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Blog Posts in 2018

  • LESSONS FROM A LIFE IN REAL ESTATE

    There was a time when I attended some pretty good schools. I know now that most of the “students” were there without any clear idea why. Mom and Dad sometimes had no idea how uninterested those kids really were. But three months after graduation I had the honor to sit in the best school I’d ever seen, in classes filled with young men who had orders to go to war. Most didn’t end up going. Some did. ...
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  • Visitation Rights for Deployed Parents

    Child custody determinations can be the most difficult and emotionally challenging aspect of a divorce case. Parents may struggle to agree to make a parenting plan, especially if one parent is in the armed forces, because they need to make accommodations for one parent’s frequent deployments. If parents cannot agree, the court will intervene to determine a parenting plan, which will focus on the ...
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  • The "Big Five" Life Planning Essentials

    Estate planning isn’t planning for death: it’s planning for life. Good planning saves money. Good planning enables access to healthcare without financial ruin. And good planning assures those we trust most – not strangers – will care for us if we cannot care for ourselves. All good estate plans include the following key components: 1. The Durable Power of Attorney A durable power of attorney ...
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  • How to Possibly avoid Probate with an Estate Plan

    When you pass away, and you do not plan properly, your estate may require a costly and time-consuming legal process called probate to distribute your assets. This process can take 6-9 months to complete because the court needs time to appraise your estate and validate your will. Your “estate” encompasses all the financial assets and real properties you own at the time of your death. Your “estate” ...
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  • Prenuptial Agreements: Breaking the Idea to Your Fiancé

    Discussing a prenuptial agreement is probably the last conversation you want to have with your fiancé. And, in fairness, your fiancé is probably not going to find the topic uplifting or romantic. However, prenuptial agreements , or “prenups,” are important contracts that protect the asset and property rights of both spouses in the event of divorce. Usually, it’s the notion of divorce that turns a ...
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  • A HIGH-WIRE ACT WITHOUT A NET

    Commercial real estate creates special answers to the question of why lawyers are necessary. To the extent the discussion involves commercial property, real estate has two distinct characteristics. The one that gets most attention is the structure itself. How a property is built, whether it meets building codes, whether it is solidly and intelligently constructed, are all important. The Building ...
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  • HE WHO HEARS NO MUSIC WILL DANCE ALONE

    First a disclaimer. I can’t dance. I know there’s supposed to be a relationship between the music and whatever is happening on the dance floor, but I make excuses by telling people I’m just hearing different music. The truth is that sometimes I hear no music at all. We all like to follow what others have done. Much of real estate is following a form someone else prepared. Deeds, notes, and ...
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  • When a Player Absent from the Table Has Cards in the Game

    When most of us hear the word “homestead”, we picture a Conestoga wagon racing across the Old West to capture a plot of land. That term really was accurate during the 1800’s in the west; the Federal Homestead Act did jump-started private ownership of parcels of land in the western states. Florida was not part of that, and though we also use the term in Florida, it means something entirely ...
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  • Should I Involve an Attorney When I Buy or Sell My Home?

    Buying and selling a home, for most, is typically the most expensive transaction they will ever be involved in. Therefore, you will want to make sure this process goes smoothly from start to finish. While a real estate agent can assist you in buying or selling your home, you have to keep in mind that they are not attorneys and lack some of the special skills, knowledge, and experience you could ...
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  • Issues You Might Face During Divorce

    A plethora of issues can potentially lead to a divorce , but the process of dissolving the marriage itself is not without its own issues, both financial and emotional. Everyone is, of course, unique in their own ways, but some issues simply so prevalent under these circumstances that most divorcing spouses will encounter them. Below is a list of some of the most common issues you can potentially ...
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  • How to Enforce a Child Support Order

    If you are having difficulties with a parent when it comes to receiving child support payments on time or at all, there are some steps you can take to enforce the order and ensure he or she is providing the financial support your children deserve. Before you take legal action, first contact the parent to figure out why he or she is not making the necessary payments. If you have already done this ...
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  • More on a Transportation District

    I promised a Crestview Commissioner that I wouldn’t start a full scale commotion about my proposal to create a North Okaloosa Transportation District for at least a couple of weeks, in order to allow all those fine folks I talked about in my last article to present a better solution. I’m going to keep my promise. But I have to reply to Nathan Boyles’ critique of what he calls my “editorial” in his ...
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  • COASTAL HOMES ARTICLE

    For the hundreds of people who sit in a barely moving chain starting about 5 miles south of Crestview every afternoon, I have one question: If someone were to walk between the cars with a bucket and when you roll down your window say “throw in two bucks and I will make this mess go away”, would you do it? My guess is if we had to pull out a credit card to pay the man, we’d do it. As you answer ...
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  • Home Ownership

    I oftentimes hear folks express their frustration with home ownership. They dream about owning a condominium where they will have little maintenance responsibility and a condominium association looking after the community. When you have a responsible Board of Directors, a professional association manager, and the association providing insurance covering the exterior of the building, what could ...
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  • Our Newest Shareholder Tara Hagan

    It is our pleasure to announce that Tara Hagan is our newest Shareholder here at Chesser & Barr. Tara is a talented advocate of the firm’s clients and her experience extends across business law, real estate litigation, and appellate work. Mrs. Hagan came to us in 2011 after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida, and then her Juris Doctor degree from Stetson ...
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