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Questions Answered by Richard Paul Zaretsky
3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I am buying a house with my boyfriend ! I need to set up a document that says that if I die my 50% goes to my children
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 9, 2020

This can be done rather simply with the proper wording in the deed you receive from the seller. An attorney representing YOU should be used to get it right. You may also want to take it one step further and prepare and execute a Last Will and Testament and/or a trust to hold your interest in the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Our COA has decided to prevent owners from accessing their own condos due to covid-19. Is this legal?
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 1, 2020

I can tell that you are not giving us the whole story.

I very much doubt that owners are prevented from accessing their units. But the use of the unit can be restricted. The building can decide to put itself on "lock-down" to protect its residents. in the covid-19 world,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: We sold our house via wraparound mortgage and buyer has stopped making payments. We still owe and continue to make...

payments to our original loan.

Is foreclosure required instead of eviction?

If so, can we do a DYI Foreclosure, i.e. - file all required documents, appear in court, etc.

I do not expect the buyer to contest the foreclosure (or hopefully, the eviction) as he cannot afford to make the payments.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 22, 2020

The answer is a foreclosure.

Filing a residential foreclosure is a mind field of regulations not to mention the law. These regulations are all to protect the borrower - not you as the lender!

Get an attorney and do it right - it should only cost a few thousand dollars plus some...
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Q: Working for a company and having Medical marijuana

Is it illegal for an employer to refuse to hire someone due to smoking marijuana even if they have a medical marijuana card? The company is saying they have a strict "drug free policy" and cannot excuse marijuana from the drug screening even if a medical card is provided. The type of job... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 16, 2020

The employer is entitled to set requirements for the job. If qualifying in a drug free environment is one of the requirements, then you right (in Florida) to use medical marijuana does not exempt you from that requirement. For example, the employer can require that no person working can take cold... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I live in WV. My father passed away in 2013 and left his Florida home to my 2 sisters and myself. I had it probated 2013

My older sister has died and my other sister and myself want to sell the house. How do we remove her name on deed and do I need to real estate attorney

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 16, 2020

My condolences on your loss.

An examination of the deed in which you and your siblings own the property needs to be made. If the ownership was by survivorship, then you do not need to probate the sister's estate. If not, then probate to authorize the administrator to sign for her...
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5 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: My aunt just passed away recently. In her Will she's left me her condominium, her vehicle, life insurance policy,..

.. And bank accounts. I've lived with her for almost 6 years. I just received her urn and death certificates. My first question is: When I received the death certificates, there was no cause of death listed. (She passed away from lymphoma) Is that normal in the state of Florida not to list... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 7, 2020

No need to be nervous - just use an attorney to file a probate administration. Depending on the value of the estate assets, you may be able to file a "summary administration" which should take all of 2 or 3 weeks.

Your issue is that you need a court to appoint someone to get all...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: my purchase agreement indicates seller pay up to 3% of buyer's closing cost. Is that 3% of purchase price?

I am the seller. in the buyer's purchase agreement it indicates seller pay up to 3% of buyer's closing cost including prepaid. Is that 3% of purchase price? my agent told me at time of signing its 3% of closing cost.

now its closing soon the title company calculates 3% of purchase... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 5, 2020

Traditionally and customarily it would be 3% of the purchase price. Proper wording would have been "Seller shall Buyer's closing costs up to 3% of the purchase price".

The language you have is probably a mistake and if you think it is 3% of the closing costs, then you and...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I’m currently trying to purchase a few lots but they have un paid liens on them. Do I have to pay those liens?

Is there a way for me not to pay those liens on the property?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jan 8, 2020

Typically in a traditional sale, all liens and encumbrances on a property are satisfied at or before closing by the seller. If you are buying the property in other than a traditional sale scenario, you should seek out an attorney to assist you and avoid putting yourself in harms way.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Florida on
Q: I have been penalized for homestead exemption abuse because I did not move my homestead. Is there any relief I can seek?

I purchased a small townhouse in 2012 and made it my homestead. I later purchased a home but I kept the townhouse and rented it. I sold the home and purchased another and then another. Each time I moved into the home and lived there from 1 to 4 years. The mistake I made was never canceling and... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Aug 10, 2019

Unfortunately, ignorance is not an excuse to the law. You were rightfully tagged for your mistake. I have been through this before with clients and, indeed the ignorance argument is always used and always loses. You have no choice but to pay up and file homestead (hopefully with portability) on... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Agreement of sale signed, contingent upon VA appraisal. Appraisal came in considerably under agreement.

Seller would not negotiate and offer was withdrawn. Bank would only finance VA appraised value. Withdrew from contract. Home was placed back on market and now is pending. VA did a ROV and increased appraised value to a figure that would have worked for the sale. Do I have any... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 1, 2019

You could negotiate again with the seller and try to enter into a new contract at the known appraisal number. But since you did not get an extension of the contract while the ROV was pending and instead terminated it based on the lower appraisal, you have no recourse against anyone.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Is it legal for the selling Broker (escrow agents) to release the buyers deposit if seller refuses to sign cancellation?

