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Parker & Associates, P.A.

Parker & Associates, P.A. is a full-service residential and commercial real estate law firm

Estate planning for the digital era

It has become the norm to store financial records in smartphones, computers, or the cloud, and to conduct financial transactions electronically.

Most people also own a trove of digital assets, which can include anything from domain names and electronically stored photos and videos to email and social media accounts.

The average person has roughly $35,000 worth of assets stored on digital devices. That value includes purchased movies, books, music and games as well as personal memories, communications, personal records, hobbies and career information. Of those surveyed by the study, 55 percent said they store assets that would be impossible to recreate, re-download or repurchase.

Unfortunately, those assets are increasingly at risk of being lost when the account owner dies. Many digital accounts are subject to complicated terms of service agreements, which can often make it difficult or impossible for surviving loved ones to access them.

Additionally, state and federal laws could put friends and relatives who try to log on to your accounts at risk of violating anti-hacking and privacy statutes.

You may have planned for your loved ones to eventually inherit your house, the Steinway grand piano, your Dad's 88-year-old Swiss watch, or other family heirlooms, but with life increasingly being lived online, you may be overlooking an increasingly important kind of property: Digital assets.

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What Is The Difference Between A Short Sale And A Foreclosure

If financial hardship has made it impossible for you to remain in your home, you have two options - Short Sale or Foreclosure.

This summary will help you understand the consequences of these two processes.

SHORT SALE

A short sale is a transaction in which the lender has agreed to accept less money than they’re owed on the mortgage loan. If you need to sell your home, but you owe more than the home is worth, this may be a good option for you.

In order to qualify for a short sale, you must first provide your lender with:

Documented proof of financial hardshipRecent sale prices of comparable homesThe lender must then approve the short sale before you can list the home and each offer must be reviewed by the lender before you can accept it and close on the sale.

If you manage to avoid late mortgage payments, a short sale can reduce your credit score by as little as 50 points. Late payment, however, can result in drops of as much as 200 points.

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Sell my home now? Or wait until Spring?

Parker & Associates is located in beautiful, sunny, Florida so one may not think that real estate transactions slow down in the "winter" months. But they certainly do in states that have a colder winter.

As we all know, many people retire to Florida so there is a connection with the colder states. Lots of people who have retired and may want to downsize and move to Florida hold off, fearing that they will not be able to sell and find a new home.

What makes this a great time to sell a home is the lack of competition. Things are busier in Florida, but if you are moving to the sunshine state and selling in a colder climate, it is a great time to be on the market. People who are looking to buy a house now are more serious and have less to look at; therefore your house has a better chance of getting sold.

So if you're thinking of selling your home, winter may be the best time for you. If you wait until the spring, you'll be met with all the other homeowner's who waited to put it on the market, causing more competition for you. If you're looking for a home in the Sarasota area, Parker & Associates is more than happy to recommend a Realtor and handle your closing. Our office is always available for referrals and for any other legal needs you may have.

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Same-Sex Couples and Homeownership

January 6, 2015, Florida began recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions and issuing marriage licenses for same-sex marriages to be performed in the state of Florida. This new legal status for same-sex married couples allows for ownership of real property by the married couple as Tenants By The Entireties (TBTE).

There are both pros and cons to the newly legalized status. TBTE applies only to married couples. The TBTE status is automatic when the Grantees of a Deed are identified as a married couple, this gives each spouse overlapping 100% interests in their Homestead Property Tax Exemption, full exemption coverage (when one spouse gets Homestead Exemption), and rights of survivorship for the surviving spouse. The creation of a TBTE is not automatic as a result of the marriage. A new deed changing ownership type of a couple to a married couple has to be recorded in the Public Records. For instance, "A" Grantor to "A and B", Tenants By The Entireties.

Florida's law states married couples are only permitted one Homestead Exemption/permanent residency based on property tax exemption. Before January 6, 1015 same-sex couples married outside of Florida could maintain two permanent residences based on property tax exemptions because their legal status was not recognized in Florida. Now, same-sex married couples cannot claim more than one Florida Homestead Exemption and can't claim Florida Homestead Exemption if either individual is claiming a permanent residency based property tax anywhere in the world – the same as any married couple in the State of Florida. Since recognition of same-sex marriages took place after January 1, 2015, beginning with the 2016 tax year, same-sex married couples will be subject to a loss of their Florida Homestead Exemption, back assessment liens, penalties, and interest if they are found to be claiming a Florida Homestead Exemption and other permanent residency based exemption anywhere else.

