Gulati Law is Awarded 2019 Law Firm 500 Honoree

Gulati Law, P.L., named a 2019 Law Firm 500 Honoree for Fastest Growing Law Firms in the U.S.

Over the past 3-years, our team at Gulati Law, P.L., have been dedicated to providing excellence in customer service resulting in many happy clients. In doing so, our commitment and focus has taken us on a fabulous journey of growth – both personally and for our business.

We are pleased to announce that our law firm has been named a 2019 Law Firm 500 Honoree awarded to the Fastest Growing Law Firms in the US. Although this recognition is calculated on growth, it could not be possible without the continued operational excellence and commitment to client service exhibited by our team each and every day.

Thank you so much to our loyal clients, colleagues, family, and partners who have supported us as we have grown.

The Law Firm 500 Award is an honor for our firm to receive and a tribute to our team. Of course, we could not have achieved this truly remarkable accomplishment without our devoted team. Each in their own way has contributed to making this possible.

As we continue to grow, we encourage you to follow our progress and stay in touch!

 

About Gulati Law

Gulati Law has focused on serving their clients with more of a personal boutique style of representation. Gulati Law’s has a sophisticated mix of clients who venture in, among other things, informational technology, restaurants, media, financial services, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and lodging, and many other diverse businesses. Gulati Law’s team handles real estate closings, including commercial deals, 1031 Exchanges, and re-finances. They also assist clients with their contract preparation, small business formation’s, asset protection and set up.

For more information about our firm contact us at (407) 900-5054 or Office@GulatiLaw.com

 

Service Animals and the ADA!

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), a “service animal” is only a dog that is individually trained, works or performs tasks for individuals with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disabilities. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.

It is important for the hospitality industry to understand what qualifies are a service animal under the ADA. The ADA does not recognize comfort animals, therapy animals, or companion animals. An animal whose sole function is to provide therapy is not a “service animal” under ADA.

How to verify?

In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.

The ADA requires that service animals be under the control of the handler at all times. In most instances, the handler will be the individual with a disability or a third party who accompanies the individual with a disability. The service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered while in public places unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the person’s disability prevents use of these devices. In that case, the person must use voice, signal, or other effective means to maintain control of the animal.

For example, a person who uses a wheelchair may use a long, retractable leash to allow her service animal to pick up or retrieve items. She may not allow the dog to wander away from her and must maintain control of the dog, even if it is retrieving an item at a distance from her. Or, a returning veteran who has PTSD and has great difficulty entering unfamiliar spaces may have a dog that is trained to enter a space, check to see that no threats are there, and come back and signal that it is safe to enter. The dog must be off leash to do its job, but may be leashed at other times. Under control also means that a service animal should not be allowed to bark repeatedly in a lecture hall, theater, library, or other quiet place. However, if a dog barks just once, or barks because someone has provoked it, this would not mean that the dog is out of control.

There are specific rules under the ADA that are tailored specifically to hoteliers and public service accommodations. Please contact us, your business law attorneys for more information. Staying informed helps limit ingenuine service animals and support and welcome your guests and comply with ADA.

Source: ADA

1031 Like Kind Exchange Tips

1031 Like Kind Exchange Tips -Identifiying Properties 

With Real Estate being so hot, we have seen such an increase in 1031 Like Kind Exchange’s in the past few years.

Here are a few tips to consider when thinking about doing the exchange:

The Basic 1031 Identification Rule Is:

The Exchanger has only 45 days from the day of closing on its relinquished property to identify possible replacement property.

WARNING: Section 1031 and the IRS regulations thereunder have strict requirements for the identification of replacement property.

Identification of all replacement property must be made in writing, must be signed by the Exchanger, and must be delivered to the Qualified Intermediary on or before midnight of the 45th day.

The Exchanger may identify any type of investment or business real property in the USA, including a single-family rental, apartment building, hotel, office building, warehouse, vacant land, shopping center, etc.

The Exchanger/Taxpayer may not identify replacement property or amend its identification after the 45th day has expired.

Identifying Multiple Properties:

The Exchanger may identify more than one property, as follows:

(1) The Exchanger may identify as many as three (3) properties, regardless of their total value (known as the “3-Property Rule”) See Example # 1 below; OR

(2) The Exchanger may identify any number of properties provided their aggregate fair market value on the 45th day does not exceed 200% of the aggregate fair market value of all of the Exchanger’s relinquished property on the date of its transfer (known as the “200% Rule”) See Example #2 below; OR

(3) The Exchanger may receive, by the end of the Exchange Period, Replacement Property which the Fair Market Value of, is at least 95% of the aggregate Fair Market Value of all of the Replacement properties identified (known as the” 95% Rule”) See Example #3 below.

