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Divorce and Inheritance Rights in Florida

Uncategorized Nov 8, 2019
post about Divorce and Inheritance Rights in Florida

If you are divorced, can you still inherit from your ex-spouse under his or her Florida will? How does divorce affect inheritance rights in Florida? What if an ex-spouse is a beneficiary named in the decedent’s Florida will? Does it matter if my ex-wife wrote her will before we got married rather than during our marriage?  How can divorce affect an inheritance? Did you know that getting a divorce could have a substantial effect on your inheritance rights in Florida? Palm Beach probate lawyers know that certain probate statutes limit the inheritance rights of ex-spouses in Florida. Frequently, trust and estates litigators, like the lawyers here at Pankauski Hauser, encounter cases involving ex-spouses who believe they should be inheriting what had been left to them in a will that was written during their marriage. Is that ex-spouse entitled to inherit from his or her former spouse’s Florida will even though they got a divorce? This answer can prove to be tricky, and it depends on several factors. For example, one factor to be considered is whether the will was created BEFORE the marriage or DURING the marriage. Therefore, if you are getting a divorce in West Palm Beach or anywhere in Florida, you may wish to speak to your divorce lawyers and estate lawyers about this. You may also wish to read Florida Statute 732.507(2). What is Florida Statute 732.507? If you are the ex-spouse of a decedent, and you are named in the decedent’s Florida will, you may still be out […]

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Stalking in Florida and Email Evidence

Uncategorized Oct 31, 2019
post about Stalking in Florida and Email Evidence

What is stalking? How can you obtain a stalking injunction against someone? Do you need a Florida lawyer to help you obtain a stalking injunction? What do emails and stalking have to do with each other? Can email be used as evidence to prove stalking? Stalking and Florida Probate Litigation Florida probate attorneys, like those at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, know that disputes over inheritances can become intense. Frequently, probate lawyers who handle litigation witness family members “fight” in the courts over money and property. This can lead to nasty texts and emails being sent between siblings and/or beneficiaries. As John Pankauski states in his book Probate Litigation: Top 10 Probate Mistakes Revealed, “your family is going to fight over your wealth: when you’re gone and- perhaps- while you’re still alive.”  Sibling rivalries or family disputes can escalate, and injunctions for protection against stalking can end up being filed. Stalking in Florida According to Florida Statute 784.048(2), stalking occurs when a person “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person. You may wonder what the definition of “harass” is according to the Florida Statutes. To harass means to “engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.” §784.048(1)(a), Fla. Stat. Is someone stalking you in West Palm Beach or Boca Raton? Are you involved in Palm Beach litigation where the person you are suing has started harassing you? Do you have a crazy neighbor […]

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Does the Florida Appellate Court Have Jurisdiction Over the Appeal of Your Probate Order?

Uncategorized Oct 29, 2019
post about Does the Florida Appellate Court Have Jurisdiction Over the Appeal of Your Probate Order?

Do you need to appeal a judgment in Florida? When do you need a West Palm Beach appellate attorney? What do appeals have to do with my Florida probate case? What are the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure? What is Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.170? You may want to read a recent Third DCA opinion, Maercks v. Maercks, to learn more about Florida probate appeals. Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.170 (b) Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.170(b) discusses what Florida probate and guardianship orders are appealable. It is important to consider whether the Florida appellate courts can even hear an appeal regarding the order you disagree with. If you try to appeal an order that is not appealable, the appeal may be dismissed due to the appellate court’s lack of jurisdiction. An experienced Florida probate appellate attorney, like Rob Hauser, Esq. at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, can help you determine whether or not you can appeal a certain probate order. For a free consultation, call (561)514-0900 ext.101. Maercks v. Maercks Maercks . Maercks is a good example of a Florida appeal involving a probate order. Here, a will was admitted to probate. There was another document that the decedent had executed regarding the distribution of her assets. The personal representative, who was also a beneficiary, petitioned to have the second document admitted to probate as a codicil even though he had not included it initially. After the trial court admitted the codicil to probate, another beneficiary appealed. Did the […]

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Florida Probate Appeals and Jurisdiction

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2019
post about Florida Probate Appeals and Jurisdiction

