1-561-514-0900 FREE CONSULTATION

Category: Our Firm

Inheritance Lawyers — 5 Traits to Look For in Florida

Our Attorneys Jul 30, 2022
post about Inheritance Lawyers — 5 Traits to Look For in Florida

Inheritance lawyers in Florida know a thing or two about the probate process + trusts. And, also, how many times an estate can drag on and on–and on and on! Knowing HOW MUCH you inherit, and WHEN you are supposed to get your money are important. Every estate executor in Florida has a lawyer. Who’s watching your back? Inheritance or Inheritance Fight? It should be easy enough, right? To get your inheritance. Who’s responsible when it takes so long to get what is yours? Do the lawyers slow it down? Or is there someone trying to steal your inheritance? I mean Florida has lots of folks with billions and billions, if not trillions, of dollars. You have a will, maybe a trust, and you get your inheritance, right? Well, the probate process does take time. There are rules and procedures. And if money is left in a trust, you have to deal with setting up the trust. And remember, the dead person’s creditors (e.g. IRS, Uncle Sam, credit card company, mortgage, pool cleaning, cable, etc) all need to be paid before the beneficiaries see a dime. That’s why a good inheritance lawyer may be needed. Below are 5 things you may want to look for in a good Florida inheritance lawyer. 5 Questions to Ask a Florida Inheritance Lawyer Are you experienced? Some Florida lawyers write wills but also do dog bites, car crashes and slip and falls or criminal defense. Is that who you want helping you on an […]

READ MORE

Florida Guardianship Lawyer — what you can learn from a recent case

In the News Dec 19, 2021
post about Florida Guardianship Lawyer — what you can learn from a recent case

Finding a good Florida guardianship lawyer should not be hard. There are, after all, dozens of so called “elder law” attorneys and “guardianship attorneys.” But if you are in a “fight” or a contested guardianship, don’t you need firepower? A guardianship trial attorney? A December 15, 2021 case lets you get up to speed very quickly on some of the most important legal principles. To see a number of FREE FLORIDA GUARDIANSHIP VIDEOS, simply click those words. What You Need to Read How can you learn the basic “legal stuff” about guardianships quickly? There are four things to read. The Florida Guardianship Code. Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes is our Guardianship Code. That is an excellent place to start. It sets for the basic legal concepts, some procedural time frames and legal rights. Second, consider reading the Florida Probate Rules. Why? Because there are special rules for guardianships. See Part III to the Rules. I know that everyone has see the Netflix film, I Care a Lot, or have read about the Britney Spears guardianship. But in Florida, you might consider taking your cues from serious, experienced guardianship trial attorneys. Read Florida Appellate Opinions. These are written legal opinions from our District Courts of Appeal. There is a December 15, 2021 opinion from the 3rd District Court of Appeal. That court handles appeals for Miami-Dade County. Let’s see what we can learn from their opinion in the In Re: Guardianship of Ash. Florida Guardianship Lawyer — do I really […]

READ MORE

Florida Trust Lawyer — to help you with administration, litigation, malfeasance, or …..?

Our Attorneys Dec 4, 2021
post about Florida Trust Lawyer —  to help you with administration, litigation, malfeasance, or …..?

Trust law in Florida is sort of specialized, right? I mean there are special rules and laws. We have previously written about hiring a Florida Trust Lawyer. Now, let’s go a bit deeper and give you another perspective. Whether you are a beneficiary, trustee, or you were cut-out of an inheritance, and need to file a TRUST CONTEST, the following should be helpful. How Do I Find the Best? Many times, wealth in passed along to a trust. You don’t get your inheritance OUTRIGHT. Your receive money or property in a Florida Trust. And you have to ask your trustee for money in many cases. That’s because many trusts give a trustee the DISCRETION to give — or not give— money to you. That’s a lot of power over a lot of money. Beneficiaries who claim that their trustee is not behaving properly may sue. Many times, those Florida trust lawsuits revolve around whether or not the trustee abused her discretion. For a free video on Trustee Abuse of Discretion, click that phrase. To read a book about being a Florida Trustee written by trust litigator John Pankauski, Esquire, click HERE. Find the Florida Trust Lawyer That’s Right For You Now, no one is telling you to run down to the county clerk’s office and file a trust lawsuit. But, it may make sense to have a Florida trust lawyer explain how your trustee is doing. How is the trust being managed? The truth is, many times beneficiaries mistakenly believe […]

