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Yearly Archives: 2016

Family Inheritances: Carrie Fisher’s Mom Dies One Day After Her

Uncategorized Dec 30, 2016
post about Family Inheritances: Carrie Fisher’s Mom Dies One Day After Her

CNN reports that Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher’s mom, passed away just one day after Carrie Fisher. Reynolds had complained of breathing problems and was struggling from the loss of her daughter. This has presumably been a tragic week for their family, especially for Billie Lourd, Fisher’s daughter. Will Lourd inherit everything from her mother’s estate? What will she inherit from her grandmother’s estate?

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Florida Estate and Trust Litigation: Is This in Your Firm’s Legal Services Contract with Your Clients?

Uncategorized Dec 29, 2016
post about Florida Estate and Trust Litigation: Is This in Your Firm’s Legal Services Contract with Your Clients?

A September 7, 2016 4th DCA legal malpractice case reminds us of what a “mandatory forum selection clause” is.  http://www.4dca.org/opinions/Sept.%202016/09-07-16/4D15-369.op.pdf.  Does your law firm’s legal services contract pre-select the venue, county and court, should there be a fee dispute, or any other type of litigation between your firm  and your clients–  such as being sued for professional negligence?  If you provide estate planning services for, say, a Connecticut resident, or other services, say, regarding non-Florida real estate, do you want to be sued in that non-Florida state?  Can you avoid this, and have any attorney-client disputes heard here, in Florida? 

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Probate Litigation: Star Wars Actress, Carrie Fisher, Has Passed Away

Uncategorized Dec 28, 2016
post about Probate Litigation: Star Wars Actress, Carrie Fisher, Has Passed Away

Carrie Fisher, best known for playing the role of Princess Leia on Star Wars, has passed away at only 60 years old. She suffered a cardiac emergency while in an airplane traveling. Although she was transported to a hospital once the plane landed, the incident lead to her death. Who will inherit from her estate which is estimated to be worth anywhere from $5 million to $25 million? Did she have a will? In 2014, Forbes magazine reported that, surprisingly, 51% of Americans between age 55 and 64 do NOT have a will. An April 27,2016 Forbes article states that ,”according to a 2015 Rocket Lawyer survey, 64% of Americans in general don’t have a will.” However, considering her wealth and fame, hopefully, she had at least a simple estate plan.

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Woman Creates Fake Will For Deep Water Horizon Survivor So That Her Daughter Inherits Over a Million Dollars

Uncategorized Dec 28, 2016
post about Woman Creates Fake Will For Deep Water Horizon Survivor So That Her Daughter Inherits Over a Million Dollars

Matthew Seth Jacobs was a survivor of the tragic 2010 Gulf of Mexico Explosion, which killed 11 people. He was part of a class action suit which ended in a multi-million dollar settlement. After, Jacobs was killed in a car crash last year, Donna Herring allegedly decided to create a fake will for Jacobs so that her daughter would inherit his wealth. What happens if you are caught committing probate fraud? Will the probate lawyers for Jacob’s estate be able to prove that the will is invalid? Although this case is not in a Florida probate court, West Palm Beach attorneys frequently handle cases with similar fact patterns.

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Robert J. Hauser, Partner at Pankauski Hauser PLLC, is Listed in Super Lawyer’s 2016 Annual Directory (Business Edition)

Uncategorized Dec 22, 2016
post about Robert J. Hauser, Partner at Pankauski Hauser PLLC, is Listed in Super Lawyer’s 2016 Annual Directory (Business Edition)

Super Lawyer’s 2016 Annual Directory (Business Edition) includes Pankauski Hauser PLLC partner and appellate specialist Robert J. Hauser. This directory consists of the nation’s top attorneys in business practice areas from the Super Lawyers list. Mr.Hauser is recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in Appellate Practice. He has been practicing in West Palm Beach since 1997, and has been board certified by the Florida Bar in appellate practice since 2009.

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Widow Loses Her Probate Battle to Inherit From Millionaire Husband

Uncategorized Dec 22, 2016
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An inheritance/estate battle in France has been reported about by many media sources. Sandrine Devillard, the widow of Marcel Amphoux, challenged a will that was written on an envelope. This will said that she would not inherit from her wealthy husband’s estate. The Daily Mail reports that Amphoux was a French hermit who lived in a hut with no electricity and no teeth. When beautiful Devillard from Paris, who was 25 years younger than Amphoux, married him, rumors stirred questioning whether it was legitimate or whether Devillard was after his wealth. When the will appeared ,which kept Amphoux’s fortune from his widow, Devillard tried to argue that it wasn’t her husbands hand writing. However, the court decided that it WAS valid. Although this inheritance dispute was not a Florida probate matter, Palm Beach trust and estates lawyers frequently encounter similar cases. What makes a will valid? In Florida, would this will have been a valid will?

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Divorce, Marital Settlements, and Probate: On December 18, 2016, Zsa Zsa Gabor Passed Away

Uncategorized Dec 21, 2016
post about Divorce, Marital Settlements, and Probate: On December 18, 2016, Zsa Zsa Gabor Passed Away

On December 18,2016, Zsa Zsa Gabor passed away of heart failure. She was best known for her life in the spotlight, especially during the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Although she began her celebrity “career” as a performer, she seemed to maintain her celebrity status by simply being an American icon and socialite. Who will inherit from her presumably large estate? Did she have a solid estate plan in place? Planning her estate may not have been simple. It probably required assistance from an experience estate planning attorney. CNN reports that she was married nine times, divorced seven , and had one marriage annulled.  How could this affect her estate and who inherits? What do prenuptial agreements(prenups) and divorce a have to do with inheritance disputes? Did she have a spouse at the time of her death?

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Florida Inheritance Laws and Charitable Trusts: Jeopardy Contestant Dies of Cancer Before the Show Airs

Uncategorized Dec 20, 2016
post about Florida Inheritance Laws and Charitable Trusts: Jeopardy Contestant Dies of Cancer Before the Show Airs

Fox News reports about a jeopardy contestant, Cindy Stowell, who, unfortunately, died of cancer before her episodes aired. She won $80,002 so far and will compete again on the episode tonight, December 20,2016. Her winnings were kept a secret because the show hadn’t aired. Will her friends and family inherit this money? Will it go to her estate?

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Does Fidel Castro Have a $900 Million Estate? If so, Who Will Inherit?

Uncategorized Dec 16, 2016
post about Does Fidel Castro Have a $900 Million Estate? If so, Who Will Inherit?

Fidel Castro, best known as Cuba’s former president and communist dictator, died on November 26, 2016.  Forbes reported that Fidel Castro’s net worth could have been $900 million. However, when the original article stating this figure was published in 2006, Castro denied that he had this wealth. In fact, he claimed that he was living off around $50.00 per week. What was he really worth? Who will inherit from his estate? Will they inherit nothing or $900 million? Who are his heirs?

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