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Florida Probate Blog

Posts Tagged: probate

Undue Influence Florida

Written by on Sep 26, 2008| Posted in: Estate Litigation

UNDUE INFLUENCE FLORIDA Do I have a Case?  What Evidence Points to the Conclusion of Undue Influence? (Part One) If I had a nickel for each time a potential client or a referring probate administration attorney asked me this question, I’d retire today. The answer, of course, depends upon a careful examination of each individual case, and frequently the successful resolution of a probate dispute hinges upon the discovery of evidence (often medical and financial records) produced after a lawsuit has commenced. Generally, there are certain categories of evidence that I look for in order to prove undue influence and then the case develops and follows the facts that are discovered. Undue influence has been defined by Florida courts as conduct amounting to overpersuasion, duress, force, coercion, or artful or fraudulent contrivances to such a degree that the free agency and will power of the testator is destroyed. In re […]

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Florida Probate, Paternity and DNA

Written by on Sep 19, 2008| Posted in: Estate Litigation

FLORIDA PROBATE AND PATERNITY Wait! Don’t Throw that Away! Do A Decedent’s Next Of Kin Have A Protected Right In The Decedent’s Blood Samples, Tissue, Organs And Other Body Parts That Have Been Removed And Retained By A Coroner For Forensic Examination And Testing? I recently encountered a dispute in the context of a paternity proceeding in a probate estate as to who has the rights to a decedent’s blood samples that were drawn during an autopsy. The answer was critical to the establishment of my client as the decedent’s biological child and important in assessing all the parties’ ultimate rights to the Decedent’s Homestead Property. The Florida Supreme Court has never directly dealt with the issue, which implicates not just the parties involved in the dispute (in my case, the Decedent’s sister, was the Personal Representative and my client was the biological son attempting to establish paternity) but also […]

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Parents Inheriting from Children in Intestate Probate Estate

Written by on Sep 17, 2008| Posted in: General

Can a Parent Inherit from a Child Whom the Parent Did Not Support? An infant was born severely handicapped as a result of medical malpractice by doctors at birth. The doctors were sued and a judgment was entered against them for almost three million dollars, the bulk of which was placed in a trust for the child’s benefit. The child died on September 2, 2005. The child’s mother took care of her throughout her life and received funds from the trust to attend to the child’s needs. After the child’s death, her biological father sought half of the balance remaining in the trust under their state’s intestacy laws. The child’s mother argued that the father didn’t contribute to the child’s support during her life, and owed unpaid child support, and therefore shouldn’t be entitled to half of the remaining funds in the trust. Further, the child’s mother claimed that even […]

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Florida Probate and Child Support: Will Change to Avoid Child Support Obligations of Beneficiary

Written by on Sep 10, 2008| Posted in: Estate Litigation

Deadbeat Dad Can’t Use Last Mom’s Last Minute Will Change to Escape Payment to Ex-Wife: CALIFORNIA COURT USES CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST THEORY TO DEFEAT LAST MINUTE WILL CHANGE BY MOTHER INTENDED TO HELP SON AVOID CHILD SUPPORT LIEN ON HIS INHERITANCE. In an interesting opinion that could have implications in Florida, a California Appellate Court recently used the legal remedy of a constructive trust to allow a testator’s ex-wife to sue her ex-husband and his sister after they allegedly coerced their mother into changing her will just prior to her death, to give to her daughter the share of the estate given to her son in a prior will so that he could avoid child support obligations. In Cabral v. Soares, 69 Cal.Rptr.3d 242 (Ct.App.2007) Tammy Cabral, the Plaintiff, filed a Complaint alleging that as of November 2005 her ex husband James was delinquent in paying court-ordered spousal and child support […]

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