national voter registration day, September 24, 2019

Get out there and vote! But first, get out there and register!

Today, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will recognizes the 7th annual National Voter Registration Day. Now a national holiday, National Voter Registration Day was first observed in 2012 and occurs annually on the fourth Tuesday in September. Largely supported by volunteers, this event will register and re-register voters in all 50 states.

Who can vote?

Each state has specific requirements for age at the time of election or age at registration.  Some require the voter to be 18 years of age on or before election day in order to register; some allow registration or preregistration at age 16.  Depending on the crime and the state, some convicted felons may vote after completion of their sentence. Two-thirds of states require identification to vote at the polls.  About half of those states require a photo ID.  To vote in federal elections, you must be a United States Citizen.  

What does this mean for resident aliens?

Resident aliens—Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) with a “Green Card”—are afforded limited voting rights.  Green Card holders may not vote in federal elections but may vote in their state and local races provided the election doesn’t require U.S. citizenship to vote.  Use caution and know the requirements because voting in an election which requires U.S. citizenship is grounds for deportation.  Green Card holders are expected to understand and comply with the law, regardless if the poll worker allowed you to vote.  

To determine your eligibility visit USA.gov and then check your state’s election guidelines.

For more information on becoming a permanent resident of the United States, contact an experienced immigration attorney today!

Florida Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate refers to a building or land designed to generate profit from capital gain or rental income, such as a storefront, apartment complex, office building, mall, etc.

Florida Commercial Real EstateCommercial real estate transactions can be must more complicated than residential real estate transactions. Hiring a Florida commercial real estate attorney is essential. Always have a commercial real estate attorney review a commercial lease agreement BEFORE you sign it. Remember, a lease agreement is a contract which can run up to 75 pages long! We have received many calls from people attempting to get out of a bad commercial lease agreement, and their issues could have been solved in a much more straightforward and cost-efficient way if they had hired an attorney to review the lease before they signed it.

Here at Boyer Law Firm, we concentrate on buying and selling  commercial properties, and we handle commercial rentals and landlord/tenant issues. Our commercial real estate attorneys can help you with determining whether you should buy or rent the property. Contact our office today to see how our Florida real estate attorneys can assist you.

cash eb-5 investment money

In God we trust and all others pay cash?

Under the current rules of the EB-5 Visa program (aka the Immigrant Investor Visa Program), eligible immigrant investors may become permanent residents with a ‘green card’ by investing cold hard cash.  Designed to stimulate the U.S. economy, this program became law in 1990. Currently, the required investment is $1 million in standard areas, or $500,000 in rural or areas with high unemployment.  

Effective November 21, 2019, the necessary cash rises to $900,000 in targeted employment areas (TEAs) and $1.8 million in standard areas.  TEAs are defined as ‘only cities and towns with a population of 20,000 or more outside of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs)…’  The investment must also create at least 10 jobs, the funds must be acquired through legal means, and the investment must be an at-risk investment (investing $500,000 in Coca Cola in a small southern town won’t be sufficient!)

Recent statistics from the DHS Immigration Yearbook put the number of issued EB-5 Visas at a low of 346 in 2005 to a high of 10,692 in 2014, down to 9,764 in 2015.  

The Department of Homeland Security hopes the forthcoming changes will aid in standardizing high-unemployment designations.  Proponents of the EB-5 Visa reform believe the redesigned program will revitalize rural and economically stagnant areas, as it was originally designed.  Critics call this program little more than selling green cards to rich foreigners.  

To learn more about the EB-5 Visa and other investment visa options, contact an experienced attorney. Boyer Law Firm, P.L. can help you select the right visa for your needs.

senior citizen sunglasses

Seniors Got Swag

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years.
” – Abraham Lincoln

It is important to live our lives to the fullest and to embrace all that life has to offer. This is true for any age at any time.

Tomorrow is National Senior Citizens Day. It’s a day to celebrate and appreciate senior citizens for all of their achievements throughout their lives. If you are a senior citizen, here are some ways you can celebrate and truly add, as Lincoln said, some “life in your years.”

1. Stay Connected!
Humans are social creatures. Maintaining social relationships is beneficial for your mental health, physical health, and cognitive function. Healthy, supportive relationships can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, lower blood pressure, and help you cope with stress. Ways to stay connected:

      • Stay in touch with family and friends and plan visits often
      • Volunteer at a school or local library
      • Join a club or senior center with activities you enjoy

2. Shake a Tail Feather!
Get out and dance! Dancing is a great form of exercise, which has endless benefits for people of all ages. Exercising has added benefits for senior citizens too. Staying active can help improve healing, lower your risk for chronic diseases, increase your balance to prevent falls, and increase cognitive function. It’s never too late to start a regular exercise routine. How to Stay Active:

3. Enjoy the perks!
Who doesn’t love saving money? It’s time to bask in the splendor of senior discounts. Check out this list of restaurants that offer senior discounts and this list of retail stores that offer senior discounts. If you don’t see your favorite place on the list, give them a call and ask if they offer a discount.

4. Get cultured!
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts hosts over 300 shows per year including performances from the Orlando Ballet, musicians, comedians, and more. Enjoy the  symphony such as Miami Symphony Orchestra, JSO, or Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Museums such as The Orlando Museum of Art, MOCA, Cummer Museum, Mennello Museum, and The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art all offer senior discounts.

5. Adopt a Pet!
Animals come with a great deal of benefits for humans. Pets provide companionship which can help lower stress and increase social interaction and physical activity. The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando offers a Seniors for Seniors program to match people with already trained animals for free.

6. See the World!
Vacations have been proven to have massive benefits for senior citizens, including reducing stress which in turn helps lower blood pressure and maintain emotional stability. Traveling can also help you stay physically active and broaden your horizons.

Staying active and connected to the world is so important for senior health. Healthy bodies and healthy minds are paramount for living your best life. Whether you are cutting the rug or jet setting across the globe, give yourself peace of mind that your loved ones are protected.

Are your ducks in a row? If you don’t already have a will or a proper plan in place for the handling and distribution of your estate, consider seeking the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss your options.

Contact Us Today for a consultation!

video conference

No Pants Required!

Remote Notarization Coming to Florida

If you enjoy working from home in the comfort of your pajamas, add notary service and real estate transactions to the list of tasks that can now be accomplished remotely, via video conference, without putting on your pants.

Florida has now joined many other states in allowing the user of remote online notarization (RON) transactions.  In June, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 409 into law, which will become effective January 1, 2020.

RON allows for the use of audio and video communication between a signer and a notary public for notarization of the signer’s signature on electronic documents.

Use of RON requires following all state notarial guidelines where the property is located.  Other specific guidelines include verification of identity, prescribed quality of the audio-visual recording, post-execution document records, and vendor security programs such as SSAE 16, SOC2, or ISO27001.  All parties must agree to RON, in writing, prior to to conducting the electronic transactions.

This law will significantly affect real estate transactions and closing attorneys but will also allow for remote execution of wills.  In a state such as Florida, with more than half the population over aged 40 and many Baby Boomers not having a written will, this new law is quite remarkable. 

Electronic notarization removes the in-person stumbling block and moves notary requirements into the digital age, keeping pace with technology.  With real estate transactions frequently conducted from afar, this removes the need for a power of attorney and mitigates the chance of lost or erroneous paperwork.

If you have questions regarding RON, consult a qualified attorney.