1-561-514-0900 FREE CONSULTATION

Category: Our Firm

Challenging a Trust Before Death

In the News Jul 26, 2021
post about Challenging a Trust Before Death

Can you object to a revocable trust before the trust creator dies? You are not supposed to under Florida law. There are two things every potential challenger MUST READ. If you are thinking of contesting a trust or challenging its validity, read on. We have previously provided Florida Trust Commentary on such things as trust validity, trust attacks and undue influence. Now, let’s focus on a September 9, 2020 4th DCA opinion. (for a link to FREE TRUST VIDEOS, click HERE) 2 Things You Must Read Before Attacking a Trust Challenging a trust before death? Not so fast !! So, let’s be clear. You can’t attack a revocable trust while the trust creator is alive. The person who creates the trust is called the “grantor” or “settlor.” The attorney who writes the trust, or who prepares the trust for the creator, is often referred to as the “drafting attorney.” The Florida Trust Code is the body of statutory law laying out trust laws. It is added to by precedent. Precedent are the written opinions of our appellate courts. Trial courts, and appellate courts, interpret the Florida Trust Code. Judges tell us what the law means and says. When trial judges make trust rulings, appellate court judges will tell us whether the trial judge was correct or not. When a trial judge is wrong, it is referred to as committing error. Now, read Florida Statute 736.0207. This statute is a provision in the Florida Trust Code. It says that you can’t […]


Florida Estate Laws

Our Firm Apr 14, 2021
post about Florida Estate Laws

There are two things you need to read to grasp Florida Estate Laws. There are also some other rules and authority which you may want to read. But let’s focus on these two important bodies of law for now. Would you like to read more about Florida Probate, Pour Over Wills, or Guardianship? Then you can click those words. If really want to read more, here is a link for FREE FLORIDA LEGAL COMMENTARY. If you still want to read more about probate law in Florida, watch a host of excellent FREE FLORIDA ESTATE VIDEOS. Florida Probate Code To understand Florida Estate Laws, begin with the Florida Probate Code. The Florida Probate Code is contained in Florida Statutes. Chapters 731-735. Those laws will tell you who may participate in a probate, how to open a probate and what must be done. There are laws in there about inventories, and rights and duties. There is also a definition section that helps explain important terms. Like what an “interested person” is. And how a Personal Representative should be acting. Most family members, beneficiaries and heirs like this because their rights are explained. But what if you are trying to exercise your rights in a Florida Probate. Don’t you need to know the procedures? Florida Probate Rules While the probate code is important, don’t forget about the Florida Probate Rules. Those rules set forth procedures and guidelines for getting stuff done in a Florida estate proceeding. The rules talk about petitions and hearings […]


What is a Florida Estate Contingency Fee?

Our Firm Apr 11, 2021
post about What  is a Florida Estate Contingency Fee?

Lots of heirs and family members want help with Florida probates. Maybe they want to file a will contest or object to the will. Maybe there is already pending an INHERITANCE LAWSUIT. Perhaps it’s more simple. They want an inventory, accounting and someone to explain their Probate Rights to them in plain English. Regardless. But good & experienced probate litigators are hard to come by. And when you do find one that you click with, she or he can be expensive. Is there some way for a client to hire good legal counsel without shelling out thousands in billable hours? Some refer to a Florida Estate Contingency Fee as the keys to the courthouse door. Let’s examine what that is and its pro’s and con’s for probate matters. We have previously written about Probate Contingency Fees. 5 Tips to Finding a Great Probate Litigator Here are 5 tips on trying to find a great Florida Probate Litigator on an Estate Contingency Fee. First, find someone with 20 years+ experience. Like doctors, good lawyers develop over time. The more years you practice, the more cases you try. Hopefully, they are getting a lot better along the way. And, after 20 years of an active probate litigation practice, hopefully they “have seen it all.” Or close to it. Second, find a litigator, not just some probate lawyer. Litigators are more apt to take your case on an Estate Contingency Fee. Most probate lawyers don’t actually litigate, although they will tell you that […]


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 […]