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Yearly Archives: 2020

Health Care Surrogates, Guardianships and Florida Lawsuits

Uncategorized Jun 26, 2020
post about Health Care Surrogates, Guardianships and Florida Lawsuits

What is a health care surrogate? What is a power of attorney (POA)? How is a health care surrogate different than a guardian? When may Florida litigation regarding a health care surrogate occur? What decisions can a health care surrogate make? Florida Adult Guardianships At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, we handle many guardianship cases throughout Florida. When we refer to “guardianships”, we are talking about guardianships over adults, not minors. Commonly, children or friends of the elderly file a guardianship to protect someone who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, certain disabled or injured adults may benefit from a guardianship if they are incompetent and unable to take care of themselves. In Florida, guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in West Palm Beach, or anywhere in Florida, you should refer to this chapter. You should also consider interviewing an experienced guardianship litigation lawyer who can answer your questions and properly file petitions on your behalf. Guardianships and Lesser Restrictive Alternatives Florida guardianship courts take guardianship proceedings very seriously because these proceedings can result in a ward’s rights being taken away. The “ward” is the person subject to the guardianship who has been determined to be incompetent or incapacitated. Guardianship lawyers know that, even if somebody is deemed incapacitated by a probate court judge in Florida, the court may not appoint a guardian if there’s a lesser restrictive alternative that adequately addresses the incapacitated person’s needs. Therefore, you may be able […]

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What Happens if the Personal Representative of a Florida Estate Does Not Properly Provide Notice to Creditors?

Uncategorized Jun 25, 2020
post about What Happens if the Personal Representative of a Florida Estate Does Not Properly Provide Notice to Creditors?

What are the responsibilities of a personal representative in Florida when it comes to creditor claims? Does a personal representative need to publish Notice to Creditors? How does a personal representative determine the creditors of a Florida estate? Florida Statute 733.2121 and Notice to Creditors If you are serving as the personal representative of a Florida estate, you will have to comply with Florida Statute, section 733.2121. Therefore, as personal representative, you must properly publish Notice to Creditors and make a diligent search to determine creditors. To ensure that the Notice to Creditors is properly published, it is important to read the relevant statute in its entirety and to consult with your Florida estate attorney. Once the personal representative has provided Notice to Creditors, a clock begins to tick for the creditors who wish to file a claim. Therefore, if you believe that you have a claim against a Florida estate, it is important to get moving! Under Florida Statute 733.702(1), creditors must file any statements of claim against a decedent’s estate within three months of the first publication of the notice to creditors or within thirty days of being served with it, whichever is later. Palm Beach probate lawyers know that any claim not filed within that time is barred unless the court grants an extension.733.702(3), Florida Statutes(2012). Extensions can be granted “upon ground of fraud, estoppel, or insufficient notice of the claims period.” Therefore, if the personal representative of a Florida estate fails to properly give notice to a reasonably ascertainable creditor, […]

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Florida Appellate Lawyers and Injunctions

Uncategorized Jun 25, 2020
post about Florida Appellate Lawyers and Injunctions

What is a Florida appeal? When do I need to hire a Florida appellate attorney? Can I appeal a circuit court’s order? Can a court orally promise something and then say something different in their written order? Florida Injunctions and Appeals Florida guardianship lawyers 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, guardianship lawyers may file other petitions for injunction if the situation deems necessary. Guardianship litigation or Florida 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 Florida appellate attorney. Hiring a Florida Injunction Lawyer If you are in the process of hiring a Florida litigation 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 occur. What if you win your West Palm Beach injunction lawsuit 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 […]

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Florida Trust Appeals and Evidentiary Hearings

Uncategorized Jun 18, 2020
post about Florida Trust Appeals and Evidentiary Hearings

What is an appeal? When might I need a Florida appellate attorney in my trust lawsuit? What does an evidentiary hearing have to do with an appeal? When is an evidentiary hearing required in a trust lawsuit in Florida? How should I choose a Florida appellate attorney to assist me with an appeal? Palm Beach Trust Litigation and Appeals Trust lawsuits are common in Florida. Frequently, beneficiaries sue trustees . For example, a beneficiary may sue a trustee after the trustee fails to provide an accounting or if they believe the trustee has stolen money from the trust. Beneficiaries in Florida have many rights. If the trustee is not properly upholding his or her duty as trustee, a lawsuit may be necessary. Florida probate lawyers know that some trust and estates proceedings can lead to an appeal. For example, if you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may wish to file an appeal. On the other hand, if you win, the other side may appeal. Therefore, it is important to anticipate the possibility of having to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney. Hiring Florida Trust and Estate Litigators and Appellate Lawyers If you are the beneficiary of a Florida trust, and you are in the process of hiring a Florida law firm to assist you with trust litigation, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both trust litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider […]

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Florida Civil Litigation: How does a voluntary dismissal affect an appeal?

Uncategorized Jun 16, 2020
post about Florida Civil Litigation: How does a voluntary dismissal affect an appeal?

Are you thinking about signing a settlement agreement where you agree to voluntarily dismiss your lawsuit? Have your Florida attorneys thoroughly explained how your voluntary dismissal will affect a future appeal? When should you agree to voluntarily dismiss a Florida probate or business lawsuit? What does voluntarily dismissing a lawsuit in Florida have to do with Florida appeals? Voluntary Dismissals in Florida Civil Lawsuits A recent Third DCA opinion, Metalonis v. Eastgroup Properties, explains just how voluntarily dismissing your lawsuit can affect an appeal. Here, the parties had entered into a Florida settlement agreement. One party did not comply with the terms of the settlement agreement so an emergency motion to compel compliance with settlement agreement was filed. The trial court, after a hearing, approved the terms of the agreement, granted the motion to compel and ordered that a voluntary dismissal with prejudice be filed. After the voluntary dismissal was filed with prejudice, and the case was dismissed, the party that filed the voluntary dismissal wanted to appeal the trial court’s order granting the emergency motion to compel. Unfortunately, by filing the voluntary dismissal, he had lost his chance to appeal. When to Voluntarily Dismiss Your West Palm Beach Lawsuit Only voluntarily dismiss your Florida probate or trust lawsuit if you are sure that you want the lawsuit to be COMPLETELY over! As the Metalonis v. Eastgroup case shows, once a party to a Florida lawsuit voluntarily dismisses his or her case, the trial court lacks jurisdiction to do anything. Therefore, an […]

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Florida Appeals and Voluntary Dismissal

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2020
post about Florida Appeals and Voluntary Dismissal

What is an appeal? When can you file an appeal in Florida? When do you need to consult with a West Palm Beach appellate attorney? What does the voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit have to do with an appeal? If you voluntarily dismiss a Florida probate lawsuit, can you later appeal a trial court ruling that occurred during that lawsuit? Why is it important to consider the possibility of an appeal during litigation? 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 […]

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Florida Probate Litigation and Disclaimers

Uncategorized Jun 12, 2020
post about Florida Probate Litigation and Disclaimers

What is a disclaimer? When might you be asked to sign a disclaimer in your Florida probate case? What should you do if a disclaimer is presented to you by the opposing side? How can a probate lawyer help you to decide whether or not to sign a disclaimer? What constitutes a valid disclaimer in Florida? A January 23,2019 Third DCA opinion discusses a disclaimer in a Florida inheritance case, and what makes a disclaimer valid or invalid. Know What You Are Signing This may seem obvious but, before you sign ANYTHING, make sure that you read it and understand it! You would be surprised how many times our West Palm Beach probate law firm gets calls from beneficiaries who accidentally signed away their rights. Sometimes, these beneficiaries don’t even realize what they did until it is too late. In the probate world, disclaimers are common. For example, if a beneficiary does not want to have interest in , or inherit, a property, they will most likely be asked to sign a disclaimer. Before receiving an inheritance, beneficiaries are also usually asked to sign a disclaimer. In order to avoid any mistakes, and to avoid accidentally giving up valuable inheritance rights, you should have your Palm Beach inheritance lawyer review the disclaimer and go over it with you. Florida Law: Disclaimer of Property 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 […]

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Florida Inheritance and Guardianship Litigation: Can a Guardian pay ward’s debt after ward’s death, despite objection by a beneficiary?

Uncategorized Jun 11, 2020
post about Florida Inheritance and Guardianship Litigation: Can a Guardian pay ward’s debt after ward’s death, despite objection by a beneficiary?

What is a Florida guardianship? What is ward? What happens when a ward dies in Florida? Is the Florida guardian able to pay the ward’s debt? Does the guardian have to provide notice of proceedings regarding payment of ward’s debt to the beneficiaries of the ward’s estate? Why would the beneficiary of a Florida estate sue the decedent’s guardian? Adult Guardianships in Florida At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, we handle many guardianship cases throughout Florida. When we refer to “guardianships”, we are talking about guardianships over adults, not minors. Commonly, children of the elderly file a guardianship to protect their mom or dad who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, certain disabled or injured adults may benefit from a guardianship if they are incompetent and unable to take care of themselves. West Palm Beach guardianship courts take guardianship proceedings very seriously because these proceedings can result in a ward’s rights being taken away. The “ward” is the person subject to the guardianship who has been determined to be incompetent or incapacitated. It is important to remember that, even if somebody is deemed incapacitated by a probate court judge in Florida, the court may not appoint a guardian if there’s a lesser restrictive alternative that adequately addresses the incapacitated person’s needs. For example, a power of attorney and a revocable trust may prove to be sufficient. In Florida, guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in West Palm Beach, or […]

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Invoking the Relief of Certiorari in Your Florida Probate Case

Uncategorized Jun 6, 2020
post about Invoking the Relief of Certiorari in Your Florida Probate Case

What is a petition for certiorari? What should your Palm Beach probate attorney know about petitions for certiorari? When can you file a petition for certiorari in your inheritance lawsuit? What must you demonstrate to invoke the relief of certiorari in a Florida probate lawsuit? Should I file a petition of certiorari or an appeal? Probate Litigation and Petitions for Certiorari If you are in the middle of a heated probate battle in the Florida courts, there may be a time where you strongly disagree with an order from the trial court. What can you do if you believe that the trial court incorrectly entered an order? Do you have to wait to file an appeal? What if the order is non-appealable? Florida appellate lawyers know that, generally, you can only appeal final orders. However, there are exceptions. In limited circumstances, your Florida probate lawyer can seek certiorari review from the appellate court. Certiorari review only becomes an option when, during litigation, the trial court “departs from the essential requirements of law.” There are three requirements that must be demonstrated to invoke the relief of certiorari: 1) you have to establish a departure from the essential requirements of the law 2) resulting in material injury for the remainder of the case 3) the injury can’t be corrected on post-judgment appeal. Hiring a Florida Lawyer to File a Petition for Certiorari Invoking the relief of certiorari is not easy. Therefore, your probate lawyer should be experienced and knowledgeable about the process. […]

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Enforcing a Settlement Agreement in Florida

Uncategorized Jun 4, 2020
post about Enforcing a Settlement Agreement in Florida

What is a settlement agreement? What should you know before signing a settlement agreement in West Palm Beach? What should your Florida trial lawyer tell you before you decide to enter into a settlement agreement? What happens if you do not comply with the terms you agreed to in a settlement agreement? In Florida, how can you compel compliance with a settlement agreement? West Palm Beach Probate Lawyers and Settlement Agreements At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, our attorneys handle probate litigation and civil appeals throughout Florida. Although probate litigators frequent the courtroom, they must also handle other aspects of litigation. For example, outside of the courtroom, experienced trial lawyers prepare for depositions, negotiate settlement agreements, prepare petitions, etc. Another part of a Florida estate lawyer’s job is to provide client’s with legal options. Some clients choose to be more aggressive than others. For example, some clients want to have their day in court at a trial, while others prefer to end their inheritance dispute as quickly as possible. Some trust, estate, and business lawsuits are resolved with a settlement agreement. An experienced probate lawyer can help you to negotiate settlement terms, explain to you what the terms in the agreement actually mean (prior to you signing), and ensure that the settlement agreement is executed properly. Enforcing a Settlement Agreement in Florida Did you sign a settlement agreement to end a recent Florida probate lawsuit? Has the other side complied with the settlement agreement terms? When people enter into a settlement agreement in […]

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