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Tallahassee Florida Legal Blog

What can a revocable trust help with?

One of the types of trusts that can be formed as part of an estate plan is a revocable trust. This is a trust that, during the course of your lifetime, you would have the ability to change or revoke.

There are many benefits that having a revocable trust can provide. These include:

'Minor' crimes can carry major financial consequences

There are certain crimes that society tends to view as being fairly minor. Many misdemeanors may fall under this category. It is important to remember, however, that being accused of such crimes can still have significant impacts on your life. For example, misdemeanor convictions could do significant damage to your financial well-being.

An example of just how big the financial consequences of “minor” convictions can be here in Florida can be seen in a book excerpt recently put up on The Atlantic’s website.

Ways to avoid probate court

Probate is more than time-consuming; it's an expensive endeavor that puts more stress on relatives and friends after someone's passing. Unfortunately, probate is relatively common in Florida due to improper estate planning.

There are ways to keep probate court out of your beneficiaries' future, but you need to know what probate court is to plan ways to avoid it effectively.

Tips for keeping auto debt down

With the big role vehicles play in most people’s lives, finding the right car can be critical. This isn’t always easy. And, just as finding the right car can be challenging, so too can paying for it.

Many turn to loans to help fund an auto purchase. Recent statistics point to the average size, length and amount of interest paid on such loans having gone up in the U.S. in recent years.

Will Florida one day follow Utah to a 0.05 legal limit?

One key element in Florida drunk driving law is the legal limit. This sets what BAC level it is automatically a drunk driving offense for a person to drive at or above in the state. So, this limit has big impacts on what kinds of situations are likely to lead to a person facing DUI charges. Florida’s legal limit is currently 0.08, like most of the rest of the country.

However, a recent development in Utah raises the question of whether the future might see Florida and other states opt for a lower legal limit. Utah recently became the first state to implement a legal limit of 0.05.

Should people get credit cards after bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy often feels like a massive blow to your finances between selling assets and addressing outstanding debts. The last thing on your mind is probably rebuilding credit and possibly getting a new credit card.

However, a significant step after bankruptcy is building up your credit score. The main avenue to recover a credit score is to get an affordable credit card and pay off the bills on time.

Underwater mortgages down in Florida

There are many challenging situations homeowners could face in connection to the mortgage on their home. One is having an underwater mortgage. This is when a home’s value is less than the amount still owed on the mortgage. The struggles that can go with being underwater when it comes to a home are among the things that can lead to homeowners facing foreclosure.

Being underwater on a mortgage, unfortunately, was a very common situation for homeowners here in Florida during the Great Recession and its aftermath. At some points, almost half of Florida homes with mortgages had an underwater mortgage.

A key year-end estate planning step

The end of 2018 is closing in fast. The end of the year can be a good time for people to review their various accounts to see what financial position they are currently in and what they can do to help further their goals for the upcoming year and beyond.

When doing a year-end look through of their insurance and retirement savings accounts, there is also an important estate planning step people may want to add in. This step is to check the beneficiary designations on these accounts to see if they still match one’s wishes.

Debt and a person’s long-term goals

A person’s debt situation can have many impacts on his or her goals for the future. This includes his or her goals related to retirement.

Results from a recent Stash survey indicate that one retirement goal many people here in the U.S. struggle with is building up their retirement savings. According to the survey, more than 40 percent of Americans aren’t doing retirement-related saving.

In Florida, DUI convictions can lead to cars being impounded

If a person is convicted of DUI, the conviction can have many impacts on his or her driver's license and his or her vehicles. Typically, DUI convictions come with license suspensions. Here in Florida, they also often come with vehicle impoundment.

Under state law, when a person receives a DUI conviction, the vehicles he or she owns are generally to be impounded or immobilized for a period of time. If the person gets jail time in connection to the DUI, the immobilization or impoundment can't happen at the same time as his or her incarceration.

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