A 55+ Community in North Fort Myers, Florida

July - August 2018

Edition No. 15

Welcome!

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Manager's Corner
 

Darlene

Since all of our snowbirds have flown back to their home states, we’re using this time to take care of major community projects. This means lots of cleaning, painting, repairing, and replacing. Don’t worry, we’ll still have fun. Read on to learn more!

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Manager's Corner

Darlene

Since all of our snowbirds have flown back to their home states, we’re using this time to take care of major community projects. This means lots of cleaning, painting, repairing, and replacing. But before some of our residents departed, we gathered for a Kentucky Derby Party and our Memorial Day Picnic. Thanks to all who joined!

July always promises a fantastic turnout for our community events, beginning with the July 4 picnic and concluding with a National Hot Dog Day gathering on Sunday, July 22. Things quiet down in August, but we will still have our regular activities – Bingo every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the Clubhouse and movie night on July 28.

Our planning for hurricane season started in June and continues in July. As it approached, we made sure residents had a plan prior to any storm. We do this every year so that all residents are prepared and safe during hurricane season.

Have a great summer!

Darlene

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much today.”

-Will Rogers

Kentucky Derby
 

Kentucky Derby

Attendees at our Kentucky Derby event on May 5 had a blast dressing for the occasion! Our hats are off to the prize winners, and a big thanks to everyone for bringing beverages and appetizers for all to enjoy. Click below to see the photos.

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Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

Attendees at our Kentucky Derby event on May 5 had a blast dressing for the occasion! Our hats are off to the prize winners, and a big thanks to everyone for bringing beverages and appetizers for all to enjoy.

Food

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Healthy Snacking

The terms “healthy” and “snacking” don’t seem like they should go together, but they do. You can curb your midafternoon hunger without adding unnecessary calories or sugars. Check out this guide to healthy snacking, featuring 121 easy and delicious ideas fit for everyone. Happy snacking!

Memorial Day Picnic

Memorial Day

Hosted by Bill Black and friends, our Memorial Day Picnic really brought folks together. Residents socialized on the Veranda while chowing down on hot dogs and hamburgers—complete with all the fixings. Click below to see photos.

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Memorial Day Picnic

Memorial Day

Hosted by Bill Black and friends, our Memorial Day Picnic really brought folks together. Residents socialized on the Veranda while chowing down on hot dogs and hamburgers—complete with all the fixings. We appreciate everyone who came out to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

National Hot Dog Day

Hot Dog Day

Come out and enjoy a classic in casual, American cuisine! Join us at the pool-side tiki bar on Sunday, July 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get your National Hot Dog Day frankfurter with all the fixings. Plus, this one’s on us–totally FREE!

July 4th Picnic
 

4th of July

It wouldn’t be Independence Day without a summer picnic. Before heading out to see fireworks, join the Tara Woods Homeowner’s Association this 4th of July at 1 p.m. in the Clubhouse. Click below to get all the details.

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July 4th Picnic

4th of July

When: Wednesday, July 4 at 1 p.m.
Where: Clubhouse
Menu: BBQ pulled chicken, BBQ pulled pork, potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, lemonade, and dessert
Tickets: $10.00 per person
Hosted by: TWHA Board and Bill Black

Your Health

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Let's Get Physical!

It can be hard to get to the gym every day, but there are many easy exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home to help you tone and build muscles. Thanks to the American Council on Exercise, there’s a great resource for easy-to-follow exercises to get started. Click here and get ready to work out!

Florida Estate Procedure

Estate

Part of life is preparing for what’s next, whether in caring for our parents or so that we can take care of ourselves. One of the questions that must be addressed is what happens to property and debts. FindLaw has created this article to help you understand the basics of estate procedures in Florida.

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Florida Estate Procedure

Estate

Part of life is preparing for what’s next, whether in caring for our parents or so that we can take care of ourselves. It can be emotionally difficult, stressful, and confusing for family and friends when a loved one passes away. One of the questions that must be addressed is what happens to the property and debts of the deceased. FindLaw has created this article to help you understand the basics of estate procedures in Florida.