READ MORE

Undue Influence Lawyer Florida

FAQs Nov 18, 2021
post about Undue Influence Lawyer Florida

Need an undue influence lawyer Florida? Understanding this legal concept can assist in finding an experienced attorney for your will contest or trust contest. To see a free video on undue influence, you can click HERE. To read more about undue influence, click HERE. Now, let’s discuss this topic in light of a November 17, 2021 opinion from the Miami-Dade Appellate Court. What is Undue Influence? Undue influence is a form of fraud that can cause a will or trust to be void. If someone caused a will or trust to be signed by undue influence, it’s void. Undue influence is over-pursuasion, force, coercion. Pressure. When that pressure or force or influence is so great, the “undue-influencer’s” desire and intent replace the victim’s. To read more about this legal topic, click HERE. To read about the warning signs of undue influence, click this FREE Florida probate legal commentary. Recent Appellate Opinion Undue Influence Lawyer Florida On November 17, 2021, the 3rd District Court of Appeal issues its opinion in the case of In Re: Estate of Tien. You can read that opinion for free . That case dealt with related issues involving a challenge to the will, a voluntary dismissal and a caveat.

READ MORE

How to Revoke Probate in Florida

FAQs Sep 12, 2021
post about How to Revoke Probate in Florida

How to revoke probate in Florida may be the key to getting your inheritance. Regrettably, in some cases of undue influence and probate fraud, it’s your only option. If a probate was “opened“, you will need to take action if you want to preserve your rights. And fight back. Knowing where such a petition fits in with you trying to get your inheritance is key to your success. Understanding the Probate Process in Florida In Florida, when you die, there are special rules for what happens to your property. Specific procedures that need to be followed. For example, most beneficiaries don’t know that all creditors and estate (probate) expenses are paid first ! Before a beneficiary sees a dime ! First, your assets should be gathered. This process is also known as “marshalling” your assets. Non probate assets, so called “will substitutes” like joint accounts, generally go to the survivor. But not always. Knowing when such an asset should come back to probate is often heavily litigated. So much for “avoiding” probate with joint tenancy, right? Second, all debts of the decedent need to be paid. Mortgage? IRS? Borrowings; last electric bill; cable bill, etc. You get the point. Then expenses of administration need to be paid. Including the probate lawyer ! Court documents need to be filed in the probate court and interested persons need to receive notice. What if the will that is on file is wrong? What if the petition for administration was granted and you think […]

READ MORE

Probate Contingency Lawyer

FAQs Sep 8, 2021
post about Probate Contingency Lawyer

A contingency fee may be your key to the probate court. (But, how do you find the right lawyer?) If the idea of large legal fees just to protect your inheritance is daunting, you are not alone. Many beneficiaries, heirs and family members seek out a probate contingency lawyer for will contests and trust lawsuits. Even just plain old probates —to look out for them, and protect their inheritance, in a Florida estate case. Admittedly, good ones are hard to find. And big firms won’t do contingent fees. You need to find a boutique expert who limits their practice to this area of the law. Here’s what you need to know now. (to read more about contingency fees, click THIS LINK ) Everyone’s Doing It “I get dozens of calls each quarter” says Probate Litigation Lawyer John Pankauski. “A lot of people are looking for a probate contingency lawyer. And they are the ones asking for a contingency fee.” But Pankauski admittedly doesn’t take over 90% of those calls who seek out his firm. He would rather be paid each month for his time, at his hourly rate — rather than take a case on a contingency. But he has that luxury. His firm has a robust practice handling litigations and appeals for wills, trusts, probates and estates, throughout Florida. His band of trial lawyers have found success in trials and even appeals. “I am very selective on what cases I’ll take on a contingency” he says. If you can […]

READ MORE

Florida Will Contest

Our Firm Sep 7, 2021
post about Florida Will Contest

What is a Florida Will Contest and what do you need to know? To see a free Florida probate video about a will contest, CLICK HERE. To learn more, keep reading. An Introduction to Florida Will Contest A Florida will contest is a challenge to a will. It involves going to court, the probate court, and making a claim. This claim is often in the form of a court-filed document called a Petition. In that Petition, you set forth your case on why the will is not valid. That is your challenge. You challenge the validity of the will. Florida law lists a limited number of reasons why a will may not be valid. Understanding all of these legal avenues is key to your success. Gathering your evidence is key. Finally, knowing how to try this type of case is paramount. Unless you settle your will contest, it will go to trial. A probate judge will tell you whether a will is valid or not valid. If there are a number of wills in play, she will tell you which ones are valid, which are not valid, and which one controls. Are you ready? Affect of Fraud or Duress A will that is caused by Fraud or Duress is void. Undue influence is a kind of fraud. Many times, people question wills that are signed right before death. Or, when a new beneficiary magically appears in a will, and was never there before. If a person forced or pressured someone […]

