential disputes to resolve. A couple without children might just be at odds over the division of property, but a couple with children may experience disputes over the right amount of child support to be awarded and the right child custody arrangement for the spouses and children alike. In the worst of cases, there may even be allegations of domestic violence involved.

What do Florida residents need to know about the probate process?

Many Florida residents begin the estate planning process with a variety of goals in mind, but with one in particular of importance: avoid probate as much as possible. However, depending on how an estate plan is drafted, it may be inevitable that heirs and beneficiaries will need to be involved with the probate process in some respect. So, what do our readers need to know about the probate process?

Well, for starters, it is important to realize that the probate process is in place to ensure that a deceased person's assets are passed on in a valid and legal manner to a valid and legal heir or beneficiary. To ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible, a will can direct a probate court - and the executor of the estate - as to how assets should be divided among heirs and beneficiaries. During the process, the full extent of the assets owned by the deceased person is examined, as is the person's debt, and then those debts and taxes are addressed before assets are distributed to heirs and beneficiaries.

Even young people can benefit from having an estate plan

There are many Florida residents who may think that estate planning is a task for "old" people to take care of. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In reality, everyone - young, old, married, single, rich, poor - could benefit from having an estate plan in place. Young couples, in particular, could benefit from having an estate plan.

A recent article noted some of the advantages for young couples who decide to craft an estate plan. For starters, an estate plan can help a young couple plan out their financial priorities and what it will take to protect what is important to them. Life insurance, for instance, may be a purchase that is made as couples look into estate planning. When they really take a look at the financial devastation that could be caused by the sudden, unexpected death of a spouse, many people see the sense in being protected by a life insurance policy.

Do you have the grounds to challenge a will?

In general, it is very difficult to challenge a decedent's last will and testament. In realty, almost 99 percent of all wills complete the probate process without anyone bringing a challenge or any other issues. Typically, most probate courts consider a will to be the final voice of the decedent and, thus, make it a point to see that these last wishes are carried out. However, anyone who has a possibility of benefiting from a decedent's will can bring a challenge before the court.

In order to successfully challenge a will, you must have a strong reason to do so. The following outlines the most common grounds that must exist for a person to challenge a will.

What is a spite fence and what can you do about it?

There are a variety of reasons your neighbor might decide to put a fence up. Many of these reasons are perfectly legitimate. But, what if you think the only reason your neighbor is putting up a fence is to make it harder for you to fully enjoy your property?

It’s possible you are the victim of a spite fence. This is a fence that a person installs that doesn’t serve a legitimate purpose but rather is set up to deprive a neighboring property owner of his or her rights. Examples of things a spite fence might directed towards include blocking a homeowner’s view or closing off access to a roadway.

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Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

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