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Miami Probate Lawyers Zoom to Courthouse

Uncategorized Jan 20, 2021
post about Miami Probate Lawyers Zoom to Courthouse

Wondering how Miami probate lawyers are helping clients in 2021 during the pandemic? Not to worry. While in-person appearances are rare in the Miami Dade probate court today, Miami probate lawyers may attend court hearings from their office. All they need to do is Zoom !https://zoom.us/ Florida Probate Courts Adjust to Law In a Pandemic. Probate courts in Florida are probably some of the busiest in the nation ! After all, Florida is a large state, filled with wealthy residents, who continue to retire and move to the Sunshine State. Not only do Florida probate courts handle estates of deceased residents, but they also handle trust lawsuits and guardianships. Lots of work. So, you may be wondering how work can get done on a Florida estate or trust during the Covid-19 pandemic. Well, Florida courts, including the Miami probate court, have adjusted very well, and very quickly. One way that Miami probate lawyers have continued to help their clients with estates, probates and trusts is by attending hearings by Zoom. Yes, even though most probate courts https://www.miami-dadeclerk.com/clerk/probate-court.page have limited in-person appearances, many probate court judges in Miami Dade County permit hearings via Zoom— a videoconference, online platform that permits hearings, testimony, witnesses and the presentation of documents and other evidence. For Miami Dade probate forms, click here: https://www.jud11.flcourts.org/Probate-Smart-Forms Zoom Video Conferences in Miami Probates. And while Miami probate lawyers are content to attend court hearings via their computer, probate litigators are still going to court for in-person trials. “I had […]


Prenup Trials in Florida Probates

Uncategorized Jan 18, 2021
post about Prenup Trials in Florida Probates

Prenup trials are not always during life. That’s right, many times heirs and the personal representative of a Florida probate will have a prenup trial about the validity or terms of a prenuptial agreement. A December 18, 2020 opinion on prenup trials from Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeal https://www.5dca.org/ dealing with summary judgment reminds Florida probate lawyers about interpreting a prenup. How Do You Interpret Florida Prenups? The case of Baldwin v. Harris https://www.5dca.org/content/download/695652/opinion/192791_DC08_12182020_084856_i.pdf reminds probate lawyers in Florida how to interpret prenuptial agreements. Is a Florida prenup valid? Well, a prenuptial agreement in Florida is interpreted like a contract — because it is a contract. If a contract or prenuptial agreement is clear and unambiguous, it must be read without any testimony or other evidence — often referred to by Florida probate litigators as “parole” or “extrinsic” evidence. In that case, the Florida probate judge simply reads the prenup and tells you what it says. Getting What You Are Owed. Prenups can create obligations which can only be satisfied in a Florida probate. How? Well, some prenups provide for a distribution or inheritance to the other spouse upon death. Remember: Florida prenups may be effective upon divorce or death. If you are owed something when your spouse passed away, you may have to go to probate if the Personal Representative of the Estate, or the Trustee of the decedent’s Revocable Trust, won’t pay. Do you know how to navigate those legal waters to try to avoid a prenup […]


Keeping Your Personal Finances Confidential in a Miami Lawsuit

Uncategorized Jan 17, 2021
post about Keeping Your Personal Finances Confidential in a Miami Lawsuit

If you are involved in a Miami lawsuit, does your Miami litigation law firm know how to keep your personal finances confidential? A January 13, 2021 opinion from the Third District Court of Appeal https://www.3dca.flcourts.org/ reminds Miami lawyers, especially Miami probate lawyers, how to protect one’s private personal finances in the middle of litigation, even probate litigation. And, this Miami Dade appellate court opinion also reminds us what the law is when the other side wants to see your personal finances. https://www.3dca.flcourts.org/content/download/700566/opinion/201459_DC03_01132021_110929_i.pdf Discovery. Can one party to a lawsuit issue a subpoena or a request for production under the rules of civil procedure including Fla. R. Civ. Proc. 1.350 https://www-media.floridabar.org/uploads/2020/08/ADA-0-Civil-Procedure-Rules-Updated-8-18-2020.pdf to a party or non-party and get to see all your personal finances? Are you even comfortable showing them your tax returns, financial statements, loans, investments? Must you? Well the Miami-Dade appeals court case of Thomas v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co. reminds us that many times your personal finances are confidential. What’s the Test to Get Financial Information?: In Miami probate matters, where there is a will contest or an undue influence case, many times, one side wants to see all of your personal finances. But in Florida, our courts recognize that such data is private and typically kept secret. While the rules of discovery in probate lawsuits, and, indeed most lawsuits, are wide, your Miami lawyer must be careful regarding personal financial data. There is a “heightened standard” to get to see all that information. The requesting party […]