We recommend the following article: http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=1&id=318057  for more insight into the pros and cons of same-sex homeownership. If you would like to change your deed wnership type, we would be more than happy to assist you through the process. At Parker & Associates, PA we are available via phone, email inquiry, or through our website for any same-sex marriage homeownership legal matters or any other of your legal needs.

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New Flood Maps for Sarasota County in 2016

The Federal Emergency Mandate Agency (FEMA) released preliminary flood maps for Sarasota County in December.

This began a public comment period (lasting 90 days) for the purpose of filing appeals and protests. Federal review will likely begin in May. It is expected that new maps will go into effect in the beginning of 2016 along with new flood insurance requirements. Manatee County's new maps went into effect on March 17, 2014.

For more information visit Sarasota County's resource page here: https://www.scgov.net/FloodMaps/Pages/default.aspx

View preliminary maps here: https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/prelimdownload/searchLoad.action

FEMA also has scheduled workshops on this matter, more information can be found on that here: https://www.scgov.net/FloodMaps/Documents/Open%20House%20Schedule.pdf

Parker & Associates is available to answer any questions you may have regarding new flood maps, to the best of our ability. Our office is here to assist you to make your real estate transactions and your other legal needs as smooth as possible. Call our office, email us, or go through our website to see what we can do for you!

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Mortgage Cancellation Relief Act

The Real Estate business is closely connected with the government, as all people who are well versed in Real Estate transactions know.

The hottest topic out there right now for Real Estate and for many struggling homeowners, is the Mortgage Cancellation Relief Act. According to research by RealtyTrac, approximately 122,000 short sales closed across the nation between the months of January and October of 2014. The average debt forgiveness was about $88,500. The average seller had a balance on their mortgage 1.5 times higher than the actual market value of the house. We all know that these aren’t the easiest of times to survive in.

On December 16, 2014, the Senate passed H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase prevention Act of 2014. The provision stops the IRS from taxing the debt that lenders forgive in short sales, foreclosures, or loan modifications for the 2014 tax year. Congress is anticipated to discuss a further extension for 2015, but nothing is certain, 2015 could be counted as taxable income if a mortgage debt was forgiven.

The Republican tax party leadership in the house leans towards big tax reforms, wanting to end temporary tax code benefits that need extensions. This will make it hard for the act to be extended. Therefore, all the homeowners who didn’t make the cutoff date of December 31, 2014 or are experiencing their hardship now and wanting to do a short sale on their property are nervous as to what the outcome of this debate might be. And we in the Real Estate game know short sales are ANYTHING but short in regards to time. The process takes time and review from the lenders, making the cutoff date virtually unobtainable for some.

At Parker and Associates, we are well versed in short sale matters and are up to date on all laws pertaining to Real Estate transactions of any kind. Give our office a call, inquire via email, or through our website if you have any Real Estate or any other legal needs.

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08 January 2019
Parker & Associates, P.A. Blog
It has become the norm to store financial records in smartphones, computers, or the cloud, and to conduct financial transactions electronically.Most people also own a trove of digital assets, which can include anything from domain names and electroni...
31 October 2017
Parker & Associates, P.A. Blog
If financial hardship has made it impossible for you to remain in your home, you have two options - Short Sale or Foreclosure.This summary will help you understand the consequences of these two processes.SHORT SALEA short sale is a transaction in whi...
31 October 2017
Parker & Associates, P.A. Blog
Parker & Associates is located in beautiful, sunny, Florida so one may not think that real estate transactions slow down in the "winter" months. But they certainly do in states that have a colder winter.As we all know, many people retire to Flori...
31 October 2017
Parker & Associates, P.A. Blog
January 6, 2015, Florida began recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions and issuing marriage licenses for same-sex marriages to be performed in the state of Florida. This new legal status for same-sex married couples allows for...

Contact Us

Parker & Associates, P.A.
1800 Second Street, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236

PH: 941-952-0600
FAX: 941-952-0601

Email Contact

General Contact
Ted Parker
Kathy Morgan
Diana Balazs

Practice Areas

Real Estate Trust
Short Sale Negotiations
Corporate Law
Estate Planning
Landlord Tenant
Probate

 

 

Information on this web site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us for more information however contacting through the site us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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