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Questions Answered by Mark Siegel
2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: I need to know how to go about to start a writ of replevin of property that I own and has not been returned to me.

I have called the county clerk and they dont even have the slightest clue in how for me to start the process. I have searched online for the packet so that I can fill out and submit and nothing is found.

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 11, 2019

You seem determined to DIY. Personally, I would advise against that, especially in a fairly technical area of law such as replevin. If an attorney does not fit into your budget, you could try Legal Aid, Florida Bar pro bono, your church or elsewhere to find a free or reduced price lawyer.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: my house is in a joint tenancy with my brother, can I quick claim deed my part to myself, so I can will to my wife?
Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Dec 5, 2018

Sorry. The deed to yourself will not allow you to leave the property to your wife. First, the survivor of you and your brother will own all the property, which that person can bequeath by will.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: How do I know if I have a case against the seller of our home for issues they almost certainly knew about?

We've had multiple issues since day 3 of moving into our house 17 months ago and are finding out that they almost certainly knew about and hid and did not disclose. We are looking for the disclosure and inspection report, but are fairly sure none of that was on either including: roof leaks,... Read more »

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Nov 28, 2018

Real estate litigation.

4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: I purchased a house in FL, but I noticed that they did not put my wife's as co-owner and her name is not on the deed.

Will to this property go though probate court if I pass away?

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Oct 22, 2018

Most definitely yes. You should have the seller sign a corrected deed. Contact the closing agent to have them prepare and record the paperwork and get copies reviewed in advance (which should have been done with the purchase). If you wish to avoid probate, you can contact an estate planning... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I just had a trust restatement&amendment done last week to add my son as co-trustee. Do I need to retitle my condo?

The new certificate of trust reads "the manner in which trust assets properly should be titled is Jane Doe and Bill Doe, trustees of the Jane Doe Revocable Trust. dtd. 1/1/2012" Everything is currently titled: Jane Doe, trustee of the Jane Doe Revocable Trust, dtd 1/1/2012. Does my Florida... Read more »

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Oct 21, 2018

The property is titled in the name of the trust. Since the name of the trust has changed (the date of the new trust is probably not the date of the original one and Bill Doe was added), you should file a simple deed to change the name of the owner to the new trust. It is not expensive for the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I am having my mother and father's estates probated in Ohio Do I need to probate in Florida for the two properties
Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Oct 15, 2018

Yes. It is called Ancillary Administration when there is property owned in another state. A court in Ohio does not have jurisdiction over Florida real estate. To transfer ownership of the properties, you would need to file in the county(ies) where the properties are located.

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law and Mergers & Acquisitions for Florida on
Q: I am purchasing a tax/accounting business near Sarasota, Florida. I need an attorney for advice.

The sale is going through a broker. What type of lawyer do I need? And what should I look out for. I received a sample letter. Would like to review with attorney as well as any other documents that may come up as well as due diligence of the business.

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jul 21, 2018

You should look for a business transaction lawyer. Your comment mentions a 'sample letter', which could be a letter of intent (LOI). The goal could be to get a signed asset purchase agreement with appropriate due diligence provisions, including an obligation for the seller to furnish complete... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Probate for Florida on
Q: How do I obtain money from a relative who refuses to give it to me?

A relative who money was left to for me by my grandmother has refused to give me all of the money unless I finish what they told me to do. The reason it was left to them is because I was underaged at the time the will was made. Is there any way I can legally get the money?

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 18, 2018

Is finishing what this person told you to do a condition expressed in the will? If not, a good start might be a demand letter, from you or a lawyer. If you still are not paid, depending upon the amount of money involved, you could open a probate case, assuming that one was not already opened. If... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Estate Planning and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Q: Bus. partner died in November. No will. No family. Bus. over 1 million in debt. Need to close. Can I w/o judge approval?

Nobody has opened his estate and I do not want to be involved with administration obligations which will end up being very costly. Can I close business without an estate judge approval and reopen another one with me being 100% shareholder in the new one with the assumption that if one day... Read more »

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 11, 2018

One would need more facts to provide you with a useful answer. Are there business assets that you would use? Did the other shareholder personally guarantee the debt? Did you? Where there other assets owned by your former business associate? As you may suspect, perhaps the best and most prudent... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I need to get “administration papers” (per the mtg co) in order to handle my deceased sister’s home/mtg.

What is avg cost? How do I do this?

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 11, 2018

I agree with the prior answer that the cost depends upon the size and complexity of the estate. However, if there is a home involved, the estate is usually larger than $75,000.00, which is the limit for summary administration. Plus, in a summary administration, there is not a personal... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: Does your company help with legal advice about probate matters
Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 11, 2018

Certainly. Where are you located?

