Pilka & Associates, P.A.
Full Service Law Firm for Tampa,
Brandon and Polk County
863-236-9321 |813-502-1097

South Central Florida Legal Blog

Be cautious with a homeowners association dispute

There may be times when you dispute issues that the homeowners association (HOA) brings to your attention. It's wise to look carefully at any complaint so that you can argue against it and prepare to win a fight against your HOA.

Did you know that a 2015 survey showed that 72 percent of people living within an HOA had been involved in a dispute? The Coalition for Community Housing Police in the Public Interest went on to say that those disputes were complicated and hard to resolve.

Setting up your estate plan correctly saves time and money

Not planning for your estate correctly can mean leaving your loved ones to deal with debts and other issues. You might end up with your estate going into probate, which delays the distribution of your assets.

As someone who is aging, it is important to review your finances, start looking at ways to reduce what you owe in debts and set up your estate to be distributed correctly without the need for probate. You'll want to create an estate plan that lets your family know your wishes and that is designed to carry them out as you see fit.

Determining the division of your assets in divorce

With any divorce, one of the risks is that you will lose much of what you put into your marriage. The last thing you want is to see the assets you worked hard to obtain being given to an undeserving spouse.

Fortunately, Florida is an "equitable distribution" state. That means that you have the right to fight for the assets you want from your marriage. Even marital assets need to be divided equitably -- which does not mean equally.

Should you use life insurance policies in estate planning?

Life insurance is something many people opt to have as they begin to age. It's particularly common for people who have spouses and children, because they don't want to leave their loved ones without the money they need following their death.

As you age, life insurance can -- and perhaps should -- be part of your estate planning. Life insurance can provide much-needed cash to your family, especially in cases where you pass unexpectedly.

Florida couples rushing to get divorces finalized before 2019

With the new tax laws in 2019 coming up quickly, you might be in a rush to get your divorce filed. If your divorce is finalized after the start of the new year, you'll be held to new tax laws that you may or may not want to have affect your case.

Floridian attorneys have seen an influx in couples attempting to get their divorces finalized by Dec. 31, because they don't want to lose the current benefits that are given to couples dealing with alimony.

Alimony: Many factors influence if you'll pay

Alimony can be a contentious part of a divorce, depending on the situation you're in. If you're a person who brings in around $60,000 a year, for example, the idea of paying out a substantial amount in alimony could threaten your financial stability. However, if both parties are employed, you might not end up paying anything, or the amount you need to pay could be reduced.

Spousal support is there to do just that: Support a spouse who does not have enough funds or opportunities to support themselves following a divorce. Contrary to popular belief, it is not always the husband or man who pays alimony. If a woman earns more, then she may end up paying alimony to her spouse.

These 3 documents are among the most important in estate plans

Estate planning is an important part of any person's life. Whether you're 18 or 88, estate planning is a way to take control of your life and your assets.

If you've decided to begin planning your estate, then it's time to look into the most important documents. If you're building your estate plan over time, getting these essential documents in place is a major boost to your plan's protective properties.

Understand your role as an executor

Probate administration is an important job. Probate administration refers to focusing on what happens to a person's estate after their death. A probate administer (executor) might be your estate-planning attorney or another person of your choice.

The person who takes on this role needs to know about the laws that govern what happens to your assets. They also have to understand what happens if you die without a will since that creates a plethora of legal challenges.

What do you need to know to protect your business in divorce?

If you are a business owner going through a divorce, it is important for you to do what you can to protect yourself and your property. During your marriage, it's likely that some, if not all, of your business's assets became marital property. That means that your spouse could be entitled to some of them upon divorce.

If your business is a family business, then you need to determine a few things. First, how much is the business worth? Second, how involved is your spouse in the business? Do they want any part of the business, or are they interested only in a fair share of marital assets?

How can I resolve a homeowners' association dispute?

As long as there are homeowners associations (HOAs), there will be disputes. However, most of these disputes, when properly handled, can be resolved satisfactorily.

If you are a member of an HOA and you are embroiled in a dispute, it may be helpful not to view the HOA as your adversary. As a corporate entity, HOAs are accountable to their members and must be responsive to their needs.

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