Probate an Estate
When a person passes away (the law calls them “the decedent”), his or her property will go to individuals or entities called beneficiaries. Any assets co-owned by the decedent and another person or persons generally go automatically to the other owners and do not require the opening of an estate. Assets such as life insurance benefits, IRAs, annuities, and pensions that have designated beneficiaries should go directly to the identified beneficiaries, and also do not require the opening of an estate under Florida law. When the decedent owns property in his or her name alone, it is necessary to "probate" the estate. Probate is a process, overseen by the court, which identifies the decedent’s assets, pays necessary taxes and debts, and distributes property to beneficiaries.

Summary Administration
It may be possible to probate an estate using Summary Administration under the following circumstances:

  • - The probate assets are valued under $75,000; or
  • - The decedent passed away more than two years ago.

The Summary Administration process involves filing a petition with the court that requests distribution of assets according to the decedent’s will or Florida law. It is generally a faster, simpler, and less costly type of estate administration. Summary Administration is not available in all circumstances, however, including when a decedent has debts that have not been resolved.

Formal Administration
If an estate is not eligible for Summary Administration, it is usually necessary to open a Formal Administration. The Formal Administration of an estate transfers the decedent’s assets to designated beneficiaries of the estate after payment of any creditor claims and administration costs. Administration of an estate can either be Testate (when there is a Last Will and Testament) or Intestate (when there is no Last Will and Testament). The Formal Administration process begins by filing a Petition for Administration with the court and requesting the appointment of a Personal Representative. A Personal Representative has a variety of tasks related to administering the estate, such as collecting assets, filing paperwork, and paying debts.

Notice of Administration and Claim Period
Once the estate is opened and a Personal Representative is appointed, it is necessary to publish a Notice of Administration. The Notice alerts potential creditors of the administration of the estate. At that point, creditors have three months to file a claim against the estate. After that, any claims that were filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court are sent to the Personal Representative for review, who either pays the claims or files an objection. During the three-month claims period, the Personal Representative may handle tasks such as:

  • - Obtaining appraisals of assets;
  • - Sending an inventory of assets to all beneficiaries; and
  • - Determining what tax returns will need to be prepared and filed.

The Personal Representative may begin to close the estate after the three-month claims period ends and the claims have been paid. This process involves preparing a Final Accounting and Petition for Discharge and giving notice to beneficiaries. If there are no objections to the Final Accounting, Petition for Discharge, or the proposed plan of distribution filed with the court, then the estate may make distributions according to the plan. This whole process, including any potential IRS tax return, may take as long as two years to complete. If a tax return won't be filed, Formal Administration typically takes between six months to one year to complete.

Legal Fees and Costs
Legal fees for a Formal Estate Administration must be reasonable but are typically three percent of the probate assets. For example, if probate assets are $100,000, legal fees would be $3,000. Additional legal fees may be billed for extraordinary legal services. Examples of extraordinary services may include litigation for will challenges, tax audits, tax return preparation, sale of real estate, or determination of beneficiaries. A Personal Representative is also entitled to a fee of three percent of the probate assets.

Contact a Probate Attorney
This article is a brief overview of Florida estate procedures, designed to give you a better idea of the process of estate administration. The above information is intended only as a guide and you may consider discussing the particular facts of your case with a probate and estate administration attorney.

Assignment of Benefits

Fraud

We’re always keeping an eye out for the latest fraud scam and we want to provide the following information on Assignment of Benefits. This provision found in contracts might allow a third party to take over your homeowner’s insurance policy. Read more for details, do’s, and don’ts.

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Assignment of Benefits

Fraud

What is Assignment of Benefits?
Assignment of Benefits (AOB) is a provision in a vendor’s contract. Originally called a “direction to pay,” a cottage industry of billboard trial lawyers and shady repair firms have found a way to exploit AOBs. They lure unsuspecting consumers to sign sweeping AOB authorizations that essentially result in the consumer handing over all of the rights and benefits of the insurance policies they bought and paid for. By asking you to sign an AOB, a third party may be attempting to take over your insurance policy.