Civil Contempt, Sanctions and Miami Lawsuits

Uncategorized Jan 17, 2021
post about Civil Contempt, Sanctions and Miami Lawsuits

If you are involved in a Miami lawsuit and you hear the word “contempt” or “sanctions“, that is not a good thing. A recent 3rd District Court of Appeal opinion from January 13, 2021 reminds all Miami trial lawyers about this sensitive subject. If you were found in contempt, one question which you have no doubt asked your Miami litigation law firm is: “Can I appeal this order of contempt?” Has an order of civil contempt been filed against you in a Miami lawsuit? If so, have you spoken to a Florida appellate attorney about seeking a writ of certiorari before Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal? A writ of certiorari is a “request” by a litigant, non-party, or party, asking the appeals court to review a trial court’s order. A recent, January 13, 2021 opinion from the appeals court for Miami-Dade reminds us of one important tenet of Florida law that most Miami business litigators know: “A party cannot be held in contempt for non-compliance with a court order if there party did not have the present ability to comply with the court order.” This quote is from the case of Children’s Home Society of Florida v. K.W., et al. You can read the entire opinion here: https://www.3dca.flcourts.org/content/download/700561/opinion/200569_DC03_01132021_105250_i.pdf A trial judge may enter an order of contempt for parties that don’t comply with court orders. Sanctions in a Miami lawsuit are a related but different concept of punishment. A sanction is assessed against a party for doing bad things. […]


Miami Business Lawsuit & LLCs– recent appeals case re judgment creditor

Uncategorized Jan 16, 2021
post about Miami Business Lawsuit & LLCs– recent appeals case re judgment creditor

Are you involved in a Miami business lawsuit? If you won your case, do you know how to get paid from your defendant? A January 13, 2021 appeals court opinion from Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal https://www.3dca.flcourts.org/reminds Miami business litigation lawyers about judgment creditors and Florida LLCs. If you are a Miami business owner involved in a lawsuit, what can you learn from this case which had a $30 Million judgment? Let’s say that you won your business lawsuit and you got a judgment against your defendant. And your defendant is an investor in some Florida limited liability companies. Now, you want your Miami business litigation attorney to explain how you get paid. Florida business lawyers would describe you as a “judgment creditor.” How do you get your judgment “satisfied” after the Miami business trial ? Is it possible to obtain or get the other side’s units or interests in those limited liability companies? Well, start reading Florida law on judgment creditors and Florida limited liability companies. You can read all about the Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act, or Chapter 605, by clicking this link: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0600-0699/0605/0605ContentsIndex.html In the recent case of Ramos v. Mississippi Real Estate Dispositions, LLC, from the Miami Appeal Court, there was actually a charging order regarding Membership Units or shares of a multi-member limited liability company. Could the judgment creditor, with a $30 Million judgment, get those LLC units or interests or shares? The trial court for the business lawsuit in Miami-Dade County entered […]


Do You Need Legal Representation in Your Miami Guardianship Case?

Uncategorized Dec 20, 2020
post about Do You Need Legal Representation in Your Miami Guardianship Case?

Are you involved in Miami guardianship litigation? Are you a family member trying to become the guardian or prevent someone from being guardian? If you understand the difference between an “elder law attorney” and a serious guardianship trial lawyer, you are on your way to understanding Florida guardianship law! http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0744/0744.html Adults Guardianships in Miami At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, we handle many guardianship cases throughout Florida. When people hear the word ” guardianship”, they tend to think of minors. However, our firm handles guardianships over adults, not minors. Adult guardianships in Florida are frequently filed by friends or family members who believe that someone is incapacitated and can’t care for him or herself. For example, a daughter may choose to file for guardianship of her mom who is struggling from severe Alzheimer’s or dementia. In certain circumstances, adults may be deemed incompetent, or in need of a guardian, if a disability or mental illness is preventing them from being able to carry out daily life tasks and/or make financial decisions. Miami guardianship lawyers know that guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in Dade County or anywhere in Florida, you should refer to this chapter of the Florida Statutes. You should also consider interviewing an experienced Miami guardianship lawyer. Types of Adult Guardianship in Miami There are different types of adult guardianships in Florida. Your Florida lawyer can tell you that there are limited guardianships and plenary guardianships. A limited guardianship allows […]


