Have a Trust for Your Estate Plan? 4 Reasons You Might Need One

Everyone’s estate plan is unique. What works for you might not work for your siblings, parents, or grandparents. Regardless, there are a few documents that a sizable portion of all estate plans contain. One of these popular documents is known as a “trust” and, contrary to popular belief, not just the wealthy and famous can make use of trusts. We’ll lay out the reasons why a trust can be useful for you and your Read More

Applying for Florida’s Homestead Exemption

If you have bought a home or moved to a new home in Florida within the last year, it is time to start thinking about applying for your Florida homestead exemption. When someone owns property in Florida and makes it their permanent residence, the owner of the property may be eligible to receive a homestead exemption of up to $50,000.00. The exemption reduces the taxable value of the property, therefore leading to a Read More

What is a Trademark?

For many people who aren’t experts in matters concerning intellectual property, it can be difficult to keep up with the distinctions between different types. The three most common are patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Each type covers different subject matter; in this blog, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of trademarks, which are important for many business owners.  USPTO Definition The U.S. Patent and Trademark Read More

What is Insurance Company Bad Faith?

Many in our industry forget that insurance companies in Florida, at least in the first-party context, did not traditionally owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing. See Baxter v. Royal Indem. Co., 285 So. 2d 652, 656 (Fla. 1st DCA 1973). In fact, it was not until 1982 that the Florida legislature enacted what is now commonly called "the Bad Faith Statute." Under Florida Statute 624.155(1)(b)(1), a person may Read More

Why Everyone Needs a Will—Including You

Often, people’s minds conjure images of sprawling, well-manicured lawns, vast mansions, and huge bank accounts when they hear the words “estate planning.” That reaction is warranted; tabloid magazines and websites are quick to report on disputes that arise between heirs of celebrities. The truth is that Wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents are not just for the rich and famous—they’re for all adults with Read More

Case Law Wednesday – Appraisal on a Denied Claim

Homeowner and business insurance policies typically contain an appraisal provision. We have previously discussed on this blog what appraisal is. However, not every claim can be sent to appraisal. In a recent case, Cypress Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Empire Mitigation, the appellate court decided that a case should NOT be sent to appraisal because (a) the contract did not allow it and (b) the insured had waived Read More

First Time Home Buyer?

Buying a home is a dream for many and turning into a reality can seem a little scary with all of decisions and steps involved, but it isn't impossible. These are some of the important steps and questions all homebuyers should keep in mind: 1️. Take an inventory of your personal finances, including credit score and outstanding debt, how much have you saved for a down-payment, and closing costs. 2. Be Read More

Knowledge Mondays – Closing Delayed by Hurricane?

Purchasing a property at any time can be a hectic process filled with bumps along the road. However, purchasing a property during hurricane season can be hectic and frustrating as a hurricane can threaten your closing. Therefore, it is important to note the disruptions that may be caused by a hurricane to your closing. One of the biggest disruptions is that insurance companies do not issue new policies once a Read More

Knowledge Monday – Reporting an Insurance Claim After a Hurricane

We have officially started Hurricane Season. During this 2020 Hurricane Season, top hurricane forecasters have anticipated up to 16 tropical storms, 8 of which will become hurricanes and 4 of which will become major hurricanes. If your property suffers property damage due to a hurricane, wind, water, or all three, it is important that you are prepared to file an insurance claim. The following are 5 tips to help Read More

Knowledge Monday – Continuing to Prepare for Hurricane Season

After filing an insurance claim, an insurance company expects an insured to follow the post loss obligations that are set out in the insurance policy. Post loss obligations are conditions that the insured must perform after they have experienced damage to their property. Typically, an insurance company will also expect an insured to provide photographs of the property before the damage. In most policies there is Read More