Monthly Archives: November 2012

Probate and Simple Will

With Thanksgiving just passing and the Christmas Holiday quickly approaching, most Floridians are preparing to spend time with family and gather together to relive old memories and catch up on lost time. Many families are faced with the uncomfortable thought of spending their last Christmas with grandparents or ill family members. It is important for every family to consider the importance of planning ahead for their relatives passing and ensuring that last wishes and health care decisions are carefully memorialized in writing.

A Will is a legal document that provides direction for how a decedent intends to distribute their assets upon their death. Many times, people avoid considering the different options available through probate out of apprehension of thinking about their own death.

When a person dies without a will they are said to have died intestate. The State will then follow the intestacy guidelines governing how to distribute intestate assets to heirs based on bloodline and relation.

Realistically, executing a Will for the disposition of one’s assets is an important part of planning the future of your estate. It is always better to have your intentions memorialized in an executed Will than have the State determine the disposition of your assets. Probate is the process of identifying and gathering the assets of the deceased person, paying their debts, and distributing the assets to his or her beneficiaries.

Many considerations must be made prior to setting forth the distribution of one’s assets following their death, and often times other legal documents are more suitable for particular situations. It is important to discuss your situation with an experienced Will, Probate and Estate Planning Attorney, and determine what is best for you be it a Will or Trust instrument.

If you or a loved has concerns or questions about the future of your estate, call Blick Law Firm today. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer today at 813-931-0840.

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DUI and the Impact of Marijuana Laws

With the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, the discussion is beginning on when this type of legislation will reach Florida. The enactment of this legislation has prompted universities in Colorado and Washington to issue bans on using, possessing, and cultivating the substance on campus; and the bans are supported by the fact that marijuana is still prohibited by federal laws.

This effect, however, begs the discussion of how marijuana legalization will impact the way states craft their own respective laws to address the potential abuse and misuse of the substance? In regard to DUI laws, it is important to know that under Florida State Statute 316.193, being under the influence pertains to both alcohol and drugs. Therefore, if you are under the influence of drugs and are in actual physical control of a vehicle, you can potentially be charged with a DUI. A common misconception is that the use of alcohol is the only factor involved in being charged and convicted of DUI.

In Florida, a blood alcohol level of .08 or more constitutes alcohol impairment beyond the legal limit. However, a police officer may still arrest you for a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or if they simply suspect that your normal faculties are impaired from the use of alcohol or drugs while operating a motor vehicle.

Know that your behavior once you’re pulled over is being scrutinized immediately, especially when pulled over late in the evening or after leaving a bar. Therefore, being polite, answering questions respectfully, and not making legal arguments is in your best interest.

While it is your right to not answer any questions without a lawyer present, not doing so will certainly raise the officer’s suspicion and they will likely investigate further. It is wise to answer questions vaguely and avoid delving into specifics, including any amount of alcohol you have consumed, or that you just left a party, bar, or football game.

If the Police are suspicious, they will tell you to exit the vehicle, and you must. However, you may refuse to submit to any sobriety tests conducted. Even if you think you can pass the sobriety exercises, it is likely in your best interest to politely refuse because the officer determines whether you passed based solely on their own judgment. Know that you always have the right to contact Tampa Criminal attorney before you submit to any test.

If you are charged with DUI, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately! Call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840. Make an appointment for a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer to determine what your options are moving forward. Attorney, Michael Blickensderfer has 25 year’s legal experience and is licensed in Florida, New York and New Jersey. Blick Law Firm seeks to help the hurting and those in need. Think quick, call Blick!

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Declaración de Bancarrota después de las Fiestas

Con las fiestas acercándose rápidamente, muchas personas se están volviendo conscientes de los gastos relacionados con la compra de regalos para los seres queridos e incluso derrochar en ofertas para sí mismos en el Viernes Negro. Es importante recordar, especialmente para aquellos en dificultades financieras a gastar con responsabilidad, y para las personas que están considerando la bancarrota es aún más importante tener en cuenta que la deuda acumulada durante los días de fiesta no puede ser descargable a través de Quiebras.

Si un acreedor puede probar que los cargos de tarjetas de crédito durante las Fiestas se realizaran de forma fraudulenta con la intención de declararse en quiebra después, la deuda puede sobrevivir a la quiebra. Por lo general, el tribunal de Quiebras se verá a ver el estado de las finanzas cuando los cargos fueron hechos y la naturaleza de las adquisiciones para determinar si la bancarrota es inminente y los cargos fueron hechos con la intención de declararse en quiebra.

Muchas personas utilizan la bancarrota como una estrategia para resolver la deuda inmanejable. Hoy en día, es más común que la mayoría de realizar y puede ser una solución refrescante a una vida agobiado por las deudas.

Al considerar la bancarrota, el Capítulo 7 de presentación es una manera útil a la descarga de la mayor parte de la deuda y puede aliviar la carga de la recolección de los intentos de los acreedores. Capítulo 7 de bancarrota es generalmente disponible cuando el deudor tenga bienes poco al margen de las necesidades básicas como ropa y muebles, y el deudor tiene dificultades para hacer los pagos de los gastos básicos, o tiene muy poco dinero después de hacerlo.

La ventaja de la presentación del capítulo 7 de bancarrota es que su deuda no garantizada se elimina por completo, el proceso es bastante rápido, y la suspensión automática que tiene lugar después de la presentación prohíbe a los acreedores de hacer esfuerzos de cobranza.

Es importante tener en cuenta que, si bien en última instancia, el Capítulo 7 de bancarrota puede aliviar un deudor de la carga de la deuda sin garantía insuperable, es un proceso que requiere la producción de varios documentos y la preparación tedioso. Cuanto más preparado que el deudor sea el más transparente el proceso se vuelve.

