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WILLIAM MORRIS

Title: Columnist - Marco Eagle
Contact: 239-642-6020 | Send WILLIAM an email

Recent Work

  • It's the Law: What to expect in foreclosure process Published 01/14/2010 at 3:03 p.m.

    Q: I have fallen behind in my mortgage and suspect foreclosure is imminent. Can you explain the foreclosure process?

  • It's the Law: Personal representative can have tax liability Published 01/08/2010 at 3:01 p.m.

    Q: My Uncle is doing estate planing with his attorney. He asked me if I would be the personal representative of his estate. My wife is worried that I will end up having personal liability for his taxes. Is that ...

  • It's the Law: Probate need not be a daunting process Published 12/29/2009 at 3:50 p.m.

    Q: My mother recently died and her Will appoints me to administer her estate. Can you give me a brief outline of Florida probate?

  • Law Q&A: Don’t count on your banker for protection Published 12/09/2009 at 7:18 a.m.

    Q: A while back, I borrowed money from the bank to buy some real estate. The initial interest rate was very low, but it was adjustable. The interest rate has increased and I can not afford the payment. I think ...

  • It's the Law: Can murder be profitable? Published 11/18/2009 at 5:04 p.m.

    Q: Anna Nicole Smith’s death continues to make headlines as those around her are prosecuted for providing her drugs. It appears the drugs killed her. Can you inherit someone’s property if you killed her?

  • Pre-nup trumps Florida law for joint property Published 11/05/2009 at 1:45 p.m.

    I heard Florida law provides that if I buy property and place it in joint names with my spouse, my spouse owns half of it and at divorce my spouse retains that half. I have a prenuptial agreement that states ...

  • Don’t rely on the mercy of the court Published 10/27/2009 at 6:18 p.m.

    I lost a lot of money in a business deal and want to sue my partner. My attorney says I do not have a good case and suggests it would be a waste of money to pursue. I want to ...

  • It's the Law: Title can be acquired by adverse possession Published 10/22/2009 at 5:57 p.m. 1 Comment

    Q: I am buying a house and had the property surveyed. The survey shows my neighbor planted a hedge three feet onto the property I am buying. I do not want to make a problem for him, but I am ...

  • It's the Law: Virtual adoption can create heirs Published 10/15/2009 at 6:06 p.m.

    Q: A friend of mine was raised by his uncle from the age of two. The uncle died without a will. The uncle’s other children now claim that my friend has no right to share in the uncle’s estate. Is ...

  • It's the Law: Condos exempt from fair debt collections Published 10/01/2009 at 6:24 p.m.

    I am on a condominium board of directors. Some of our owners are not paying their assessments and others refuse to pay fines. We sent a demand letter and the owner claims that we are in violation of the Fair ...

  • It's the Law: Alimony modification requires real changes Published 09/24/2009 at 6:30 p.m. 1 Comment

    Q: My ex-wife is talking about taking me back to court for more alimony. Can she do that?

  • It's the Law: Foreclosure law explained Published 09/17/2009 at 6:14 p.m.

    Q: A friend of mine is in mortgage foreclosure. He does not know what will happen next. Can you explain the foreclosure process?

  • It's the Law: Custody changes are not easy Published 09/10/2009 at 6:26 p.m. 1 Comment

    Q: My spouse got custody of our children in our divorce. I have since remarried and am doing well financially. I think our children would be better off with me. How difficult is it to change custody in Florida?

  • It's the Law: Drug possession could lead to prison sentence Published 09/08/2009 at 6:15 p.m.

    Q: My brother was arrested for possession of marijuana. Someone told us that possession of marijuana is a felony and he could actually go to jail! Is that true? How are drugs classified and are some drugs considered worse than ...

  • It's The Law: Real estate commission regulates brokers Published 09/03/2009 at 12:33 p.m.

    Q: I heard a Realtor who was convicted of drunk driving lost his real estate license because of that conviction. I do not think drunk driving has anything to do with real estate sales. Can the Florida Real Estate Commission ...

  • It's The Law: Real estate commission regulates brokers Published 09/01/2009 at 11:56 a.m.

    Q: I heard a Realtor who was convicted of drunk driving lost his real estate license because of that conviction. I do not think drunk driving has anything to do with real estate sales. Can the Florida Real Estate Commission ...

  • It's the Law: Qualifying contractor has no liability Published 08/20/2009 at 6:54 p.m.

