If you would like to use your property for something that is not allowed under the property’s current zoning district, you can request a variance, conditional use permit or to have the property rezoned to one with different restrictions and allowable uses. In this blog we will talk specifically about rezoning.

When To Consider Rezoning

Rezoning is a legislative action that is governed by the counties in Florida, so all rezoning requests must go through the county, or municipality, in which the property is located.

Zoning laws are in place to regulate land uses to serve the health, safety, and general welfare of the public. Rezoning may be allowed if:

  • The request is consistent with the county, or municipality’s long-range land use plan for the area;
  • There was an error or oversight during the original zoning of the property; or
  • Changes have occurred within the geographic area around the property which prevent use of the property under its’ current zoning.

The Rezoning Process

The particulars may vary depending on the county or municipality, but in general the process involves:

  1. Application and fee submission to the county or municipality’s Zoning Office/Department.​
  2. Zoning staff review of the application and submission of a written proposal to the county board of commissioners or zoning board.
  3. A public notice is posted and a public hearing is held. Applicant may be required to present their request and answer questions about it. The public may comment on the request.
  4. Recommendation is forwarded to Board of County Commissioners.
  5. The Board of County Commissioners​ renders a decision.

Consult A Real Estate Attorney For Help With A Zoning Request

Rezoning requests require property owners to do their research. You’ll need to submit an application, pay a fee, make a presentation, and possibly defend your request at a public hearing. There is a lot of paperwork involved and procedures to follow. Many property owners seek the counsel of a real estate attorney to help them navigate the process and ensure their best chance of being granted the zoning change. In some cases, the real estate attorney may advise you to seek a variance or conditional use permit, which are easier to obtain than a zoning change and still accommodate your desired use of the property.

The real estate attorneys at Kissimmee’s Overstreet, Miles, Cumbie & Finkenbinder, P.A have experience with rezoning in Osceola County and can help guide you through the process.

Contact us at 407.847.5151 to discuss your situation and learn more about our zoning services.

Transferring property after the death of a loved one is one of the most common issues our probate attorneys manage. After a property owner dies, the heirs, trustee, or personal representative will need to properly document the transfer of property ownership from the deceased property owner (or “decedent”) to their beneficiaries.

How a Florida property title is transferred depends on the type of property ownership held by the decedent and whether or not there was a will. Oftentimes, the property will need to go through the probate process.

Transferring Property Without Probate

Probate can generally be avoided is the property is held in the name of a trust or if the property deed shows the decedent owned the property with another person, as joint tenants with rights of survivorship or tenants by the entirety.

  • Trusts. Trusts are similar to a will in that they can dictate to whom property is to be transferred upon the trust maker’s (or Grantor’s) death. If the property was held in the name of the trust, a named trustee has the power to transfer property in accordance with the terms of the trust.
  • Joint Ownership with Survivorship Rights. If the property was held by the decedent and another person, as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, title to the property automatically passes to the surviving owner. The surviving owner will have to record a death certificate with the county’s clerk of courts, but probate is not needed.
  • Tenancy by the Entirety. This form of joint ownership is limited to married couples. In tenants by the entirety, the property is owned by the married couple as a whole, not as individual owners. Therefore, when one spouse dies, property ownership passes to the surviving spouse automatically. When a married couple purchases a home, Florida law actually presumes that they intend to own property together unless they specify otherwise.

Transferring Property Through Probate

Probate is necessary when the property owner held title individually, or with another person as tenants in common.

  • Individual Ownership. If the decedent owned the property individually, it will likely have to go through the probate process to transfer ownership to the heirs or beneficiaries.
  • With a Will. If the decedent has a Will, property is generally transferred to the named beneficiary through the probate process. The Will names a personal representative who , after being appointed by the probate court, is given authority to transfer ownership of the property in accordance with the terms of the Will..
  • Without a Will. When someone dies without a Will, they leave behind an “intestate” estate. In these cases, a personal representative will be appointed by the probate court to transfer ownership of the decedent’s property in accordance with Florida law known as intestate succession. Intestate succession determines the heirs of the decedent’s property; typically the surviving spouse, children, and/or next of kin.
  • Tenants in Common. If the decedent owned property with another person, other than their spouse, it is presumed they are tenants in common. Tenants in common each own an equal share of the property. The Decedents share of the property would be transferred to their heirs or beneficiaries through the probate process.

Keep in mind that state law dictates how property can be transferred. If you aren’t a Florida resident, the requirements may be different.

Meet With A Probate Attorney To Review Property Status

If you are uncertain about how to transfer property in Florida after the death of a loved one, contact one of our probate attorneys for advice consultation. A probate attorney can review the situation and advise you as to whether or not probate is required and guide you through the process. It is better to take a proactive approach and verify the decedent’s ownership and properly transfer their interest to the heirs or beneficiaries before trying to sell or reside in the property since documentation of the ownership transfer may be necessary.

To learn more about the probate services at Overstreet, Miles, Cumbie & Finkenbinder, P.A, contact us at 407.847.5151.

Today’s global economy means U.S. businesses are welcoming employees from all over the world, but increased enforcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) means employers need to be especially vigilant about their foreign workers’ ability to legally work in the United States.

That puts the onus on employers to verify the identities and employment eligibility of their employees. It’s not enough to simply ask the prospective employee questions about his or her immigration status.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employees to provide proof that they are legally authorized to work in the U.S.. Employers are also required to document employee work authorization by completing USCIS Form I-9. The Form I-9 must be completed for all employees and where an employee has an employment document that has an expiration date, the employer is required to re-verify employment eligibility on or before the expiration date of the document. The Form I-9 instructions provide a list of acceptable documentation that employees may use to satisfy the I-9 requirements.

It should be noted that there are numerous documents that may be used to establish employment eligibility. Employers should be familiar with these documents and how they impact the employer’s ongoing requirement to maintain I-9 records. Employers should not request additional documents other than what is necessary to meet the basic I-9 requirements lest they face claims of national origin discrimination. Hiring workers who aren’t legally able to work in the U.S. can also have serious repercussions for an employer. Employers may face civil or criminal fines and penalties if they violate immigration hiring requirements in any way.

Navigating immigration law is a complex undertaking. We always recommend that our clients have immigration hiring policies in place and evaluate them periodically to ensure they offer full compliance with current immigration laws. A strong, uniform policy creates consistent corporate hiring practices and helps protect the employer from immigration-related hiring issues. Employers should always consult with a qualified immigration attorney when implementing I-9 verification and record retention policies.

Timothy L. Finkenbinder
Attorney at Law
Overstreet, Miles, Cumbie & Finkenbinder P.A.

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