What is a probate appeal? When do you need to hire a Florida appellate attorney? What probate orders are appealable? What should West Palm Beach probate lawyers know about Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.170? What happens if it is determined that a Florida appellate court does not have jurisdiction to hear a certain appeal? Florida Probate Litigation and Appeals Florida lawyers know that some probate cases can lead to an appeal. If you disagree with a final judgment, you may be able to file an appeal. There are certain probate orders that can also be appealed. If you win, the other side may appeal. Therefore, it’s important to anticipate the possibility of having to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney. Hiring a Florida Probate Lawyer If you are in the process of hiring a Florida probate litigation firm, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both estate litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider the possibility of an appeal being filed. However, in the probate world, appeals do occur. What if you win your Florida probate case and the other side decides to appeal? You need to make sure you have a powerful appellate attorney, who is knowledgeable about both the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Florida Probate Rules, ready to assist. At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, one of the law partners, Robert Hauser, has been named a Board Certified Specialist by The Florida Bar […]

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Surviving Spouse Rights: Inheriting Homestead Property in Florida

Uncategorized Oct 17, 2019
post about Surviving Spouse Rights: Inheriting Homestead Property in Florida

Do surviving spouses in Florida have inheritance rights? What inheritance rights do surviving spouses have? Can my wife give her house to someone else in her Florida will or trust? Can my husband leave me and our minor children nothing? What do spousal rights have to do with Palm Beach probate litigation? Can my spouse of twenty years leave all of his money to his children from a prior marriage? If I am a surviving spouse, should I hire a Florida probate litigation lawyer? What am I entitled to? What happens to the homestead? Palm Beach Surviving Spouse Inheritance Rights In Florida, a surviving spouse may have rights to property of a deceased spouse. As In re Estate of Magee discusses, there are statutory minimum benefits that must be provided for families regardless of the decedent’s intent. What are these benefits? Homestead, elective share, and family allowances are three of the main rights of surviving spouses in Florida. With that being said, these rights can be waived by a prenuptial agreement. Did you sign away your Florida inheritance rights? Talk to an experienced Florida inheritance lawyer to learn exactly what you, as a surviving spouse in Florida, are entitled to inherit. Florida Statute 732.401 This important statute describes the descent of homestead in Florida. If you are a surviving spouse in West Palm Beach or Boca Raton, you definitely want to read this statute if there is a homestead property involved. Your Florida probate attorney should also be very familiar with this statute to ensure that you do not […]

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Extensions of Time in Florida Probate Cases

Uncategorized Oct 8, 2019
post about Extensions of Time in Florida Probate Cases

Can deadlines be extended in your Florida probate lawsuit? What can you do if you need more time to file an answer to a motion in your trust litigation case? If a Florida Statute provides a deadline, how seriously should that deadline be taken? What should my Florida probate lawyer know about filing a timely homestead election in a West Palm Beach or Miami inheritance case? How can an experienced probate lawyer help to ensure that I do not miss important deadlines? Hiring a Probate Litigation Lawyer in Florida In the probate world, there are many deadlines that must be met. In order to know all of these deadlines, your Florida probate lawyer must be very familiar with the Florida Statutes and Probate Code. Furthermore, your probate lawyer must know the rules of the Florida probate courts. How do you choose a lawyer who knows all of this? You should consider hiring a probate or trust law firm that specializes in Florida probate matters. If you choose a probate-focused firm, like Pankauski Hauser Lazarus PLLC, your lawyers are constantly handling probate issues and meeting probate deadlines. Therefore, they will be especially knowledgeable about the statutes pertaining to your Florida probate lawsuit. Secondly, you should choose an estate lawyer or probate litigator who is experienced. For example, the law partners at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus have over 20 years of experience practicing Florida law. Florida Deadlines and Probate Litigation In certain situations, deadlines can be extended in your Florida probate case. For […]

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Florida Probate Appeals and Homestead Property

Uncategorized Sep 25, 2019
post about Florida Probate Appeals and Homestead Property

When do I need an appellate lawyer in Florida? What type of appeals may you encounter if you are involved in Florida probate litigation? Did you know that the other side in your lawsuit may file an appeal if they disagree with the trial court’s decision? Why should I hire an appellate attorney who also does probate litigation for my probate appeal? Hiring a Florida Probate Lawyer If you are in the process of hiring a Florida probate litigation firm, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both estate litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider the possibility of an appeal being filed. However, in the probate world, appeals do occur. What if you win your Florida probate case and the other side decides to appeal? You need to make sure you have a powerful appellate attorney, who is also knowledgeable about the Florida Probate Rules, ready to assist. At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, one of the law partners, Robert Hauser, has been named a Board Certified Specialist by The Florida Bar in Appellate Practice. Because our firm’s focus is litigation and appeals, our trust lawyers know what to do during trial to ensure that issues are preserved for appeal, if necessary. In addition, having focused trial lawyers and appellate lawyers in one firm is beneficial because you may save time and money during the appeal due to the fact that the firm is already familiar with your case. […]

