In Florida, when a loved one passes away, the estate of the decedent must goes through the Florida probate process. Decedent is the legal term for a deceased person. As a part of the probate process, a Florida personal representative must be appointed to manage the distribution of the estate. The personal representative is usually named in the decedent’s will. However, if the will is silent on the matter, or if the deceased passed away intestate (without a will), then a Florida Probate Judge will appoint someone as the personal representative.
Whoever the personal representative is, he or she has a fiduciary duty to the estate and to the heirs of the estate. This means that he or she may be personally liable for any injury (even monetary harm) caused by improperly executing the probate process.
This great risk of personal liability is one reason why by law Florida personal representatives must hire an attorney to represent them in the probate process. The personal representative has the sole authority to hire an attorney to oversee the probate process, regardless of whether the will attempts to name an attorney.
To ensure that your loved one’s estate is properly executed and to protect yourself from the potential liability you face as personal representative, it is best to hire an experienced estate attorney to oversee the probate process.
Due to its proximity with one another, people often commute to Canada or to the U.S. to work or they may temporary work in one country for a short period of time. The US-Canada Income Tax Treaty, signed in 1980, was established in order to eliminate double taxation and to ensure that people are not cheating on their taxes. If you are a resident of Canada and not also a U.S. citizen who is working in the United States, then the treaty allows you to be exempt from U.S. taxation on employment income that is earned in the United States. Your income must either not exceed $10,000 (U.S. dollars) or you must be in the United States for less than 183 days and your wages cannot be paid by a person who is a resident in the U.S. and is not borne by a permanent establishment in the U.S. If you do not meet the criteria, then you will have to pay U.S. federal and possibly state and local taxes on your U.S. earned income, and you will have to report this on your Canadian tax return. However, in order to avoid double taxation, you may be allowed to claim a foreign tax credit on your Canadian tax return for any taxes paid to the U.S. federal government.
To ensure that you file your taxes properly in order to avoid double taxation under the US-Canada Income Tax Treat, call Boyer Law Firm today.
This is a series of posts about contract terms to help you understand your business better. To see the previous post in this series, click this link: Post 1.
Post 2. Contract Glossary of Terms: Rescission
When a contract is rescinded by one of the parties it stops being a contract. This is different from a breach, which occurs when a contracts continues to live and the parties have their rights to damages for the breach of the contract instead of rescission.
Contractor agrees to build a home in exchange for $500,000 which Buyer would pay after the home is built. If Contractor then refuses to build, because he wants more money for example, then Contractor has failed to perform under the contract. Buyer then has 2 options: (1) claim breach or (2) rescind the contract.
The theory behind a breach of contract claim would be that Contractor failed to perform under the contract. The theory behind a rescission is based on slightly different reasoning, that Buyer’s “performance” under the contract (a.k.a. duty to pay Contractor $500,000) is now impossible. It’s impossible, because under the contract Buyer is required to pay only after the house is built. If the house is never built, then it is impossible for Buyer to perform under the contract.
Buyer could claim breach. In doing so, the court may award Buyer damages (money), including any “consequential” damages, like lost profits, caused by Contractor’s breach.
If Buyer did not experience a monetary loss, or if Buyer just wants to end the entire situation and move on with life, then that is when Buyer would want to ask the court to rescind the contract. When a contract is rescinded, it rewinds the clock back to before it was ever made.
The effect of rescission is that the contract never existed.
After rescinding the contract, Buyer is not able to get any money from a breach claim, but Buyer is also not required to pay Contractor and Contractor is never be able to go back to court and sue Buyer for that money– because the effect of rescission is that the contract never existed.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to know more about contracts, contact Boyer Law Firm today.
Florida is a great place to live, especially for its low tax burden. Until recently, it didn’t matter which Florida real estate attorney you hired to do your closing, because they were all familiar with the old closing process. That was when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was overseeing the residential mortgage industry in the United States.
Now, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is in charge, and several alterations have been made to the closing process. The change of oversight was made in response to the housing market crash when millions of buyers signed complicated loan contracts they didn’t understand and consequently lost their homes in foreclosures or short sales. Now more than ever, you need to be picky about which real estate attorney you hire. You need to make sure you hire someone who is knowledgeable about the new regime that took effect in October 2015.
The changes that were made mostly affect the paperwork involved in closing. The old closing process included filing the “HUD-1” form, a Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure, and a Good Faith Estimate (GFE). Those forms have now been replaced. After October 3, 2015, if you apply for a home loan, you will need to use the new federally-mandated TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (“TRID”) forms. The TRID forms are an offspring of the TRID rule, also known as the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, that is now part of the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative.
The TRID forms include a Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure. According to the CFPB, a Loan Estimate is a three-page form that a buyer receives after applying for a mortgage. It tells you important details about the loan requested, including the estimated interest rate, monthly payment, and total closing costs for the loan. The lender must provide you this document within three business days of receiving the loan application.
A Closing Disclosure is a five-page form that provides final details about the mortgage loan you’ve selected, including the loan terms, projected monthly payments, and total closing costs (how much you will pay in fees and other costs to get the mortgage). The lender is required to give you the Closing Disclosure at least three business days before you close on the mortgage loan.
On the one hand, the new changes are good because they allow the buyer time to become fully aware of the final terms and costs of the purchase and to also ask the lender questions before closing.
On the other hand, the changes mean that the closing process is now much longer. It’s now about 45 days, up from the 30 days it used to be. This is partly because during the 3-day waiting period. If there is a change of as little as 0.25 points, the entire process must start over. The process also takes more work. You not only need to locate and sign all the new forms, but you also must know exactly what these documents mean.
Signing these documents will have lasting financial implications on your life.
It’s in a buyer’s and seller’s best interest to hire an attorney who is already familiar with the new forms and the new process who can fully explain to you what you’re signing. Even though the lender now controls the transaction, hiring an attorney as your closing agent will still save time and money, and decrease the risk of not fully complying with the new rules and deadlines.
Many attorneys are still struggling with the closing process. Whether you’re a domestic or foreign seller or buyer, for your next closing, hire a real estate attorney who always keeps up with the latest changes and knows how to comply with the new requirements.