“The Exchanger is not required to acquire all the property it has have identified. Therefore, many gurus in our industry recommend that the Exchanger identify alternative properties should the closing on the Exchanger’s preferred property fail for any reason. Any property acquired prior to the 45-day Exchanger’s identification expiring, counts as an identified property.”

EXAMPLE #1 – 1—3 PROPERTY RULE:
Mr. and Mrs. Trembling (Exchangers) sell their investment property that they have owned for 17 years for the sum of $695,000.00. They, within 45 days of the relinquished transaction, e-mail to their Qualified Intermediary a list of three (3) properties for the following amounts: Property # 1: $1,200,000.00; Property #2: $500,000.00; Property # 3; $400,000.00.

As long as the Exchangers purchase property of equal or more value than their relinquished property ($695,000.00) any tax they may have owed will be deferred. There is NO dollar amount limitation on the properties they have identified. The only limitation they have using this rule is that they can only identify 3 properties.

EXAMPLE #2 – 200% RULE:
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson (Exchangers) sell their investment property that they have owned for 3.5 years for the sum of $500,000.00. Within the 45-day time limit, they e-mail to their Qualified Intermediary, the following list of possible Replacement Properties: #1: $150,000.00; #2: $300,000.00; #3: $250,000.00; #4: $100,000.00; and #5: $199,000.00.

The Exchangers are allowed to identify any number of properties, but they cannot total together more than 200% of what they sold.

The 5 properties they identified combined total: $999,000.00, which is under the $1,000,000.00) they would be allowed to identify and therefore their Identification is valid. They do not have to purchase all of these properties, but if they want to defer all of their gains, they must obtain at least $500,000.00 of replacement property.

EXAMPLE #3 – 95% RULE:
Mr. Thomas Franklin (Exchnager) sells his investment property for the tidy sum of $800,000. He identifies the following properties as possible replacement properties: #1: $600,000; #2:$ 300,000; #3: 900,000; #4: 700,000 and #5: $200,000.

The total valuation of all the properties together is: $2,700,000.

He cannot use the 200% rule because he has identified more than 200% of his relinquished property’s selling price ($800,000 x 200% = $1,600,000). But he can still use the 95% rule. He must purchase 95% of the valuation price of the properties he identified. That would be: $2,565,000 ($2,700,000 x 95% = $2,565,000). If he purchases less than the 95%, his 1031 exchange will be disqualified.

After reviewing the above 3 Rules for Identification, most Exchangers select the 3 Property rule, because it is a lot easier. It has no dollar amount restrictions, but the exchanger is limited to only 3 properties for identification purposes.

Source: Stephen Wayner of Liberty 1031.

DISCLAIMER: We always recommend that the taxpayer consults with their tax and/or legal counsel on all matters dealing with the Internal Revenue Serice.

Post-Hurricane Scams Targeting Real Estate Owners!

ATTENTION all Real Estate Owners!

BEWARE OF SCAMMERS
There have been talks of some individuals attempting to take advantage of real estate owners post-hurricane recovery situations. Insurance, debris removal, and tree removal scammers are actively working in storm affected areas.

Do not sign anything regarding an “assignment of benefits” from a potential contractor.

If you have any questions regarding reviewing paperwork to be signed, please reach out to your Real Estate or Business Law Attorney.

 

#GulatiLaw

Prepare for Hurricane Season- Helpful Tips!

Please utilize the resources below if necessary. I also encourage you to share this information with your friends and neighbors as we work together to recover from this storm- Hurricane Michael.

FEMA ASSISTANCE

To apply for FEMA assistance visit: www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-462-7585. To find the nearest FEMA Disaster Recovery Center visit: https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/ DRCLocator

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE

If you need emergency help call 9-1-1.

BASIC SUPPLIES

If you need supplies, such as food, water, or ice, please contact your county emergency management at: http://www.floridadisaste r.org/fl_county_em.asp or by phone at (850) 815-4001 for the location of the nearest distribution center. Your county emergency management can provide up-to-date information about shelters and local distribution centers for food and supplies.

HELP FOR SENIORS

If you know of a senior who needs assistance call the Florida Department of Elder Affairs hotline at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337). To report elder abuse, call 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

HELP FOR VETERANS

Veterans in need of assistance or in need of their medication can contact the Veteran Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571 or go to any VA medical facility for assistance.

MENTAL HEALTH

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress please call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained counselor. You may also visit: http://bit.ly/2vH2Huc for more information about managing stress after a disaster and talking with children about traumatic events.

DIALYSIS

To find a dialysis center in your area visit: http://www.dialysisunits.com/. Patients of DaVita Dialysis may contact 1-800-400-8331 to find the nearest Dialysis Center.

