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Florida Probate Blog

Category: Uncategorized

Trust Revocation: No Magic Art is Necessary

Written by on Dec 27, 2016| Posted in: Uncategorized

The Uniform Trust Code §602(c) provides that a settlor may revoke or amend a revocable trust by substantial compliance with a method provided in the terms of the trust or by any method manifesting clear and convincing evidence of the settlor’s intent.   Section 736.0602(3) of the Florida Trust Code is identical to the Uniform Code with respect to the revocation of trusts.  What is Clear and Convincing Evidence?  Florida trust lawyers know that ‘clear and convincing evidence’ is evidence that is precise, explicit, lacking in confusion, and of such weight that it produces a firm belief or conviction, without hesitation, about the matter in issue. BDO Seidman, LLP v. Banco Espirito Santo International, 38 So.3d 874 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011).  The standard of proof has also been described as an intermediate standard of proof, more than the ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard used in most civil cases, and less than […]

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Can I fire my trustee

Written by on Jun 14, 2016| Posted in: Uncategorized

Over nearly 20 years, my law firm has received hundreds of phone calls asking – How can I fire my Trustee? or How can I remove my Trustee?  In Florida, getting rid of a Trustee is called a trustee removal action where a beneficiary seeks to remove a trustee of a trust, sometimes for reasons other times for no reason.  Florida Trust law contains specific statutes which address the removal of trustees. According to Florida Statute §736.0706, removal of a trustee may be sought by the settlor, a co-trustee, or any beneficiary.  In fact, a court may remove a trustee on its own. Grounds for removing a trustee include: a serious breach of trust, lack of cooperation among co-trustees substantially impairing the administration of the trust, and unfitness, unwillingness, or persistent failure of the trustee to effectively administer the trust.  The court may determine that removal of the trustee best […]

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Time Share Scam

Written by on Feb 5, 2015| Posted in: Uncategorized

It has come to our attention that an individual claiming to be Attorney Adrian Thomas is contacting people around the country about buying and selling time shares.  This is a SCAM.  Do not give this individual any information about you or about your bank accounts.  The man calling leaves a message that he is “Attorney Adrian Thomas” calling about timeshares and leaves the following callback numbers:  321-200-0097, 321-250-6903, 321-250-9121.  Directions are sent to send money to the Dominican Republic via Western Union.   The matter has been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Trade Commission.  If you are contacted by someone claiming to be Attorney Adrian Thomas about a timeshare, please provide this office with the information so we can pass it along to the FBI. If you have lost money through this scam, please log on to www.ic3.gov to file a complaint with the FBI. Thank you to those of you who took the […]

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Do I have a will contest case?

Written by on Oct 18, 2013| Posted in: Uncategorized

Florida is an ideal location for retirement.  Retirees from all over the country migrate to Florida to enjoy the beaches, laid-back lifestyle, seemingly endless entertainment options, favorable tax laws, and most of all, the weather.  Unfortunately, a surplus of elderly residents means plenty of targets for predatory relatives, friends or caretakers seeking to take advantage of the elderly. When elderly Floridians are preyed upon and unduly influenced or coerced into changing their estate plans, the attorneys at Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A. are ready to step in and make sure that the rights of family members and the true beneficiaries are protected.  We receive inquiries every day from potential clients who want to know, “Do I have a case?” Before our office can make that determination, we have to examine the facts.  Some of the relevant material that should be gathered in order to diligently scrutinize the case includes: All testamentary […]

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Standing in a Will Contest

Written by on Aug 30, 2013| Posted in: Uncategorized

Who can contest a will in Florida?   This is a common question among potential clients who believe that, due to fraud, duress, undue influence, or lack of capacity, a will being offered for probate is invalid.  In these situations, the reason for the will’s invalidity may be obvious; perhaps the decedent had Alzheimer’s Disease and couldn’t remember his own name on the date he executed and signed the will.  However, when the will document omits or significantly neglects children, spouses, or siblings of the decedent, does that mean those people can automatically file suit?  Who has standing to contest the validity of the will? The Fourth District Court of Appeals has recently filed an opinion which speaks to the issue of standing in will contests and highlights the importance of specifically articulating a petitioner’s right to sue in the initial complaint.  In Gordon v. Kleinman, 38 Fla. L. Weekly […]

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