client portal
  • Blue Forbes logo
  • AVVO 10.0
  • Top 100 Lawyers badge
  • Daily Business Review Newspaper
  • Legal Elite 2012 Badge
  • Top Rated Lawyers
  • The American Lawyer, Adrian Philip Thomas

Florida Probate Blog

Yearly Archives: 2012

Florida Marchman Act

Written by on Feb 21, 2012| Posted in: Estate Litigation

With the recent death of Whitney Houston, there has been a heightened awareness of substance abuse and more importantly how pervasive this problem is in all walks of society. Addiction knows no barriers, whether they are social, racial or economic.

read more

Estate Law Florida

Written by on Feb 20, 2012| Posted in: General

Estate Law Florida What is “estate” law? From a lawyer’s perspective, the term “estate” refers to many different things. Gross Estate The Internal Revenue Service uses the term “gross estate” to mean every asset in which a decedent had an ownership interest on his or her date of death.  This includes real estate, life insurance, bank accounts, stocks, etc.  If a decedent dies with significant wealth, his estate is subject to an “estate tax” and the attorney will need to prepare a Federal Estate Tax Return, form 706. Probate Estate The term “probate estate” refers only to those assets owned by the decedent in his or her sole name.  Some decedents have nothing subject to probate, some have a few assets subject to probate, and other decedents have all of their assets subject subject to probate. Trust Estate If a decedent had a revocable or “living” trust, then the assets […]

read more

Gainesville Wrongful Death Crash Lawyer

Written by on Jan 30, 2012| Posted in: General

Personal Injury Gainesville, Florida crashes:  Interstate 75 Alachua County.    In a series of overnight accidents in northern Florida, blamed on poor visibility from smoke from a nearby brush fire, authorities said at least ten people were killed in the crashes.  Most of the collisions were on Interstate 75, in Northern Florida according to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Crashes also occurred on U.S. Highway 441 near Gainesville, Florida.  The National Weather Service in Jacksonville had issued a dense smoke advisory due to nearby fires which cut visibility to less than a mile. Car crashes, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, and other tragic events that form the basis of many personal injury lawsuits in Florida.  Where death is involved, they usually include the filing of a claim for damages resulting from the victim’s wrongful death against the negligent person.   Damages based upon wrongful death can include a wide variety of things, from seeking […]

read more

Jury Trials in Probate

Written by on Jan 26, 2012| Posted in: Probate Litigation

Jury Trials in Probate  Our firm regularly demands jury trials in probate matters.  There are a variety of reasons for doing so, including the simple fact that it is a constitutional right of all citizens to preserve and guarantee a trial by jury in all proceedings.  Also important is the fact that jury trials are vital to maintaining the public’s confidence and trust in our judicial system.  The value of jury trials in probate has become even more critical with the dramatic decline in the number of jury trials in recent years. One of the evolving and developing areas of the law that assists probate litigators in providing access to jury trials is the theory of liability founded in what is referred to as “tortious interference with an inheritance” or “intentional interference with an expectancy.”   Our firm regularly handles these cases on behalf of relatives who have been victimized by […]

read more

Breach of Trust

Written by on Jan 20, 2012| Posted in: Trust Litigation

REMEDIES FOR BREACH OF TRUST A trustee of a trust has several duties and obligations to the beneficiaries in administering a trust, including but not limited to: administering the trust in good faith, in accordance with its terms and purposes (Fla.Stat. §736.0801); a duty of loyalty and to administer the trust solely in the interests of the beneficiaries (Fla.Stat. §736.0802); the trustee shall act impartially in administering the trust property giving due regard to the respective interests of multiple beneficiaries (Fla. Stat. §736.0803); in administering a trust, the trustee shall only incur expenses that are reasonable in relation to the trust property, the purposes of the trust and the skills of the trustee (Fla. Stat. §736.0805); a trustee shall keep clear, distinct, and accurate records of the administration of the trust (Fla. Stat. §736.0810); a trustee shall keep the qualified beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed of the trust and […]

read more

Notice of Administration in Florida

Written by on Jan 13, 2012| Posted in: Probate Litigation

Notice of Administration in Florida Probate The Notice of Administration is a formal document that notifies all interested parties of the death of the decedent, the filing of the last will and testament for probate, and that an objection to the validly of the will and the probate proceedings must be filed within a certain period of time or be forever barred. The recipient of a Notice of Administration may have a variety of legal bases (e.g., Lack of Mental Capacity, Undue Influence, Duress, Intentional Interference with an Expectancy, and/or Improper Signing of the Will) to try to stop the administration of the estate or the challenge the validity of the Will.  If you receive a Notice of Administration informing you that you have a limited time-frame, the Notice provisions will override any deals, promises or assurances that if you don’t contest the will you will get your fair share.  So […]

read more

Florida Trustee: Duty of Impartiality

Written by on Jan 12, 2012| Posted in: Estate Litigation

THE TRUSTEE’S DUTY OF IMPARTIALITY WITH BENEFICIARIES OF A TRUST. Impartial – unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy.  Ambrose Bierce Recently, the problem of a trustee financially favoring one beneficiary over another presented itself.  In this case, the trustee was making distributions to one beneficiary without question, while denying the other beneficiary of similar distributions.  When this occurs, it is imperative that a competent attorney review the trust document and any amendments to the trust to determine if there exists any specific language allowing for the inequity in distribution.  If no such language exists, then the trustee has breached their fiduciary duty of impartiality to the beneficiaries of the trust. Florida Statute 736.0803 states that “[i]f a trust has two or more beneficiaries, the trustee shall act impartially in administering the trust property, giving due regard to the beneficiaries’ respective interests.” […]

read more

Florida Trust Termination

Written by on Jan 10, 2012| Posted in: Estate Litigation

Florida Trust Termination It is not uncommon for people to place real estate in a trust as part of their estate plan. What happens when the person dies and the real estate is unproductive or the value gets reduced?  Recently a client had a one-half interest in a trust that was to last for several years, the primary asset of which was a house.  The owner of the house wanted it to be available for his sibling to use after his death.  Unfortunately, the house had fallen behind in monthly dues with the homeowner’s association and was not used or lived in after the death of the owner.  Of course, expenses (such as property taxes and homeowner’s dues) needed to be paid and the homeowner’s association sued for past due bills. Fortunately, Florida law permits the Court to modify an irrevocable trust if not inconsistent with the settlor’s (the creator of […]

read more
Page 6 of 6123456

We can make a difference.
Call now for a complimentary consultation.
Toll Free 1-800-249-8125

Phone: (954) 764-7273
Fax: (954) 764-7274

Suntrust Center
515 East Las Olas Blvd, Suite 1050
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301