MORTGAGE RELIEF

To find out if you qualify for temporary mortgage relief, visit the Freddie Mac website at: http://www.freddiem ac.com/about/hurricane-relief.html , the Fannie Mae website at:http://www .fanniemae.com/portal/about-fm/hurricane-relief.html or by phone at 1-800-2FANNIE (800-232-6643). To contact the Federal Housing Finance Agency visit:https://www.fhfa.gov/Homeownersbuyer/MortgageAssistance/ Pages /Disa ster-Assistance.aspx

You may also contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to find out if you qualify for any hurricane related help with your mortgage or mortgage insurance. To contact HUD about disaster assistance visit: https://www. hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/ins/203h-dft or https://www. hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/nsc/qaho0121

TAX RELIEF

Taxpayers in affected areas may be eligible for tax relief from the IRS. To learn more about IRS assistance visit: https://ww w.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-in-disaster-situations.

DISASTER RECOVERY LOANS

The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing various disaster loans to qualifying Floridians. For more information about SBA disaster loans visit:https://www.sba.gov/disaster-ass istance/. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides loans to qualifying individuals, businesses, and communities after disasters. For more information visit: https://www.usda.gov/topics/d isaster/storms, or contact the USDA office in Florida at: (352) 338-3400.

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

Floridians who are unemployed as a result of a disaster, and who are ineligible for regular state unemployment insurance, are encouraged to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) through the U.S. Department of Labor. For additional information about DUA visit: https://workfo rcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/disaster.asp or contact the U.S. Department of Labor by phone at 1-866-487-2365.

HURRICANE RESPONSE HIRING

The U.S. Small Business Administration is hiring a variety of temporary positions located throughout areas affected by recent disasters. For more information visit:https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/hurricane-response -jobs -sba< /a>. For FEMA hiring visit: https://careers.fema.gov/hur ricane-workforce.

FEMA ASSISTANCE

For in-person assistance with storm related questions, visit your local FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. For a list of centers in your area visit: https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/ DRCLocator or call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-462-7585.

Be aware of SCAMS: Federal and state workers never ask for or accept money, and always carry identification badges. There is no fee required to apply for or to get disaster assistance from FEMA, or the State of Florida. If you suspect fraud call FEMA’s Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, or the Florida Attorney General fraud hotline at 1-866-966-7226.

RESOURCES

Emergency Assistance 9-1-1

Local resources (food, shelter, childcare,) 2-1-1

Food, water, ice distribution https://www.floridadisaster.org/, 850-815-4001, TDD/TTY: 1-800-226-4329

County Emergency Management Offices https://www.floridadisaster.org /counties/

Shelters www.floridadisaster.org/sh elter-status/

Florida Highway Conditions: www.flhsmv.gov/f hp/traffic/live_traffic_feed.html, or dial 5-1-1 or *FHP (347)

Florida Elder Affairs Hotline 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337)http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/

Veteran Disaster Hotline www.va.gov, 1-800-507-4571

Disaster Distress Helpline (for emotional distress) 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746

Blue Tarp Roofs (Army Corps of Engineers) 1-888-ROOF-BLU

FEMA www.disasterassistance.gov, 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) TTY: 1-800-745-0243

Source: BILL NELSON OFFICES IN FLORIDA

Big Moves in the Hotel Industry

Marriott plans to remove plastic straws Worldwide by July 2019!

Marriott International today announced that it has adopted a plan to remove disposable plastic straws and plastic stirrers from its managed and franchised properties by July 2019. The move will impact 6,500 properties across 30 brands around the world, and could eliminate the use of more than 1 billion plastic straws per year and about a quarter billion stirrers. The company says that its timeline gives hotel owners and franchisees time to deplete their existing supply of plastic straws, identify sources of alternate straws (which hotels will offer upon request), and educate staff to modify customer service.

Here are Gulati Law we strive to protect our enviroment, and are also following the same plan.

Not so Fun Fact: According to Google, over 100 million marine animals are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean. Currently, it is estimated that there are 100 million tons of plastic in oceans around the world.

