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Palm Beach Guardianship Lawyer

FAQs Aug 6, 2023

How do you find a good Palm Beach Guardianship lawyer, and, what, EXACTLY, is one? (For free, helpful videos on Florida Guardianships, click HERE.) Palm Beach Guardianship Lawyer For good or for ill, guardianship cases have exploded. If you asked me 20 years ago if I would be handling contested guardianships, I would have guessed “no.” But, now, contested guardianships are a vital and important part of the probate litigation practice at Pankauski Lazarus. And, I’m proud to say, we have built up a stellar reputation, Florida-wide. To read more about our guardianship practice, click HERE. It may assist you in determining whether you need to file for a Florida guardianship or not. Let’s discuss the “two” “main” types of Palm Beach Guardianship lawyers. Contested vs. Un-Contested Guardianships in Florida There are two types of guardianships: contested and un-contested. You don’t need me for an uncontested guardianship. That’s where everyone gets along and there are no disagreements. The truth is that there are many fine guardianship lawyers out there who do a good job. At much lower rates that a guardianship trial lawyer like me. They know Florida Guardianship Law and are effective at assisting families. But, what if you don’t agree? What if you disagree?……………………….a LOT!? Disputed Matters When parties to a Palm Beach Guardianship do not agree, we call it a “contested” guardianship. There are two things which may be contested. First, whether or not someone, the alleged incapacitated person (AIP), is competent or not competent. Do you […]


Miami Injunction Litigation

Uncategorized Nov 14, 2020

When will a Miami trial court grant an injunction? To be entitled to an injunction in Florida, what must be proven? When do you need to hire a Florida lawyer to assist you with an injunction? When is a stalking injunction necessary in Florida? How can I obtain a stalking injunction in Miami? Miami Stalking Injunctions According to Florida Statute 784.048(2), stalking occurs when a person “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person. You may wonder what the definition of “harass” is according to the Florida Statutes. To harass means to “engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.” §784.048(1)(a), Fla. Stat. If someone is stalking you in Florida, you may wish to file an injunction. Probate lawyers and business attorneys know that disputes over money and inheritances can often get pretty heated. Sometimes, although the parties are supposed to be fighting in court, a party decides to stalk or harass the other party. This is usually when a stalking injunction is considered. In addition to stalking injunctions, temporary injunctions to freeze bank accounts or protect assets are often filed during Miami inheritance lawsuits. Stalking Injunctions in Florida Shannon v. Smith, a July 23 2019 First DCA opinion, is a great case to read as it discusses and defines both stalking and cyberstalking. Here, an alleged victim petitioned for temporary stalking injunction against a neighbor. The neighbor appealed. After reviewing the evidence, which […]


Florida Divorce Lawsuits, Marital Assets, and Inheritances

Uncategorized Oct 27, 2020
post about Florida Divorce Lawsuits, Marital Assets, and Inheritances

What do Miami divorces have to do with probate matters? What does a divorce have to do with inheritances? Should I have a prenuptial agreement drafted by a Miami attorney? Why should I spend the money to get a prenup when I love my future wife and want to be with her forever? What do Miami Beach probate litigators need to know about prenups and inheritances? If you inherit money during your marriage, is it automatically considered a marital asset? Miami Prenups and Inheritances Did you know that a prenup can protect your inheritance from your spouse in the case of death or divorce? In a prenup, a person can specify how to divide up the marital property. In addition, it can help to ensure that inheritances and certain accounts are not deemed marital assets during a divorce proceeding. Marital Assets in Florida Florida’s equitable distribution statute explains what is to be considered marital assets and what is to be considered nonmarital assets in a Florida divorce. 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 in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from efforts of either party during the marriage or from contribution to or expenditure thereon of marital funds or other forms of marital assets, or both. c. Interspousal gifts during the marriage. Is a bank account acquired prior to marriage a marital asset? Is a Miami trust fund inherited by one spouse during […]


Florida Estates and Timely Creditor Claims

Uncategorized Oct 14, 2020
post about Florida Estates and Timely Creditor Claims

What is a reasonably ascertainable creditor in a Florida probate proceeding? How does a creditor give the personal representative of a Florida estate notice of his or her claim? What does the personal representative have to do to properly determine creditors? What happens if a creditor files a claim against a West Palm beach estate after the claim period? Florida Estate Proceedings: 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 probate attorney. Furthermore, in any probate matter, it is very important to know filing deadlines. 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. 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.” Florida courts take deadlines very seriously. If you believe that you have a creditor claim against a Florida estate, you should begin interviewing estate lawyers and get your claim filed immediately. If you […]


Attorney-Client Privilege and Miami Trust Lawsuits

Uncategorized Oct 13, 2020
post about Attorney-Client Privilege and Miami Trust Lawsuits

What is rule 4-1.6? What do Miami lawyers need to know about this rule? What do trust lawsuits have to do with attorney-client privilege? What is a waiver of consent? What information can your Miami lawyer disclose without your consent? Can you compel a nonparty to disclose privileged information? Disclosure of Trust Documents in Your Miami Lawsuit Rule 4-1.6 is one of the rules regulating the Florida Bar. This particular rule is very important as it is addresses a Florida lawyer’s duty in regards to the confidentiality of his or her client’s information. Specifically, this rule states that ” a lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation, or the disclosure is permitted by Rule 4-1.6(b).” If you are involved in trust, estate, or even business litigation in MIami, you should consider reading this rule in its entirety. That way, you can understand your lawyer’s responsibilities when it comes to attorney-client privilege. Miami Litigation and Florida Statute 90.502 In addition to becoming familiar with rule 4-1.6, you may want to read  Florida Statute 90.502. This is the Florida statute that attorney-client privilege is governed by. Per the statute, as a client of a Miami lawyer, you have “a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, the contents of confidential communications when such other person learned of the communications because they were made […]


When is a Florida Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

Uncategorized Oct 2, 2020
post about When is a Florida Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

Do court appointed guardians get paid? What criteria does the court consider in determining an award of fees to a guardian? When is a guardian entitled to compensation? What is Florida Statute 744.108? Can a West Palm Beach guardianship lawyer assist me in guardianship litigation regarding fees? