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Yearly Archives: 2020

Do You Need Legal Representation in Your Miami Guardianship Case?

What We Do 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 Adult Guardianships in Miami-Dade 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. Sometimes they 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. Sometimes 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. Contested Guardianships 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 a guardian to handle […]

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Divorce and Inheritance Rights in Florida

What We Do Dec 17, 2020
post about Divorce and Inheritance Rights in Florida

Divorce and inheritances rights might seem that they don’t go together. But a divorce decree or marital settlement agreement affects property. And property is “probated” when one dies 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?  To read a FREE article written by Inheritance Attorney John Pankauski, Esquire on this topic, CLICK THIS LINK. Divorce Affects Florida Inheritances 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. For a FREE WEBINAR on Divorce and Inheritance Rights by John Pankauski, Esquire, CLICK HERE. Do Ex-Spouses Inherit? 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. What […]

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Miami Guardianship Litigation and the Removal of Rights

What We Do Dec 16, 2020

If I am subject of a guardianship in Miami, does that mean I do not have the right to make any decisions for myself? Miami guardianship litigation is serious business and it’s booming !! (for good or for ill, right?) What rights can a guardianship take away from a person deemed incapacitated in Florida? What is a ward in a Florida guardianship? All of these are good and serious questions which experienced Guardianship Litigators deal with in court every day. 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 want to read Florida Statute 744.3215. Florida Guardianship Law 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 […]

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Florida Trust Lawsuits and Attorney Client Privilege

Probate Information 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? A trustee may have a different “privilege” than the “executor” of the trust creator’s estate. What should I know about ACP if I am involved in a Florida Trust Lawsuit? 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? These are all issues which John Pankauski and his team of trust experts deal with each week. Attorney Client Privilege and Estate Planning Files Disputes regarding this matter 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. To read about serving as trustee of a Family Trust, consider this. Pankauski wrote the book on it. Pankauski’s Trustee’s Guide: 10 Steps to Family Trustee Excellence. During discovery, a party to a trust lawsuit may request the disclosure of financial documents. Or your mom or dad’s estate planning file. After all, don’t you want to see what they were talking to people about ? And you probably want to see notes on their estate plan. A party may also try to request other documents from the law firm that represents the trustee or opposing party. This may include email communications, internal notes about the case, etc. Can a Florida law firm just […]

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Florida Family Law and Inheritances: do I inherit from my ex?

FAQs Dec 13, 2020
post about Florida Family Law and Inheritances: do I inherit from my ex?

Have you inherited a trust from a Florida estate? If you were you married at the time you received an inheritance in Florida, be careful if you get divorced. This legal commentary will focus on equitable distribution of inheritances. While you are at it, you may wish to consider how family law and estate law overlap. Family Law and Divorce Property 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 Equitable Distribution 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 the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them. b. The enhancement […]

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Miami Inheritances and Alimony

FAQs Dec 7, 2020
post about Miami Inheritances and Alimony

What do Miami family law or alimony modification lawsuits have to do with Florida inheritance matters? Why are Florida divorce cases relevant to probate cases? What do South Beach estate litigators need to know about prenups and alimony? How important is it to hire an experienced Miami Beach appellate attorney for an alimony appeal? How can an appellate attorney help me to appeal a court order denying an alimony modification? Miami Prenups and Inheritances Your Miami estate planning lawyer or probate attorney can tell you that a prenuptial agreement (prenup) can protect your inheritance from your spouse in the case of death or divorce. In a prenup, you can specify how to divide up property and inheritances at the end of a marriage. Miami family law and probate lawyers know that inherited assets can be considered in the award of alimony. However, by fixing the term and amount of alimony in a prenup, entangling an inheritance with a divorce can be avoided. In the case of death, inherited assets are treated just as any other asset. Therefore, in the absence of a prenup, inherited assets are subject to spousal claims just like any other asset. If you don’t have a prenup, you may find yourself needing to hire a Miami family law attorney to represent you in an alimony battle, a probate attorney to fight for your inheritance, and even a West Palm Beach appellate attorney if the modification lawsuit leads to an appeal. Florida Alimony Modification Appeals If you are involved in alimony litigation, or questioning whether or not you should […]

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Florida Appeals and Voluntary Dismissal