    Q: We are building a home and some of the work is defective. The contracting companying stopped construction without paying all of the subs. It will cost us a lot to finish the home and we will probably have to ...

  • It's the Law: Give opportunity to repair before suit Published 08/13/2009 at 7:02 p.m.

    Q: I hired a contractor to do some remodeling and add a room to my home. There are a lot of problems with the construction and I want to sue. Somebody told me I have to give the contractor notice ...

  • It's the Law: Parental relocation Published 08/06/2009 at 7:21 p.m.

    Q: I heard Florida has a law requiring a divorced parent with a minor child to get court permission to move. Is that true?

  • It's the Law: Procuring cause earns the commission Published 07/23/2009 at 7:55 p.m.

    Q: I have heard the term procuring cause used to determine when a real estate broker is entitled to a commission. Can you explain that term?

  • It's the Law: Sellers need attorney representation for closing Published 07/16/2009 at 8:47 p.m.

    Q: I am selling my real estate. Somebody suggested I use a title company for my closing but most of my friends recommend using an experienced attorney. What exactly does an attorney do for a seller in a real estate ...

  • It's the Law: Undue influence can invalidate a will Published 07/09/2009 at 7:22 p.m.

    Q: My brother was care taking of my mother for a few years before she died. Shortly before my mother died, she made a new will and left everything to my brother. The will was done by my brother’s attorney. ...

  • It's the Law: Devising homestead can be tricky Published 06/11/2009 at 9:06 p.m.

    Q: I am divorced and remarried. I want to leave our family home to the children of my previous marriage. A friend tells me that Florida has a lot of rules about how or who you can leave your home ...

  • It's the Law: Violations involving checks and drafts Published 06/04/2009 at 8:25 p.m.

    Q: I sold some used furniture and the buyer gave me a bad check. What can I do to collect?

  • It's the Law: Interpreting a trust to carry out the creator’s intent Published 05/28/2009 at 8:09 p.m.

    Q: My mother had a living trust. My mother died and my brother and I are now arguing about distribution of her assets. He claims the trust does not reflect mom’s intent. How do we settle the dispute?

  • It's the Law: Real estate brokers can file liens for commission Published 05/21/2009 at 8:34 p.m.

    Q: I am selling my pizza shop and I have a dispute with my Realtor. He has threatened to file a lien to protect his commission. Can he do that?

  • It's the Law: Brokers have strict escrow obligations Published 05/14/2009 at 7:26 p.m.

    Q: I recently signed an offer to purchase a condominium. I gave the Realtor a deposit check for $10,000, but asked him to hold it until I could get some money into the account. He said he could not hold ...

  • It's the Law: Child custody modification requires material change Published 05/07/2009 at 7:09 p.m.

    Q: I am divorced and my children live most of the time with my ex-spouse. I think they would do a lot better living with me so I am considering asking the court to change their living arrangement. What are ...

  • It's the Law: Recovery for defective construction may be limited by economic waste Published 04/30/2009 at 9:12 p.m.

    Q: I hired a contractor to build a custom home. When he got done, I found that the dimensions of many rooms were not true to the plans, elevation of the garage was 1 foot lower than it was supposed ...

  • IT'S THE LAW: Helping you or helping themselves to your home? Published 04/23/2009 at 8:16 p.m.

    Q: A friend of mine lost his job and fell behind on his mortgage. He was contacted by a person claiming to work for a mortgage assistance company, who promised to help him keep his home. He paid the company ...

  • IT'S THE LAW: Unemployment compensation even if you quit Published 04/16/2009 at 7:46 p.m.

    Q: I gave my boss two weeks notice that I would be quitting. He got so mad he fired me on the spot. Can I get unemployment compensation?

  • IT'S THE LAW: Contract performance time may not be critical Published 04/09/2009 at 8:17 p.m.

    Q: I recently made an offer to purchase a house which included a time limit for the seller to accept. The seller did not sign and return the offer until after the time for acceptance passed. We moved toward closing ...

  • IT'S THE LAW: Felonies vs. Misdemeanors - what does it mean? Published 04/02/2009 at 9:23 p.m.

    Q: I’m always hearing people talk about crimes saying things like second degree, misdemeanor, third degree, capital, first degree. What do all these things mean and what’s the difference?

  • IT'S THE LAW: Wills must meet statutory requirements Published 03/19/2009 at 8:34 p.m.

    Q: One of my friends told me a story about someone’s last will and testament that was rejected by a court because it was not properly executed. What are the requirements for a valid will in Florida?