READ MORE

Will Challenge Florida

FAQs Aug 31, 2021
post about Will Challenge Florida

There are a number of ways to handle a will challenge Florida. These depend on the facts of your particular case. However, how you approach your probate lawsuit depends upon your STRATEGY. Whether you are claiming a will is invalid based upon an insane delusion, dementia or undue influence, read on. What is a Will Challenge Florida? A will challenge Florida is an attempt to have a will declared void. Or invalid. In some instances, you are challenging only a part of the will. Such as a provision that leaves a specific asset to a particular beneficiary. Or, the “residue”, or “residuary” clause that changes who gets everything else in the end. A challenge may also be thought of, or described as, a Will Contest. A will may be valid if it was not executed OR signed properly. If you don’t have two witnesses who sign in the presence of the person– and each other, who also sign in everyone’s presence– the will is not valid. Sometimes you simply start with the basics of a will challenge. Was the will signed correctly? To read a Florida appellate court opinion about will signings, click HERE. If the person who “signed” the will did not know what was going on, the will is not valid. Probate litigators call this lacking the requisite testamentary capacity. It does not mean that a guardianship was created. A Florida resident who signs a will must know, in general terms, what she is doing. Does she know […]

READ MORE

Florida Interpleader Lawyer

Our Attorneys Aug 29, 2021
post about Florida Interpleader Lawyer

Did you get notice of an interpleader action? Life insurance policy proceeds? Bank account? IRA or mutual funds? If you did, you only have a limited time to make your claim to the money. Understanding how to make your claim and prepare for victory can involve finding an experienced Florida interpleader lawyer. We have previously written about federal court interpleader. Now, let’s talk a bit more about this important topic. After all, you only get one chance. Talking to the Stakeholder and Making a Claim Most “stakeholders” like insurance companies don’t want to get involved in litigation. They have the insurance proceeds or annuity. When there is a doubt about who inherits those funds, they can interplead those funds into a Florida court registry. Having a lawyer who can talk to the company’s lawyers can help. Often, you can find out how much is at stake and get statements and information quickly. And then the people can make their claims without the insurance or annuity company involved. Who? Like heirs, beneficiaries and family members who believe they inherit the IRA or bank account or death proceeds. Interpleader actions can occur in state court and federal court. In exchange for “getting rid of the money” the “stakeholder” seeks to be discharged and removed from the case. That just leaves the family members or heirs to make their claims. Florida Interpleader Lawyer Ask any experienced interpleader attorney and they will tell you that literally millions of dollars are on the line. “I […]

READ MORE

Florida Civil Theft Law– everything you need to know

Our Firm Aug 22, 2021
post about Florida Civil Theft Law– everything you need to know

Did someone take your property? You may be able to seek TRIPLE (treble) damages, plus interest, plus attorneys fees. Here’s everything you need to know about Florida Civil Theft Law. For a brief free legal video on DAMAGES and calculating damages, click HERE. The Statute You MUST Read on Civil Theft ! Florida Statute 772.11 is the “begin and end” of Florida Civil Theft Law. Read it here for free by a simple CLICK. To be thorough, read the entire Chapter 772. It does not take long and you will learn a lot about this. Don’t have time? Read the bullet point highlights below. Everything You Need To Know in Plain English + Few Words This law only applies to one of the crimes on the list in 772.11 . Pre suit demand is a requirement You can’t receive punitive damages if you prevail So, your probate or trust litigator needs to analyze whether you want to try to get trebel damages or DON’T SUE FOR CIVIL THEFT but seek punitive damages. But………………….can you plead in the alternative? Attorneys fees and costs can go to the winner — including the DEFENDANT under certain circumstances Can you prove your case by CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE? Can I Use This Law for POA or Florida Trust Cases? Can you use this law if your trustee is stealing from you? Yes ! To see a free trust video on trustees stealing, click HERE. The statute can definitely be used against Florida Trustees who […]

READ MORE