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Florida on
Q: I'm doing a confidentiality agreement for my company. Does the jurisdiction clause need to be a county or state?
Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 8, 2018

Among other things, the agreement can state in what county or Federal District Court a lawsuit relating to the agreement must be brought.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I had a sales contract with a closing date of December 20th 2017. I assigned that contract to an individual for a fee

with a non refundable $1,000 EMD on the assignment contract. The property did not close on December 20th 2017 and the assignee never made the non refundable EMD deposit. I signed a new contract with the seller with a new closing date and assigned that contract to another individual. The first... Read more »

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 8, 2018

There may be more relevant facts than are included in your question. Why did the contract not close? Were there issues with the weather, property condition or title? When was the assignee ready to close? How’s the lien actually been filed?

Assuming that there are no other relevant...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation for Florida on
Q: I opened business checking account before incorporation effective date, how big of a problem is this?

I filed articles of incorporation for a Florida c Corp and put a future effective date. Prior to the effective date I opened a business checking account and deposited startup funds from myself and another investor. The initial board of directors meeting minutes that authorize the opening of the... Read more »

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 7, 2018

Not a big problem at all. Just adopt a corporate resolution ratifying and accepting the pre-incorporation actions of the principals.

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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Collections and Consumer Law for Florida on
Q: I'm in Florida. Need advice. How do I go about handling a summons I need to respond to for a debt collection please?

I don't want my wages to be garnished. Please help. Thank you.

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 4, 2018

Quite simply, you have 20 days after service to file a response with the court to avoid having a default entered against you. If you take appropriate steps, you should be able to defend or settle the case. Wage garnishment can be avoided.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Florida on
Q: I started a LLC with 2 more partners (I own 51%). I was taken out of the business and bank account without my permission

I was the only person who invested money in the company and the other two owners refused to let me have access to anything involving the business and filed an ammendement with sunbiz while I was out of the country including from the bank account and refused to allow me any access to it

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Jan 2, 2018

Of course, their actions seem to be improper. You should contact a business litigation attorney right away, if not sooner. Depending upon the documentation in your possession, you may be able to go to your bank and freeze the account. Nonetheless, in view of the events as you have described... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts for Florida on
Q: I agreed to sell a car, have text stating “sold” on my way, after we agreed to price. He cancelled. Can I sue?

We negotiated a price, I sent multiple pictures of everything on the SUV. We waited for hours and he didn’t show. He met all the requirements per Florida law for agreeing to purchase. I missed others from buying due to his agreement. Everything is documented via text. I live in Florida, he’s... Read more »

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Dec 3, 2017

Would have to see documents and correspondence, but it seems that you can sue for breach of contract.

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5 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can a lender foreclose a mortgage against the "estate" without having a person associated with the estate.

Borrower died 9 years ago. I own the property. I foreclosed the HOA lien. Took subject to the mortgage. Now mortgage company foreclosing but no estate has ever been raised and no personal representative named. They advertised for constructive service but they then filed an affidavit stating no... Read more »

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Dec 3, 2017

As you stated, you took the property to the first mortgage. Holder of the first mortgage can foreclose upon the property. Most often, mortgage holders will open an estate. To get personal service by publication, they need to file an affidavit of good faith efforts to serve a party, which may not... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Consumer Law and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: My mother in law who is 82 years old had a credit card she could no longer pay.

Now she is getting sued by the collection agency and received a summons to appear for a pre-trial conference. What can we do to help her as she has no available funds to pay the $2800.00 plus fees on this unsecured loan. The summons states she has to go or have an attorney represent her at this... Read more »

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Dec 1, 2017

You could go with her. Pretrial in small claims court is mediation. Do not fail to appear or you most likely will be held in default. Your goal - show that she is judgment proof. Social security payments can be exempt. Do not comingle funds. You may be asked to consent to having a judgment... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Florida on
Q: Signed a contract and gave deposit to have building built. The contractor was single owner LLC based on his website.

He passed away due to unexpected illness before starting. His girlfriend had been answering text to his phone, she says no one is handling buisnes issues. what should i do to get my $ back, or a least get judgement so i can take loss on taxes? $4000 deposit.

Mark Siegel
Mark Siegel answered on Dec 1, 2017

You can get a tax deduction for business bad debts. To get your money back you could file suit against the LLC or you may have a basis to file a claim against his estate, if one has been opened. Or, you could open an estate as an interested party, but this would involve costs to you up front with... Read more »

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