  • IT'S THE LAW: When other children enter the picture Published 03/12/2009 at 8:36 p.m.

    Q: A few years ago my girlfriend and I had a child. She had a lot more money than me and she never asked for child support. I have since married and have two other children. My former girlfriend is ...

  • IT'S THE LAW: Lease renewal may not last forever Published 03/05/2009 at 8:07 p.m.

    Q: I own a commercial building that I leased to a tenant some years back. The lease is for a five-year term with automatic renewals for additional five-year terms unless the tenant gives me notice of termination. The formula for ...

  • IT'S THE LAW: Contract can set amount of damages for breach Published 02/26/2009 at 9:47 p.m.

    Q: I signed a contract to sell my condominium and the buyer backed out. I was lucky to sell it to another buyer, but it sold for $40,000 less than the first contract. The buyer under my first contract claims ...

  • IT'S THE LAW: Alimony might not be forever Published 02/12/2009 at 8:39 p.m. 3 Comments

    Q: I got divorced a while back and was ordered by the judge to pay my ex-wife alimony. Since my divorce, my ex-wife got a new job and makes a lot of money. She has also been living with a ...

  • IT'S THE LAW: What to do when your co-owner bows out Published 02/05/2009 at 9:04 p.m.

    Q: I own property with a friend of mine. We are supposed to pay everything 50/50. He has not paid anything toward property expenses for a long time. What can I do to collect my money?

  • It's The Law: Stopped for a DUI -- The dos and don’ts Published 01/30/2009 at 4:50 p.m.

    Q: A friend of mine recently got charged with DUI. After meeting with a lawyer, he was told that he did all the wrong things during the stop. That has me thinking what are the right things to do? What ...

  • IT'S THE LAW: Mortgage foreclosure can evict tenant Published 01/22/2009 at 7:40 p.m. 2 Comments

    Q: I rent a home from my landlord. I was served with a summons and complaint in a mortgage foreclosure case in which I was named as “unknown tenant.” Can I be evicted by the foreclosing mortgage holder?

  • IT'S THE LAW: ‘Lien’ on me Published 01/15/2009 at 8:34 p.m.

    Q: I own a painting company. I recently filed a lien against a condominium association that hired me to paint the outside of the condominium building. The president tells me that my lien is no good because it had to ...

  • IT'S THE LAW: Can you sign away your child’s rights? Published 01/08/2009 at 8:02 p.m.

    Q: My son wanted to ride go carts at a local track. Before the track let him ride, I had to sign a release form on behalf of my son. My son ended up driving off of the track and ...

  • It's The Law: Contract guarantee may not be enforceable Published 12/31/2008 at 5:39 p.m.

    Q: A few years ago I was in business with a partner. He took over the business, and now the landlord claims I owe money under a lease because I signed a guarantee. I am not in the business any ...

  • It's The Law: Who’s the boss? Published 12/24/2008 at 3:39 p.m.

    Q: I live in a condominium. Ours is part of a bigger development. Under the covenants of the bigger development, a master homeowners association was also created. When I asked the president of the master association to take action against ...

  • It's The Law: Condo associations hurt by mortgage meltdown Published 12/16/2008 at 3:39 p.m.

    Q: I am on the board of directors of a condominium association. A few owners have stopped paying assessments and are rumored to be in mortgage foreclosure. Some of these units have not paid assessments in over 12 months. What ...

  • It's The Law: Foreclosure, forbearance, forget it Published 12/11/2008 at 3:42 p.m.

    Q: I am behind in my mortgage and I am afraid I will lose my home through foreclosure. What might happen if I don’t get enough of money to pay the mortgage?

  • It's The Law: Learn about the new custody provisions in Florida Published 11/13/2008 at 1:14 p.m.

    Q: I am getting divorced. A friend told me Florida has a new law about child custody. Will that affect my case? A: Earlier this year, Florida’s Legislative modified the child custody provisions of Florida Statute Chapter 61. That chapter ...

  • It's the law: Can attorney fees be recovered after a legal suit? Published 11/04/2008 at 4:48 p.m.

    Q: A company I do business with has threatened to sue me. I know law suits can be expensive and am wondering if I will be able to get my attorney fees paid as part of the suit?

  • It's the law: Personal injury award can be divided in divorce case Published 10/28/2008 at 5:40 p.m.

    Q: I was in a car accident and am in the process of settling my claim for a substantial amount of money. My spouse just filed for divorce and claims my personal injury award is subject to division in our ...

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