October 2010 Archives

October 28, 2010

Unlicensed Contractors Can't Enforce Agreements

The 3rd DCA recently ruled that a contractor who enters into a contract with a company to install a satellite system was not able to enforce the contract because the contractor was not a licensed electrical contractor and as such the contract was unenforceable Under Florida Statute 489.532.

In Florida, in order to engage in electrical contracting, a person must be certified or registered with the state. § 489.516(2), Fla. Stat. (2004). The statutes generally define an "electrical contractor" as any person "who has the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, repair, alter, add to, or design . . . electrical wiring, fixtures, appliances, apparatus, raceways, conduit, or any part thereof, which generates, transmits, transforms, or utilizes electrical energy in any form." § 489.505(12), Fla. Stat. (2004). Additionally, section 489.532 states that, "As a matter of public policy, contracts entered into . . . by an unlicensed contractor shall be unenforceable in law or equity by the unlicensed contractor."

Disclaimer: I found this case and thought it was interesting and may provide my clients and readers some benefit. Please do not call me about providing legal advice or to defend against your contractors suit as it is not an area that I practice in.

October 21, 2010

Forbes reports that 60% estate tax rate could be around the corner

Ashlea Ebeling with Forbes is reporting that next years estate taxes could be as high as 60% for some. This title is misleading because the maximum estate tax will be 55%. She gets 60 percent by adding the max rate of 55% plus the 5% surcharge for assets between 10 million and 17.184 million dollars. This surcharge only makes the overall rate closer to 55% and the full 55% rate is not achieved until the estate is in excess of the $17.184.
So while there is a 60% estate tax, it is only a marginal tax rate and the rate is never higher than 55%.

Please do not think I am ok with a 55% tax rate, but I did want to clarify the issue. If your estate is greater than 1 Million dollars, you should consider meeting with a Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer to discuss ways you can increase your exemptions or hedge against the taxes that would be due upon your death.