#GoGreen #SavethePlanet

Source

Actions to Take When a Hurricane Threatens for Individuals & Business Owners

When a hurricane threatens your community, be prepared to evacuate if you live in a storm surge risk area. Allow enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home.
Secure your home:
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows.
  • A second option is to board up windows with 5/8 inch exterior grade or marine plywood, built to fit and ready to install.
  • Buy supplies before the hurricane season rather than waiting for the pre-storm rush.
 Stayed tuned in:
  • Check the websites of your local National Weather Service office and local government/emergency management office.
  • Find out what type of emergencies could occur and how you should respond.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other radio or TV stations for the latest storm news.
  • Follow instructions issued by local officials.
  • Leave immediately if ordered!
If NOT ordered to evacuate:
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level during the storm.
  • Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
  • Stay away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
  • If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds coming from the opposite direction.
Stay informed. Visit www.floridadisaster.org to find Florida’s Division of Emergency Management. Text FLPREPARES to 888777 to receive updates via text or use the Florida Emergency Information Line 1-800-342-3557. For live updates on Hurricane Irma, follow the State Emergency Response Team @FLSERT on Twitter and Facebook. VISIT FLORIDA is also providing weather updates and official source links for visitors to keep up with the latest changes here.Register your business with FLVBEOC. Register to report your open/closed business status, complete a business damage assessment survey and request or offer resources. Businesses may also report their status to esf18@em.myflorida.com and via the Private Sector Hotline 850-410-1403.

Know before you go. For up-to-date traffic information, visit FL511.com or call 511. Use GasBuddy to find gas stations with fuel.

Learn re-entry requirements. Governor Scott has issued an Executive Order that rescinds all weight and driver restrictions for highways so water, food, fuel and emergency supplies can be quickly brought to Florida. After the storm, individuals and businesses seeking to provide essential commodities and services to impacted areas will be allowed re-entry by possessing and presenting specific documentation to local officials. Learn what you need.

Provide emergency accommodations and have compassion for cancellations. Those seeking available lodging may find and reserve a room here. Reserve by brand here. During this emergency, lodging operators are strongly encouraged to waive cancellation fees and to not require minimum stays for evacuees. In preparation for FEMA’s potential activation of the Emergency Lodging Assistance program, lodging operators are encouraged to sign-up here.

Extend hospitality to pet evacuees. FRLA strongly urges its members, and the industry at large, to consider waiving normal pet restrictions and fees for evacuees seeking shelter and safety during this catastrophic storm. Search for pet-friendly lodging on BringFido.com or PetFriendlyTravel.com.

Follow power outages. Find a map of statewide power outages here. FPL customers can use the FPL Power Tracker map, and report or track outage information at www.FPL.com/outage or call 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243).

Food safety tips. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, there may likely be power outages and flooding.  Both pose a risk to the integrity of food and water. For a guide to food safety during severe storms, visit the USDA or Florida’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants to learn guidelines for emergency recovery.

Free WiFi access. Comcast has opened more than 137,000 free Xfinity WiFi hotspots throughout the state for individuals in need, including non-Xfinity customers, to help residents and emergency personnel stay connected. Find a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots here.

Report price gouging. As the entire state of Florida is under a declared state of emergency, Florida’s price gouging law applies statewide. Learn how to comply and/or report violations online or via the Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline at 1-866-966-7226.

Filing insurance claims. Florida’s Division of Consumer Services offers assistance to insurance consumers in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma by offering the insurance Consumer Helpline 1-877-693-5236Learn more.

For additional information and continued updates, visit FRLA’s Hurricane Resource Center for a comprehensive guide of tips on how to stay safe during the storm and how to recover and rebuild.

Most of all stay safe our Florida family, friends, colleagues and clients!
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Sources: AAHOA, Visit Florida, FRLA

ALERT: Fake Check Scam Reminder

Over the past several months, we have sent out a couple of alerts to remind our friends, family, clients, Realtors, investors and colleagues of the Fake Check Scam.

How the Scam Works:
The perpetrator of the scam sends you a large cashier’s check supposedly for the purchase of real property, escrow money, etc. You deposit the check. A few days later, the perpetrator contacts you to request that you send all or some of the money back because either they have changed their mind or need the money back for an emergency. You wire the funds as requested. Several days or weeks later, you find out that the check was fake and now your bank account is short by the amount you wired to the scammer.

The scammers don’t always use cashier’s checks. The scam has involved fake law firm trust account checks, fake corporate checks, and others. Many times, the fake check is mailed from Canada, and the “client” asks you to return the funds via wire to somewhere in Asia.

How to Avoid Being Scammed:
If you receive a large cashier’s check, verify with your bank and the issuing bank that the check is real before depositing it into your trust account. Contact the issuing bank by email or phone, but do not use contact information from the check. Better yet, refuse to accept large checks and insist that funds be wired to your account. Do not disburse any funds until you are positive that the check is real and that you have collected funds in your account.

How to Report the Scam:
If you would like to report the attempted scam to the authorities you are encouraged to make a report to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov. Even if you did not fall for the scam, and have not suffered a loss, the FBI is interested in your facts. They may not be able to investigate every case, but they will compile the information and look for trends and common perpetrators.

Source: The Fund- Attorneys Title; helping protect their agents.

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