Buyer & seller were disputing issues about removing TV mounts that r part of interior structure..buyers agent sent over 2 addendums 1)seller to remove, patch & paint. Or 2) cancellation & release of deposit...The Sellers, after I added some verbage to addendum felt comfortable signing... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 27, 2019

From your question it is not clear who released the deposit to whom. It looks like Seller Broker had it but its not clear to whom it was released. Based on the question, it appears the funds should be returned to the Buyer.

The deposit should never be released without the signature of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Paying deceased grandmother's prop. taxes 7yrs. Uncle & mom have not carried out will. What can I do to obtain prop.?

The property is in Miami Fl., I would like to be able to insure it. After my grandmother passed away in my house in Naples, Fl my uncle and mother (her children) never carried out the will. My mother states she doesn't want to see my uncle and I simply have not spoken to my uncle since she... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 6, 2019

This is not going to be a straight forward process. Probably a probate needs to be open for the grandmother. Then the question is does she have a will or is there no will. Then the question is to whom does the house pass either by the terms of the will or by law.

It may be that you are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: How can I get the mortgage to my home under my name (for tax reasons)?

My husband passed 3 yrs ago. The deed to the house is in both our names, but he had refinanced the home under his name only. The mortgage company claims the mortgage is not assumable. Probate is not a concern.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jan 31, 2019

Is the mortgage signed by you - and you did not sign the promissory note?

If that is the case then performing under the mortgage includes performing under the note.

If the home was your marital residence and you were married at the time of the mortgage initiation, then I bet you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: How long is a prepared deed date good for when prepared, signed, witnessed and notary and not recorde Can it be five ye

I want to prepare a deed, all free and clear. Dated, notarized and leave it with my will. How long is it good for without recording it at the county office? Ten years or after my death OK?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jan 28, 2019

How long is not your issue. The way you want to do it, the deed will never been valid because what makes the deed valid is actual delivery to the grantee during your lifetime.

Estate planning is complicated. See an attorney to get it done correctly.

2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: How do I determine if Land Purchased in 1925 by a Direct Blood Relative was Properly Foreclosed according to 1920s Law?

Own an Orig October 1925 Warranty Deed for a Land Parcel (.23 Acres, 4 Lots) purchased by my Great Uncle (Maternal Grandmother's Brother) from the Federal Corporation. Parcel is in Northern Florida. I am a Direct Heir. He worked/resided in both Wash DC and Baltimore at that time. Died early... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Dec 24, 2018

The statutes of limitation, doctrine of laches and waiver all will bar you from making any claim that is almost 100 years old. Most of these statutes are 4 or 5 years. At most, 20 years.

If you really wanted, you could have an attorney do an abstract of the history of title and the basis...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I have a question about real estate after someone dies with no will. (Palm Beach County, FL)

My father died in July. He left no will. While I am his biological child, his parental rights were terminated in the 1970s and I was legally adopted by my step-father. When my father died, he owned a condo, which is not even close to being paid off. He did not own anything else, has no life... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Nov 24, 2018

If you were adopted by another person and by reason of the adoption your natural father's paternity rights were terminated, then you are no longer your natural father's descendant for estate purposes. As such, the rights to the condo do not flow to you as an heir and thus you have no... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: How easy is it to obtain a right of way/necessity easement in Duval County/City of Jacksonville?

I am looking at property and there are access issues from the public road. The property owner has said he'll accept an easement for a large cash payment. Is it possible to force an easement if the property is land locked?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Nov 4, 2018

Easements are tricky and you must use an attorney or you will definitely have problems.

There are some easements of necessity and a history of the surrounding parcels needs to be examined to determine where an easement may be required by law. See an attorney to get this accomplished.

3 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: In Fl my wife and I are on the deed but only I am on the Note. Are we both legally responsible for prop taxes and ins?

My wife is buying a second home in Ny and lender is saying my wife even though she isn't on the home loan note in Florida is still legally responsible to pay property tax and insurance because she is on Deed. The property tax and insurance come on the home loan bill in my name only because she... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Oct 27, 2018

The answer is in different parts.

1. Real Estate Taxes - these are not a personal obligation to an owner. If the tax is not paid the taxing authority can lien the property, but they cannot get a money judgment against the owner. Under the mortgage it says that the mortgagor is obligated...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: On a Far bar AS IS realtor sales contract can a buyer use the contingency to just back out without inspecting

On a Far bar AS IS realtor sales contract

The inspection period ran out and just before it did the buyer's realtor emailed over an addendum with a lower offer claiming "due to inspection issues" , the problem I have is that they never inspected the house and are lying... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Oct 8, 2018

The AS IS form contract to which I believe you are referring allows an unconditional right of termination during the inspection period. When I say unconditional, I mean if the buyer does not like the way the sun hits the rear yard, that is reason enough. So it can really be anything or nothing.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: We are in an upside down situation with a land plot mortgage in Florida. What can we do without hurting our credit?

No one will refinance and it is balloon mortgage. No one will buy it for the amount owed. If we sold it for current market value, we would still owe money. It is causing extreme financial stress. The owner with me is my ex-husband.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Oct 5, 2018

Essentially you have no solution that will meet the criteria of not affecting your credit.

See an attorney to see what options you may have and which may be the least unappetizing.

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