What are the risks of signing an AOB?
When you sign an AOB you could unintentionally give the vendor the power to dramatically inflate the scope and cost of your claim. And if your insurance company disputes the bill, you may be on the hook for paying the difference out of your own pocket. Worse yet, some unscrupulous trial lawyers and vendors are using AOBs to file lawsuits against the consumer’s insurance company, without their knowledge or consent. It’s hard to believe, but your insurance policy can be used by a third party to sue your insurance company over your claim, even if you don’t want to sue. That could result in you being dragged into depositions and protracted litigation over your claim, and waiving your privacy rights. An explosion of claims and lawsuits involving AOBs is driving up the cost of home and auto insurance across Florida and directly impacting the price you pay. AOB fraud and abuse is real, is growing rapidly, and is already taking money out of your pocket.

So how can I avoid being an AOB scam victim?
There are some very simple steps you can take to avoid falling prey to AOB fraud and abuse:

  1. If your home suffers any type of damage, contact your insurance agent and/or your insurance company first and as soon as possible. Remember, they are contractually responsible to you, and in the best position to assist you quickly.
  2. Do not allow a third party—such as a water remediation firm, a roofing company, or a trial attorney—to contact your insurance company for you. You have a duty under your insurance policy to contact your insurer.
  3. Document all of your damaged property by taking photos and videos. After your immediate emergency has been mitigated, don’t allow the vendor to begin significant repairs until your insurance company has inspected the damage, or you could jeopardize coverage under your policy.
  4. If you are asked to sign an Assignment of Benefits form by a repair firm or attorney, make sure you read it carefully and understand clearly what rights and benefits under your insurance policy you may be signing away. Seek input from your agent, your insurance company of your personal attorney.
  5. If your vehicle windshield is cracked or chipped, alert your auto insurer to get the damage repaired. Do not allow a stranger to replace it for you and say they will deal directly with your insurance company. You may end up paying more for repairs than necessary or getting shoddy work done.
  6. Ask your plumber if they get a referral fee from any water or mold remediation vendor they recommend. If the answer if yes, that is a big red flag.
  7. Beware, many AOBs include a cancellation fee that you may be forced to pay, even if the vendor did no work.
  8. Understand you do not need to sign an AOB in order to get your insurance claim processed or your home or auto repaired—ever. If a repair vendor tells you otherwise, that is another big red flag.
  9. Make sure you stay in control of the home and auto insurance policies that you bought and paid for. Do not unknowingly sign away that control to a third party who may not have your best interests at heart.

How can I learn more about AOB abuse?
The Consumer Protection Coalition is a broad-based group of individuals, spearheaded by the Florida Chamber of Commerce that is fighting to protect consumers and stop AOB fraud and abuse in Florida. You can learn more about the coalition, AOB abuse and how you can help by visiting our website at www.fightfraud.today.

If you suspect you are a victim of AOB fraud or abuse, contact the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation at (850) 413-3140 or the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud at 1-800-378-0445.

SOURCE: www.fightfraud.today

Eat Right, Feel Right!

Healthy food

In recent years, the trend with diets has moved away from counting calories to focusing more on eating right. If you’re interested in trying something new to help your health, read on to review some new diets and find out how they may benefit you.

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Eat Right, Feel Right!

Healthy food

In recent years, the trend with diets has moved away from counting calories to focusing more on eating right. The health aspect of Whole30 and the Mediterranean diet has become popular, while diets based on losing weight fall to the wayside.

These modern diets emphasize cutting certain items out of your diet to maximize your health. If one seems interesting, be sure to look it up and learn more. Both of these diets have a large following, which means many cookbooks and online resources are available for those ready to give it a try.

