Other Practice Areas
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Straley & Otto, P.A., represents and counsels clients in the purchase and sale of residential and commercial real property, as well as businesses. Ancillary services are also provided, such as the review or drafting of Purchase and Sale Contracts, Business Contracts, Promissory Notes and Mortgages as well as Short Sales and REO Bank sale transactions. Our firm also represents developers in various matters such as preparing special purchase contracts and drafting community association documents.
Mr. Straley also owns Action Title Company which provides outstanding settlement and closing services for the purchase or refinancing of real property, as well as loan closings on reverse mortgages. Many clients prefer a less expensive method of purchasing real property, without representation by an attorney, although legal representation can be provided. Title and lien searches are also performed on-site. If you are interested in these services, please contact us and ask for more information on Action Title Company or visit www.actiontitleco.com.
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Business Entities and Corporate Law
Straley & Otto, P.A., also practices in the area of Business Entities and Corporate Law, including the formation of corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and other business entities, the drafting of articles of incorporation/organization and by-laws, the preparation of meeting minutes, the drafting of shareholder agreements and LLC operating agreements.
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Wills, Trusts, Guardianships, and Probate
Straley & Otto, P.A., encourages all clients to have a Last Will and Testament, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, and most importantly, a Durable Family Power of Attorney. Clients are counseled and assisted in planning for future issues that may arise as they grow older. In addition, clients are counseled on the effect of joint tenancy, the selection of a Personal Representative, Trustee, or attorney-in-fact, and the effects of gifting and death. We also counsel clients on whether Trusts, which typically cost substantially more than simple Wills, are beneficial or appropriate. We also handle probates in an efficient, cost-effective manner that dispels concerns about and avoids the probate horror stories of which so many people have heard or experienced. Additionally, we assist clients in guardianship proceedings, always counseling with an eye to the best interest of the ward.
Straley & Otto, P.A., believes that almost every person in Florida, particularly aging adults, should have a Durable Family Power of Attorney. This document is a special, Florida instrument under which one person can grant authority to another to handle any and all of that grantor’s affairs, and this Power of Attorney remains in full force and effect even if the grantor becomes mentally incapacitated at some time later in life. The importance of this can be seen by the fact that costly legal guardianship proceedings can be avoided, and a situation which is best handled by a person’s family can be addressed without court involvement. Because Florida law regarding the Durable Power of Attorney was substantially changed in 2011, we encourage clients to have their Durable Power of Attorney documents reviewed to ensure that they are up-to-date with the current law. Please feel free to call our office to discuss any of these issues.
Straley & Otto, P.A., counsels clients with regard to a simple and effective estate planning tool know as the Enhanced Life Estate Deed. This document, also known as the “Ladybird Deed”, is a method of avoiding the necessity of administering real property in a probate proceeding by adding other persons (basically, heirs) as “remainder owners” while the grantor retains a “life interest” in the property. Most importantly, and different from previous life estate deeds that were permitted under Florida law, the Enhanced Life Estate Deed recognizes the estate-planning purposes of such deeds and allows the grantor to retain the right to sell or mortgage the property without the consent of the remainder-owners named in the Deed. In other words, a person may wish to name his or her children as remainder owners on an Enhanced Life Estate Deed to his or her home (or other property), which will allow the property to automatically pass to the children upon the grantor’s death, but will still permit the grantor to maintain control of the property during his or her lifetime, including the sale or mortgaging of the property, without any participation by the children.