Uncategorized Dec 2, 2020
post about Florida Appeals and Voluntary Dismissal

Florida appeals and voluntary dismissals might seem like oil and water. How can you appeal a Florida lawsuit that was the subject of a voluntary dismissal? What does the voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit have to do with an appeal? Florida Inheritance Litigation and Civil Appeals Florida lawyers know that some trust or estate cases can lead to an appeal. If you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may be able to file an appeal. Also, if you win a Florida probate case, the other side may choose to appeal. Therefore, it is important to anticipate the possibility of having to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney. If you are in the process of hiring a Florida law firm to assist you with probate or trust litigation, you may want to look for a firm that is experienced in both litigation and appeals. If you hire a law firm that limits its practice to civil litigation and appeals, you may end up at advantage. Florida attorneys with both litigation and appellate experience know what to do during trial to ensure that issues are preserved for appeal. In addition, having experienced trial lawyers and appellate lawyers in one firm is beneficial because you may save time and money during an appeal due to the fact that the firm is already familiar with your case. If you need to hire a separate Florida appellate attorney, that attorney will need to obtain and review all of the trial level documents […]

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Miami Appeals and Injunctions

What We Do Dec 1, 2020
post about Miami Appeals and Injunctions

We provided other FREE LEGAL COMMENTARY on TEMPORARY INJUNCTIONS. Now consider: What if a Miami court tells me one thing but the official order says another? You should consider reading a recent opinion, Soldatich v. Jones to learn more. Miami appeals and injunctions is a topic that seems to be coming up more and more recently. Do you need a Florida appeals lawyer to help you? Or an injunction attorney? (Yes !!) Miami Injunctions + Adult Guardianships Miami guardianship attorneys are sometimes hired to file a petition for injunction against exploitation of a vulnerable adult per section 825.1035 of the Florida Statutes. In addition, a Miami lawyer may be needed file other petitions for injunction if the situation deems necessary. Guardianship litigation or Miami injunction lawsuits can lead to an appeal. If you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may be able to file an appeal. It’s also important to note that, if you win your case, the other side may appeal. Therefore, it’s smart to anticipate the possibility of having to hire an experienced Miami appellate attorney. Hiring a Miami Injunction Attorney If you are in the process of hiring a Miami law firm to file a petition for injunction on your behalf, 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, as any litigator can tell you, appeals do […]

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Adult Florida Guardianship Necessary?

Our Firm Dec 1, 2020

Are you considering filing for guardianship over a loved one? It may be difficult to do when your mom or dad are slowing down. Or faltering. But advanced age and decreased mental acuity can make loved ones susceptible to financial abuse. Adult Florida Guardianship is one way to ask a Probate Court for help. And to protect your parents’ property and their health. To read a host of FLORIDA GUARDIANSHIP topics and commentaries on the law, CLICK THIS LINK. Guardianships in Florida At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, we frequently encounter family members who are concerned about elderly relatives and wish to file guardianships. However, it is important to consider all of the facts prior to petitioning. Is the person you are concerned about incapacitated? Does he or she suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s? Does the person go to the grocery store and bank on his or her own or require assistance? Is the person taking care of him or herself? Also, it is important to consider the costs of filing a guardianship. Guardianship litigation can become pricy, especially if the guardianship is contested. Will your brother or sister fight you for guardianship of your mom? Chapter 744– Florida’s Guardianship Laws There are a lot of rules to help you along in the Adult Florida Guardianship process. Miami guardianship lawyers know that guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in Miami, or anywhere in Florida, you should refer to this chapter. An experienced […]

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Florida Inheritance Lawsuit and Personal Financial Data

FAQs Nov 24, 2020
post about Florida Inheritance Lawsuit and Personal Financial Data

Are you involved a Florida Probate case? And it is about Florida Inheritance Lawsuit and personal financial data? One of the pressing issues is how much can you learn about money. Finances. And Personal Financial Data. Can a beneficiary request personal financial records from a Florida trustee? When can the opposing party request personal financial records from me? We have previously provided FREE FLORIDA LEGAL COMMENTARY on your Florida Right to Privacy . In Florida, there is a Constitutional right to privacy which includes financial information. Florida Trusts & Relevant Information West Palm Beach probate lawyers know that beneficiaries of a Florida trust have a right, under Florida probate and trust law, to “relevant information.” For one, beneficiaries have a right to receive an annual accounting from the trustee. In Florida, trustees actually have a duty to provide an annual accounting. Florida Statute 736.0813 (d) says that “a trustee of an irrevocable trust shall provide a trust accounting, as set forth in s. 736.08135, from the date of the last accounting or, if none, from the date on which the trustee became accountable, to each qualified beneficiary at least annually and on termination of the trust or on change of the trustee.” If you are the beneficiary of a trust in Florida, and your trustee is not providing you with requested relevant information or accountings, you should consider consulting with an experienced West Palm Beach inheritance attorney. Unfortunately, as trust and estates litigators, we know that there are “bad” trustees out there. Sometimes, […]

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