Divorce and Inheritance Rights in Florida

Uncategorized Dec 17, 2020
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 […]


Miami Guardianship Litigation and the Removal of Rights

Uncategorized Dec 16, 2020

If I am subject to a guardianship in Miami, does that mean I do not have the right to make any decisions for myself? What rights can a guardianship take away from a person deemed incapacitated in Florida? What is a ward in a Florida guardianship? Can a ward get married? Can a ward vote? Can a ward hire his or her own attorney? Guardianships are serious as certain rights can be taken away from a person deemed incapacitated. If you are considering petitioning for guardianship over someone, you may wat to read Florida Statute 744.3215. Florida Statute 744.3215 This Florida statute is very important as it outlines the rights a person determined incapacitated retains and which rights can be removed. Here are rights that can be removed by a guardianship court in Florida: 1) right to marry 2) right to enter into a contract 3) right to vote 4) right to personally apply for government benefits 5) right to have a driver license 6) right to travel 7) right to seek or retain employment 4) right to sue and defend lawsuits 5) right to manage property or to make any gift or disposition of property 6) right to determine his or her residence 7) right to consent to medical and mental health treatment 8) right make decisions about his or her social environment or other social aspects of his or her life. Some of these rights may be removed in their entirety, while others are removed from the incapacitated person but […]


Florida Trust Lawsuits and Attorney-Client Privilege

Uncategorized Dec 15, 2020
post about Florida Trust Lawsuits and Attorney-Client Privilege

What is attorney-client privilege? What does attorney- client privilege have to do with a Florida trust lawsuit? What should I know about attorney-client privilege if I am involved in West Palm Beach litigation? Can the other side request documents directly from my Florida trust lawyer? Can a Florida trial court compel my probate law firm to disclose records of a trust or estate? Attorney-Client Privilege and Discovery Disputes regarding attorney-client privilege may occur during a Florida trust or probate lawsuit. This is because, during inheritance litigation, trust beneficiaries, and other party’s to the lawsuit, usually have their Florida lawyer conduct extensive discovery. During discovery, a party to a trust lawsuit may request the disclosure of financial documents. A party may also try to request other documents from the law firm that represents the trustee or opposing party, including email communications, internal notes about the case, etc. Can a Florida law firm just hand over documents to the other side without the consent of his or her client? Florida Statute 90.502 Attorney-Client Privilege can prove to be a very valuable privilege during litigation. It can protect you from having to disclose certain confidential information. It is important that you become familiar with your rights regarding attorney-client privilege. Your West Palm Beach trust attorney should be able to inform you about attorney client-privilege. In addition, you should read Florida Statute 90.502. This is the Florida statute that attorney-client privilege is governed by. Per the statute, as a client, you have “a privilege […]


Florida Family Law and Inheritances: If I Inherit a Car During My Marriage, Will It be Classified As A Marital Asset If I Get Divorced?

Uncategorized Dec 13, 2020
post about Florida Family Law and Inheritances: If I Inherit a Car During My Marriage, Will It be Classified As A Marital Asset If I Get Divorced?

Have you inherited a trust or vehicle from a Florida estate? Were you married at the time you received an inheritance in Florida? What happens if your mom passes away in Miami and leaves you a car prior to a divorce? What does Florida probate law have to do with Miami family law cases? When do I need to hire a Miami civil appellate attorney? Hiring Miami Litigators and Appellate Lawyers If you are in the process of hiring a Florida law firm to assist you with Miami probate litigation, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both 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 a trust or divorce lawsuit and the other side decides to appeal? You will want to make sure you have an appellate attorney, who is knowledgeable about the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure and familiar with the Florida appeals courts. 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. Florida’s Equitable Distribution Statute and Inheritances If you want to know what is considered to be a marital asset in Florida, you should read Florida’s equitable distribution statute. The statute provides the following in part: (a) 1. “Marital assets and liabilities” include: a. Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during […]


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