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Surviving Spouse Inheritance Rights and Florida Homestead

Uncategorized Sep 25, 2019
post about Surviving Spouse Inheritance Rights and Florida Homestead

Does a surviving spouse have rights when it comes to inheritances? Can my wife or husband disinherit me and leave me nothing? If I am a surviving spouse, should I hire a West Palm Beach probate lawyer? What happens if my husband doesn’t include me in his Florida will or trust? Are there certain Florida Statutes I should be familiar with as a surviving spouse? What happens to my wife’s homestead property now that she has passed away? Can my husband’s adult children take away the house that I live in just because it was only in my husband’s name? Florida Surviving Spouse Rights In Florida, surviving spouses have inheritance rights to property of a deceased spouse.  In fact, there are statutory minimum benefits to ensure that surviving family members are provided for, regardless of the decedent’s intent.  What are these benefits? Homestead, elective share, and family allowances are three of the main inheritance rights of surviving spouses in Florida. Are there exceptions? As with almost every Florida law, there are exceptions. If a surviving spouse waived his or her inheritance rights in a prenuptial or other agreement, he or she may be out of luck. However, it never hurts to consult with a Florida probate lawyer to make sure that the inheritance rights or homestead rights were validly waived. Surviving Spouse and Homestead Florida Statute 732.401 explains that a surviving spouse in Florida takes a life estate in the homestead property UNLESS the surviving spouse elects to, instead, take an undivided one-half interest in the homestead as […]

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Florida Surviving Spouse Rights and The Importance of Timely Filings

Uncategorized Sep 25, 2019
post about Florida Surviving Spouse Rights and The Importance of Timely Filings

Has your wife or husband recently passed away in Florida? Are you a surviving spouse? Have you hired a West Palm Beach probate lawyer to help you get your inheritance? Did you know that surviving spouses in Florida have many valuable inheritance rights? If you are the surviving spouse in an inheritance dispute in Florida, you may want to read Florida Statute 732.401 and a March 15, 2019 Second DCA opinion, Samad v. Pla. Don’t Sit On Your Rights Florida probate lawyers know that surviving spouses in Florida have many inheritance rights. However, it is important to act on those rights, and act quickly. John Pankauski, managing law partner at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, always reminds prospective and current clients that the law doesn’t reward those who sit on their rights! In Florida probate proceedings, there are many deadlines that must be met. For example, surviving spouses must make certain elections within a certain time frame. In addition, objections or filings must be filed timely. In order to know the exact deadlines, you must be familiar with the Florida Statutes. This is why hiring an experienced probate or inheritance attorney, who handles probate matters all day every day, is a good idea. What happens if you miss a deadline? You may be out of luck! Florida Statute 732.401 Florida Statute 732.401 explains that a surviving spouse in Florida takes a life estate in the homestead property UNLESS the surviving spouse elects to, instead, take an undivided one-half interest in the homestead […]

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When is a Disclaimer of an Interest in a Florida Estate Invalid?

Uncategorized Sep 19, 2019
post about When is a Disclaimer of an Interest in a Florida Estate Invalid?

How can a person give up his or her inheritance rights in Florida? What can I do if my mom left me a house in a will and I don’t want to inherit it? Can I sign away my rights to an inheritance? When should I hire a Florida probate lawyer? What is a disclaimer of interest? if you are involved in a probate or trust dispute, you may want to read a January 23, 2019 Third DCA opinion, Lee v. Lee. Lee v. Lee Here, Nicole Lee disclaimed her interest in the decedent’s Florida estate. She did so by executing a document prepared by the personal representative’s attorney. This document was called ” Disclaimer of Interest in Property of Estate.” The disclaimer was properly witnessed and notarized. However, when the personal representative of the Florida estate filed a petition for discharge seeking distribution of the estate’s assets, Ms. Lee objected. She argued that the disclaimer she had executed was not valid. The probate court court determined that the disclaimer was not valid. The probate court explained that the disclaimer was legally insufficient under section 739.104(3) of the Florida Statutes and violative of the statute of frauds because the disclaimer did not identify the real property being disclaimed. Florida Statute 739.104(3) explains what is required for a Florida disclaimer of property to be effective. The following must be met: The disclaimer must be in writing The disclaimer must declare that the writing is a disclaimer The disclaimer must describe the […]

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