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There is a Last Will & Testament. What’s next?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

Formal Administration: One of the primary purposes of probate is to ensure that the decedent’s debts are paid in an orderly fashion. In a formal administration, the personal representative must use diligent efforts to give actual notice of the probate proceeding to “known or reasonably ascertainable” creditors; this notice is required to be published.  This gives… Read More »

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How Do Property Tax Caps Work in Florida?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

The Save Our Homes property tax cap is an amendment to the Florida constitution that limits the annual increase in the tax assessment of homestead property to a maximum of 3% of the prior year’s assessment; and its purpose is to encourage the preservation of homestead property and to ensure that Floridians will not… Read More »

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What Should I Know Before I Rent in Florida?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

Prior to signing a rental agreement; it is very strongly advised that you make arrangements for a walk-through of the premises with the landlord to identify any problems that should be fixed BEFORE signing the rental agreement. Take pictures or videos or make notes of any questionable conditions and include provisions for repairs in… Read More »

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Have a Legal Matter?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

You’re most likely over the age of 45, and you’re not in this situation by choice. You might be dealing with a legal issue for the first time in your life, and as such, you don’t even know what you don’t know. There’s one thing you do know: You need help. You’re emotional and,… Read More »

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Whose Responsibility is it to Get Releases of Lien(s)?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

In your contract/agreement with your contractor, you can stipulate that he/she is responsible and must provide all releases of lien.  If it is not a part of your contract/agreement, you, as the owner, will have to act as your own contractor and YOU must get the releases from the contractors, laborers, materials suppliers, subcontractors… Read More »

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What is a Sworn Statement of Account?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

At any point during construction, the owner may request in writing from the contractor a Sworn Statement of Account. Pursuant to Florida Statutes §713.16, a Sworn Statement of Account is a written statement that documents the nature of the labor or services performed or to be performed, materials supplied or to be supplied, current amount paid on… Read More »

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How Do I Contest a Construction or Mechanics Lien On My Property?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

A construction or mechanics lien is valid for one (1) year, unless a lienor files a lawsuit to enforce the lien prior to the expiration of the one (1) year. It is important to note that an owner has a right to file a Notice of Contest of Lien during the one (1) year… Read More »

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What is a Contested or Uncontested Divorce?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

A “dissolution of marriage” (most often called a “divorce”) may be either an “uncontested divorce” or a “contested divorce.” In either case one, one spouse asks the court for the divorce – this spouse is called the “petitioner”. The other spouse is called the “respondent.” After showing proper residence in Florida, which is six… Read More »

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Can An Unlicensed Contractor file a Claim of Lien on My Property?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

A lien filed by an unlicensed contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor is not valid; see §713.02(7), Florida Statutes, which states that no lien shall exist in favor of any party who is not properly licensed in the County in which the project is located for the work being performed. In short, if you do not… Read More »

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What is a Notice of Commencement?

By Daniel M. Copeland |

Warning Property Owners The Notice of Commencement provides notice of the intention to begin improvements to property, it provides the location of the property, description of the work and the amount of bond, if any. It also identifies the property owner, contractor, surety, lender and other pertinent information. Failure to record a Notice of… Read More »

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