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Naples Law Blog

Stakes are often high when people have questions about land use

Communities and municipalities throughout Florida have established numerous rules about land use. These zoning laws are intended to protect communities from unwanted activities or developments, but their terms might complicate your plans for a property. You might be uncertain how land regulations could limit your ability to buy, sell or develop a piece of land. Many different situations could require that you engage with local officials or neighboring property owners. Legal insights and guidance could help you understand your position and how to proceed with a complaint or request.

If you want to develop a property, you might require clarity about the existing rules. Learning what you can and cannot do is essential before you make investments. Your due diligence efforts might benefit from legal research and advice. At times, you might feel that you have a good case for requesting a variance. When approaching authorities, you will need to prepare a request that outlines your goals and explains why it should qualify for an exception.

On the other hand, you might oppose a proposed project in your community. Such developments could emerge from either private parties or your local government. Information about how to approach the local planning commission and communicate your concerns could empower you when communicating with regulators.

Archery range owner asks for exemption to zoning rule

Central Florida Archery was forced to close its doors after neighbors complained that it was being operated improperly. It was not allowed to operate on Sully Drive because it was not zoned for business purposes. However, outdoor clubs are allowed to operate on property zoned A-1 if they have a special permit to do so. The owner of Central Florida Archery said that he was not aware of the rule.

He said that he would be speaking to authorities to secure the exemption and resume operations. Members of the community were upset that the owner was forced to shut down temporarily, and more than 1,000 people signed an online petition to keep it open. One woman remarked that the range provided an opportunity to bond with her family while another person said his son was training there to participate in the Olympics.

Understand the importance of keeping an estate plan up to date

Creating and maintaining an estate plan provides a person with the peace of mind in knowing they have a plan for the future. Whether it’s preparing for the future of a business, planning for potential health issues or deciding on beneficiaries, estate planning allows you to make important decisions now that will hold great impact down the line.

It’s not enough to compile an estate plan and leave it in a folder for when it’s needed. All prudent planners in Florida need to revisit their estate over time to ensure it remains relevant and enforceable if necessary. It’s important to keep an estate plan up to date with the changes in your life as well as any changes in law and policies governing estate planning and probate.

The basics of creating an estate plan

Florida fans of Aretha Franklin may know that she died without an estate plan despite the fact that she had a special-needs son and her health was poor. Prince also died without a will, and his relatives have still not received any payments from the estate. While most people do not have to worry about estate tax with the federal exemption currently at $11.18 million, there are a number of other reasons to create an estate plan.

Without a will, state law decides what happens to a person's assets. A will can name an executor to oversee the process of identifying and distributing assets and a guardian for minor children. A person might also want to avoid probate and keep an estate plan private. In that case, the person may want to set up a living trust. Once the trust is created, it is necessary to transfer assets into it.

Developers move forward with Tuckers Grade mixed-use project

Tuckers Grade, a popular road that runs through northern Lee County, is the site of a new development plan called Tuckers Point. A Naples-based developer, along with a few investment partners, are attempting to get the required zoning permits and other licenses needed for construction. Developers will meet with commissioners in September to see if their proposals pass muster. If any don't, they will have 30 days to challenge the decision.

The developers of Tuckers Point intend to build 1,689 dwellings, 400 hotel rooms and 480,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. When asked to elaborate further about the future of the property, a representative from the development company said that planning and construction are both long processes where things can change at nearly any time.

A simple explanation of a guardianship in Florida

Attorneys in Florida are often asked about legal guardianship, why it is used and what the requirements are. As the name implies, a guardianship is a proceeding for the protection of those who cannot protect themselves.

When someone is unable to fully care for him or herself, a court can appoint someone to act in the place of the disabled individual. The person appointed by the court for this task is called a guardian. The person protected, often a minor, is the ward. Depending on the situation, the guardian may play several roles.

What will happen if I die without a will in Florida?

It’s all too easy to put off writing your will. Nobody wants to think about what will happen – and who will get what – when they are gone.

But if you don’t make those decisions today, you may be surprised - and potentially disappointed - by what will happen in the future if you die without a will.

Factors that determine probate length

One of the more popular questions most beneficiaries have for probate is how long the process will last. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to that question. Florida does have some laws in place to limit the time, but varying circumstances could place the probate process from four months to more than a year.

Before the probate starts, you should keep these factors in mind if you are trying to guess how long the proceedings could last. It can help you strategize your approach to the process.

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