No importa cual sea su situación, obtener asesoría jurídica de calidad de un abogado con experiencia en bancarrota es beneficioso. Contacte Blick Law Firm hoy mismo al (813) 931-0840. Programe una consulta gratuita de 15 minutos con el abogado Michael Blickensderfer para evaluar qué opción es la mejor para usted. Piensa rápido, llame a Blick!

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Burn Victims: Recovery for Pain and Suffering

With winter quickly approaching and a steady drop in temperature, people seek warmth from a variety of sources including fire, warming blankets, space heaters and so forth. Unfortunately, many people each year become victims of fire and heat exposure as a result of seeking warmth in response to outside temperatures dropping.

Victims of fire or heat exposure incur life altering burns, pain and disfigurement, and are forced into a life of constant rehabilitation. The pain and suffering that results are an unfortunate and touching aspect of the severity of injuries that can occur due to exposure to fire; and most times the burn victims themselves are not even at fault.

If another party is responsible for the fire, you are entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering includes any pain, disfigurement, emotional distress, disability, and even embarrassment attributable to the burn injury sustained; and the recovery for these damages includes both present and future losses.

Cases involving burn victims vary in their severity, but ultimately are traumatizing no matter how severe; and the pain involved in treating these injuries is overwhelming. Many factors are considered when assessing the amount of recovery available to burn victims, including the severity of the burns, the amount of rehabilitation and treatment required, the extent of the disability incurred, disfigurement, and the extent of emotional distress. These factors are difficult to quantify in terms of recovery, but their severity is understood and can result in substantial awards for damage.

If you or a loved has been injured in a fire or sustained burns as a result of a product malfunction, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Call today to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick.

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Florida Real Estate Foreclosure Alternatives

According to a report released last week by the California-based real estate data company, RealtyTrac., Florida leads the nation in home foreclosure rate for the second month in a row in October, with one filing for every 312 housing units. Florida’s rate is more than double the national rate of one in every 706 housing units, and this report confirms that Florida continues to struggle to recover from the recent housing crisis. Though indicators suggest that the housing market is improving, foreclosure still appears to be a significant problem.

If your property becomes subject to foreclosure, here are some potential remedies:

  • Reinstatement – To avoid the completion of the foreclosure process, you may be able to reinstate the loan by making payments on the past due amount. Generally, the lender will be cooperative if you bring your account up to date, or demonstrate that you now have the means to catch up on the past due payments.
  • Mortgage Modification – The lender may be willing to modify the terms of the mortgage. Modification of the agreement may involve adding payments to the end of the mortgage and simply extend the term of the loan. Modification of the mortgage agreement may also be made by reducing the interest rate of the original Mortgage Agreement, and it could include partial forgiveness of the amount of money you owe.
  • Forbearance Plan – As a borrower you may be able to file a forbearance plan with your mortgage provider. Under this arrangement, the lender will agree not to pursue the foreclosure action; but, the lender will likely require proof of adequate means to satisfy the repayment on the loan. This is generally a viable option if you have encountered a temporary setback such as poor health or loss of employment.
  • Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – You may also deed the home back to the mortgage provider if the lender agrees to accept a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. The lender will take back the property and cancel the remaining debt. You will be unable to keep your home, but avoid foreclosure and minimize the detriment to your credit score.
  • Short Sale To avoid foreclosure, you may also be able to sell your home for less money than owed. A short sale can be completed by finding a buyer to purchase the home and is willing to pay current market value, and having the mortgage provider agree to the sale. Any shortage after the sale will then either be written off by the lender and a IRS 1099 be issued to the seller, or a deficiency remains which the lender may pursue to collect against the seller.

Foreclosure continues to be a growing problem in Florida, and if it happens to you, the worst thing to do is ignore it.

Call Blick Law Firm today @ 813-931-0840. Schedule an appointment for a free 15 minute consultation with Attorney Michael Blickensderfer to see what your legal rights are in defending a foreclosure action.

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Filing Bankruptcy After the Holidays

With the Holidays quickly approaching, many people are becoming mindful of the expenses related to purchasing gifts for loved ones and even splurging on deals for themselves on Black Friday. It is important to remember, especially for those in financial hardship to spend responsibly; and for people who are considering Bankruptcy it is even more important to be aware that debt accrued over the holidays may not be dischargeable through Bankruptcy.

If a creditor can prove that credit card charges over the Holidays were made fraudulently with the intent to file Bankruptcy afterward, the debt may survive the Bankruptcy. Generally, the Bankruptcy court will look to see the state of the finances when the charges were made and the nature of the purchases to determine whether Bankruptcy was imminent and the charges were made with the intent to file Bankruptcy.

Many people utilize bankruptcy as a strategy for resolving unmanageable debt. Today, it is more common than most realize and can be a refreshing solution to a debt-ridden life.

When considering Bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 filing is a useful way to discharge of most debt and can relieve the burden of creditor collection attempts. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is generally available when the debtor has little property aside from the basic necessities like furniture and clothing; and the debtor has difficulty making payments on basic expenses, or has very little money left after doing so.

The advantage to filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is that your unsecured debt is completely eliminated, the process is fairly quick, and the automatic stay that takes place after filing prohibits creditors from making collection efforts.

It is important to be aware that while Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may ultimately relieve a debtor of the burden of insurmountable unsecured debt, it is a process that requires the production of several documents and tedious preparation. The more prepared the debtor is, the more seamless the process becomes.

No matter what your situation is, obtaining quality legal consultation from an experienced bankruptcy attorney is beneficial. Contact Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer to assess what option is best for you. Think quick, call Blick!

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