A 55+ Community in Melbourne, Florida

July- August 2018

Edition No. 15

Welcome!

The best way to stay up-to-date on current events and information regarding Lakes of Melbourne is to subscribe to the newsletter. We publish every other month, and subscribers get an email blast when the latest one is ready.

Learn about community happenings, see upcoming events, and read articles of interest on a wide range of topics. If you’re new to our publication, click here to subscribe now. If you are missing email notifications from us, please check your spam folder.

Manager's Corner
 

John

As the song (from 1958) goes: It’s summertime summertime sum sum summertime! Read more to see what’s happening this season at the Lakes of Melbourne.

×

Manager's Corner

John

As the song (from 1958) goes:
It’s summertime summertime sum sum summertime!

Summertime at Lakes of Melbourne means less traffic, as our Northern friends have, well, traveled north. This gives us a chance to complete many important projects around the community. Jeff has been doing a terrific job painting the street lines, curbs, speed humps, and stop bars. (Be sure to thank him if you see him around.)

For residents, summer is the perfect time to relax at the beach or by the pool. Please keep in mind our pool rules are posted for you and your guests. As you welcome visitors, please make parking arrangements for additional vehicles, and remind guests of the posted 15mph speed limit. Also, be sure to let your visitors know that we have new model homes available and new homes undergoing construction every month. They may want to join in on our beautiful community year-round. Don’t forget to ask Rick (our salesperson) about the resident referral program!

Enjoy the summer!

-John

Resident Spotlight
 

Resident Spotlight

Our current resident spotlight lands on Wes and Bobbie Robbins! Click below to learn more about our friendly neighbors, who originally hailed from South Bend, Indiana.

×

Resident Spotlight

Resident Spotlight

Resident Spotlight: Roberta (Bobbie) and Wesley (Wes) Robbins

The Robbins moved into Lakes of Melbourne in March of 2010 from South Bend, Indiana. Wes has a PhD from the University of Chicago and was a professor of philosophy at Indiana University in South Bend. He was formerly the editor of The Chatter, the Lakes of Melbourne HOA newsletter, and he currently writes and photographs the restaurant reviews for the HTA newsletter. (We all love those!)

Bobbie is a CPA and previously held the position of Lakes of Melbourne HOA treasurer for a few years. Both Wes and Bobbie enjoy traveling and visit Maggie Valley, North Carolina annually.

When you see them around the community, be sure to say hi!

Food

Food icon

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!

Open Mike's Review

Microphone

Open Mike’s is a local coffee house and live entertainment venue known for their coffee, which they roast in house. Read more for Wes Robbins’ full review of this cool location, formerly a music and record store for 40 years.

×

Open Mike's Review

Microphone

Open Mike’s is a coffee house and live entertainment venue located at the intersection of Babcock and Route 1. The establishment was a music and record store for 40 years.

Open Mike’s is known for their coffee, which they roast in house. They are open for lunch every day at 11 a.m., except Sundays, and have an extensive menu of appetizers, panini sandwiches, tacos, flatbreads, and desserts. Monday through Saturday evenings, from 7 to 10 p.m., they offer live entertainment ranging from blues, jazz, and rock music to stand-up comedy.

I have been to Open Mike’s twice now, once in the mid-afternoon for coffee and a muffin and now for lunch. The coffee was so good that my wife and I bought a bag so we could fix some at home. They have several different blends available in-store and online.

For lunch, my friend and I started with their homemade guacamole and chips. They were excellent. I had a glass of their cold, nitrogen-infused coffee. The waitress told me that it tasted like stout. She was right. It was very good.

We both had paninis, served with a sizable amount of potato chips. Both sandwiches were excellent. Mine was turkey with cranberries, gorgonzola, and organic spinach.

The ambience is very laid back. Seating includes cafe tables and couches spread around the room. A lot of artwork is on display. It’s an interesting and fun place to browse.

If you are looking for a lunch/coffee shop that is casual and a bit avant-garde, I highly recommend Open Mike’s.

- Article by Wes Robbins

Florida Estate Procedures

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.

×

Florida Estate Procedures

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 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.

FPL Rate Reduction

FPL

Florida Power & Light customers saw a decrease in rates, which began March 1. FPL’s typical customer bill decreased by $3.35 a month and is approximately 30 percent lower than the national average. This decrease includes the end of surcharge for Hurricane Matthew restoration, retirement of a major coal plant, and cost for FPL’s four new solar power plants.

Your Health

Health icon

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!

Assignment of Benefits

Fraud alert

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.

×

Assignment of Benefits

Fraud alert

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.

×

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.

It's Best to Be Prepared

IHTA 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.

×

It's Best to Be Prepared
 

IHTA 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.

Home & Garden

Fence icon

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.

Come Socialize
 

Facebook / Twitter

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!

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.

SafeHaven Insurance

SafeHaven Insurance

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.

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.

 
 
 

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.