Whole 30
This 30-day food regime is about finding aspects of your diet that are having a negative impact on you. On this diet, you don’t eat grains, added sugar, dairy, or legumes. Whole 30 doesn’t emphasize weight loss, though it may happen while on the diet. Instead, it focuses on finding areas in your eating habits that cause tiredness, digestive issues, and pain amongst other negative effects. To learn more, visit the Whole 30 site.

The Mediterranean Diet
While this diet isn’t brand new, it has been refined over the years to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. With the Mediterranean diet, you eat mostly fish, fruit, and vegetables. This diet limits how much you eat of certain foods, but doesn’t completely cut them out. That means there are less meal restrictions than with other diets, creating a less rigid structure. Explore the diet by reviewing this guide.

Home & Garden

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Weeds Be Gone!

One of the trickiest parts of caring for your garden or lawn is dealing with weeds. Luckily, there are hundreds of ways you can tackle these pesky intruders. From getting rid of weeds without chemicals, or doing it the traditional way, you’ll find an option that will help keep your yard clear.

It’s Best to Be Prepared

HTA Spotlight

Beautiful weather and a warm climate are the norm in Florida, and we’re proud of that. In recent years, however, we’ve made the news during hurricane season as well. This can be a stressful time if you aren’t prepared. Read more so you can better prepare and go back to enjoying your sunny days.

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It’s Best to Be Prepared
 

HTA Spotlight

Preparing for a Hurricane

It can feel weird to plan for a hypothetical disaster, but it’s worth it to be prepared. In the event the worst happens, you’ll be glad you prepared. These simple tips can ease your mind in the event of a hurricane and make you feel ready for the storm.

1. Get a waterproof and fireproof safe. Keep your valuable and important documents secure from wind damage or flood waters. A safe is a worthwhile investment to keep your documents and valuables protected through any emergency.

2. Know your evacuation route. If it comes down to evacuating, you’re going to want to know where you’re going beforehand. Plan where you would go in the event of an evacuation and what route you would take. Save the details in your smartphone.

3. Document your valuables and property. Make a list of your valuables and their approximate worth. Take photos of them and your entire home. Remember your porch and cars, too. Keep these on your smartphone and also keep a printed copy in your safe or a safety deposit box. Documentation will be important for insurance purposes.

4. Make a preparedness kit. Before the season starts, gather necessities in case you lose power or need to leave. Stock up on non-perishables and water bottles. Be sure you have flashlights, extra batteries, cash, sneakers, and first aid supplies.

5. Sign up for emergency alerts. Learn what your city or neighborhood’s emergency alert system is and sign up for it. Most emergency systems will go through your smartphone or email.

To learn more about how you can prepare for hurricane season go to https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

Come Socialize
 

social

Join us on social media, through Facebook or Twitter, to stay updated, see pictures from the latest community event, and connect with neighbors. Our community page is also a great place to learn about sales specials and enter fun contests. Follow us today!

SafeHaven Insurance

Safe

Hometown America is proud to promote SafeHaven National Insurance Agency, specializing in coverage for manufactured homeowners and renters. Many companies are difficult to work with or do not write policies that provide adequate protection for prefabricated homes. Make sure you are dealing with an insurance company that offers competitively priced policies and the protections important to you. Visit SafeHaven online or call 1-800-536-8999 for a quote.

Travel

Travel icon

Must-See National Parks

Some of our country’s most beautiful sights are at our National Parks. There is one in every state, making it perfect for a weekend adventure or a nice vacation. Visit the National Parks Service to find a park in your state, or look at this list to discover the ones worthy of your bucket list.

E-Z Pay
 

E-Z Pay

Take the hassle out of making rent payments with Hometown America’s E-Z Pay. With E-Z Pay, your lot rent will be automatically deducted from your bank account on the third of each month. New sign-ups earn a $10 credit.

 
 

Entertainment & Leisure

Arts

Want to Try Podcasts?

If you miss the days of radio or quality programming, you need to check out Podcasts! It’s a lot like radio, except there is a wide variety of topics and you can listen whenever you want. Review this guide to learn how to tune in, even for free. Be sure to read Time’s Best Podcast’s list to find a podcast that fits you.