This is not an everyday topic of discussion, but it’s one that goes through our minds as we age: What happens to your property if you die without a will in South Florida?

First of all, if you don’t already have a will, you should. If you pass away without one, your loved ones will have to go by the rules of the Florida legislature – these are the rules of “intestate succession”.

South Florida Rules of Intestate Succession

If you’re married when you pass away, then your husband or wife will get your estate. If you have kids with your spouse, [...]

Wed, Nov 25, 2020
Source: Legal Brains

{2 minutes to read}  In my article How much is my Picasso worth? we talked about how to estimate the value of art collectibles in order to divide them up in a divorce. Today, I wanted to address how couples may choose to go about the division of their furniture and household items.

1. Create a spreadsheet with 3 columns. The first column should be entitled “Furnishings/Household Items.” The second and third columns should be the names of the parties.

2. In the first column, list all the items that you may want to share between the [...]

Tue, Nov 24, 2020
Source: Safian Mediation
There are two different types of liens that an individual may have over real property: specific and general.

A specific lien is granted only with respect to a particular asset. In foreclosure, the specific asset is the real property that is subject to the foreclosure. A specific lien also occurs in the context of real estate property taxes owed on a subject property. In this instance, the local government has the power to foreclosure on the property. This is the reason why most lenders require that the real estate property tax payments be escrowed.

A general lien is on the opposite [...]

Thu, Nov 19, 2020
Source: Legal Brains

Recently, Attorney Michael Vater represented a client that was being wrongfully sued for breach of contract. In this particular case, Attorney Vater determined that in order to best defend the claim, it would be necessary to depose one of the employees of the company suing his client. This employee was located in the State of Texas.
Attorney Vater recognized that as the employee was located in the State of Texas, he needed to first obtain a commission from the Florida Court before the Texas Court would issue a subpoena to the deponent. Texas is one of a limited number of [...]

Mon, Nov 09, 2020
Source: Legal Brains

{4 minutes to read}  When you are in the midst of a conflict, whether with a colleague, a friend, family, or a spouse or if you are going through a separation or a divorce, oftentimes you feel trapped by your anger. In fact, sometimes you just avoid having a conversation with that other person altogether. 

I came across an article published in the Wall Street Journal titled “How to Face the Hardest Talks” in which Elizabeth Bernstein interviews Christopher Voss, a former hostage negotiator for the FBI. I suggest that you read the whole article but if you are not able [...]

Thu, Nov 05, 2020
Source: Safian Mediation

Boating is a popular activity whether you’re a Florida resident or a vacationer. However, there are some important rules to know before taking your boat out on the water – including what to do in the scenario of a boat accident. Boating accidents can be tragic. In order to get full compensation, you’ll want to know these helpful tips about boating accidents, liability, and compensation.

Some Top Causes of Boating Accidents: Lack of attention is the leading cause of boating accidents. For instance, if the driver is talking on a phone, texting, or taking pictures, they’re probably not paying attention to driving [...]
Thu, Oct 22, 2020
Source: Legal Brains

{2 minutes to read}  Have you ever made a decision to move ahead even though something within you was telling you not to do it? When your brain kept trying to go against that little something? And when you found all sorts of reasons to believe that this was the right thing to do in that moment, only to discover later that it was the wrong decision?

I will admit to you that I have, and then I had to face the negative consequences of my decisions, some of them more serious than others. By now I hope that I have [...]

Wed, Oct 21, 2020
Source: Safian Mediation

Business owners commonly face the same hiring decision: hire a full-time employee or an independent contractor to do the same work? Although the differences between an independent contractor and an employee seem slight, proper classification is important. There are obvious financial benefits to a business owner that have clouded the distinction between the two. Furthermore, the tax consequences for an independent contractor and an employee are substantially different.

Taxes Differ for Employees and Independent Contractors

Both an employee and an independent contractor are given tax forms at the end of a tax year showing the amounts paid to them. Specifically, an [...]

Mon, Oct 12, 2020
Source: Legal Brains

{3 minutes to read}  Most of us have heard of a Prenuptial Agreement (“prenup”), which some couples choose to sign before they get married. Prenups usually dictate how a couple will handle financial matters in case of divorce, or in case of the death of one spouse, and also include several other points agreed to by the parties.

But do you know about Postnuptial Agreements?

A Postnuptial Agreement (“postnup”) is an agreement that some couples make during their marriage. It is a document that sets forth how they will manage their finances, a business they started, and pre-marriage property or recently acquired [...]

Sun, Sep 27, 2020
Source: Safian Mediation

{2 minutes to read}  Couples coming to mediation to work out their separation or divorce often ask me when and how they are supposed to file. They know that the date of the filing also determines when earned assets become separate property, and no longer marital. This is also known as the “cut-off date.”

Since the mediation process does not require filing as a divorce action would, and may last a few weeks or a few months, couples want to know when their earned assets will become separate. After that date, they no longer have to share them with their spouse. [...]

Wed, Sep 16, 2020
Source: Safian Mediation

During the first week of September, Attorney Michael Vater prevailed on a critical issue in one of his client’s cases in Duval County, Florida. In this complex business litigation case, the opposing party was seeking to utilize a contractual waiver of jury trial to be expanded to tort claims. The court after hearing extensive argument and reviewing the written submissions by Counsel determined that a 1999 Florida Supreme Court Opinion, Seifert v. United States Home Corp was most relevant to the Court’s analysis.

The Court ultimately ruled that our client’s Constitutional right under both the United States Constitution and the Florida [...]

Fri, Sep 04, 2020
Source: Legal Brains

{3 minutes to read}  Finding out about a friend’s upcoming divorce can be very shocking from your point of view: 

•We never suspected things were so bad.

•How could we have missed the signs?

•Why did they not say anything sooner?

•When did they decide to do this? 

What do you say? How can you help? Here are a few suggestions: 

•Listen: Listening to your friend is one of the best things you can do. Your friends do not necessarily need answers from you; they simply want to be heard. They need to vent, so if [...]

Wed, Aug 26, 2020
Source: Safian Mediation