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Pensacola Law Blog

Are some long term care premium payments tax deductible?

While next year’s tax season is several months away, it tends to brings out the chance to save money in everyone. Savings, in this regard, means figuring out ways to reduce one’s taxable income so that a chance at an income tax refund can be realized. Having a refund check is especially important for the elderly, because it is likely the largest individual check to be received all year.

Elderly individuals who pay long term care (LTC) insurance premiums may deduct such costs from their income. While the actual deductible amount may follow a complicated formula, premium costs are generally deductible if they exceed a certain percentage of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI) depending on the person’s age. 

Shoppers expected to spend a lot on Halloween this year

Halloween is just about a month away. Among the things preparing for this holiday involves for many is shopping. There are many types of purchases people make in connection to the Halloween season. This includes candy, decorations and costumes. A recent study indicates that Halloween-related spending might be particularly high this year among American consumers.

The study, a National Research Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics study, predicted that Halloween-related spending here in the U.S. will hit around $9.1 billion this year. If this prediction is met, 2017 would have the highest Halloween spending total of any year on record.

Study: 'Green' building found to contain hazardous chemicals

If you're considering leasing, buying or developing a green building, you may be under the impression that an environmentally friendly building will have a healthy indoor environment. A recent study in the journal Environmental Institute may indicate the opposite.

"Most buildings aren't designed with people's health in mind," said the study's lead author, an environmental exposure scientist at the Silent Spring Institute. "Yet, indoor air pollution can lead to a range of health problems."

When to adjust an estate plan

When people think about a “fair” division of assets in the context of an estate plan, they may believe that each beneficiary must receive an equal, proportionate share of what is left. However, this may not always be the case. More importantly, it may not be appropriate for the respective beneficiaries.

The story of two brothers who were heirs to a business owner’s estate exemplifies this notion. The father, who was nearing retirement, believed that his idea of dividing shares between his sons could create tension between them given the disabilities one son had, and the business experience the other son had. In order to be eligible for the Medicaid benefits the disabled son could take advantage of, he could not have any significant assets; hence the arrangement.

When and why you should update your will

Having a will is just the beginning of what makes a will important. Many people go without a will -- it's true. But these grantors often lack the legal protections that they would actually want, and their beneficiaries (and their entire estate) can suffer as a result of it. Dying intestate (which means to die without a will) leaves your estate up to state laws and the normal probate process. Having a will is crucial.

But maintaining and frequently updating the will is just as important, if not more important than the will itself. Failing to update your will could leave your beneficiaries without the assets you may have verbally promised them and truly intended them to have, or your estate could reward people who you have fallen out of favor with or who you may not want to receive a portion of your estate.

Orlando: What’s in a name?

Orlando is a popular destination for travelers. Apparently, the name of the city itself is enticing. So much so, other airports have taken on the name to bolster their business.

Apparently, the Orlando International Airport (MCO) and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority has a problem with the Melbourne-based Orlando Melbourne International Airport.

How do you avoid probate?

When it comes to the topic of estate planning, there is inevitably one thing that grantors and beneficiaries will worry about: probate. This is the legal process of actually handling and executing the estate in court. That may sound safe and proper -- but it is also costly and time-consuming. It can leave beneficiaries with less than they desired and it can even cause personal divisions between family members.

This is why avoiding probate, or at least as much of it as you can, is the optimal outcome. What can you do as a grantor to minimize the effect of probate on your estate?

Florida’s charter school real estate boom

With the backing of Florida state leaders, the market for charter schools looks to expand with investors eager to get into the market. An industry that largely relied on rental properties to house teachers and students is now seeing opportunities for building ownership.

While considered public schools, charters are private managed and operate according to a contract with the local school boards. Each school has their own Charter Management Organization that oversees operations. Lately, those organizations have met with prospective real estate investors looking to assess their health and stability.

Is there a renaissance in Florida retail centers

It’s no secret that the popularity of online shopping has traditional brick and mortar retailers completely rethinking their target markets. Since millenials comprise such a large portion of the buying public, owners of malls and shopping centers owners have had to adjust in order to survive.  It might seem simple enough, but they must give consumers more than one reason to visit.

A recent globest.com report highlighted how traditional shopping centers exclusively were retail centers that included large department stores, a food court, and smaller novelty stores. So if you did not have a reason to shop, there would be nothing to do while there. When more people started shopping away from the mall, scores of stores failed, leaving the mall with empty spaces that became eyesores. 

'The Juice's' kids on the loose in Florida's real estate market

Florida's latest real estate magnates are two children who gained fame by sleeping upstairs in their family's condo while their mother and her friend were stabbed to death at in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

St. Petersburg is now the home of Sydney and Justin Simpson and their mini-real estate empire currently valued at approximately $500,000. Since 2015, the children of O.J. Simpson have purchased 13 properties that include homes and apartments in low-income areas.

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