Real Estate Transfers Part 1 – Transfer Instruments

Deeds are used to convey real estate from one owner to another. There are three types of deeds which are commonly used in Florida to convey title of residential real estate: The first and most desirable type of deed is called the (General) Warranty Deed. Here, the transferor warrants that he has the right to […]

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Come and Visit…But Do Not Stay Too Long!

It is fairly well known that United States Citizens and Green Card holders are subject to taxation in the United States on their worldwide income (with few exceptions). However, it is generally less well known that substantial presence in the U.S. can also lead to taxation in the U.S. The formula used to determine whether […]

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Unanticipated Snag when Trying to Close a Probate

The heirs of a non-resident of the United States who owns real estate in Florida are oftentimes burdened by the need to go through probate in the State of Florida either by probating a German or Florida will or by defaulting to the intestacy Statutes. Oftentimes, once the probate process is opened, other problems surface […]

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Significant Tax Law Changes

Congress recently enacted the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015. This bill contains a number of significant changes to the Internal Revenue Code and the Bank Secrecy Act. One change such significant change is the adjustment of due dates of various tax returns and for the Foreign Bank Account Reporting […]

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Foreign Banks Demand FATCA Forms

Over the last few months, many Germans living in the United States and even some who merely have a vacation home here started receiving letters from their non-U.S. banks, pointing out that under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) the banks are obligated to verify certain client information to comply with their reporting requirements […]

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Probating a German Will

Many times, residents of Germany who own property in Florida believe that their will from Germany can probate assets located within the State of Florida. While it is possible, there are many potential pitfalls. A will that is valid in Germany, may not be valid within the State of Florida. One example is a holographic […]

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New Disclosures for Real Estate Transactions

In response to the financial crisis, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 to curb perceived consumer abuses by the financial industry. The result was a new set of forms, collectively called the TILA/RESPA Integrate Disclosure, which will be required for the majority of real estate transactions after August […]

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Vacation Homes Registration as a “Hotel?”

The main legal questions that arise when purchasing a vacation home usually relate to taxes. Most people are aware of the competing burdens places on home owners by the income tax and transfer tax regimes (i.e. Estate and Gift Taxes) and thanks to realtors and tax preparers, most homeowners are also aware of other types […]

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Taxes, Taxes, and More Taxes

Many new vacation home owners know that there are a lot of taxes levied at various levels of government, but may not be aware of exactly what types of taxes are assessed. Here is an overview of the various taxes that may be relevant to a vacation home owner who engages in short-term rentals in […]

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Estate Planning through a Trust

A revocable living trust is a creature of State law which is similar to a Will. It is a very flexible instrument which, upon the death of one or more Grantors (in case of a married couple), makes it very simple for the successor trustee to management the property held in trust. Generally speaking, this […]

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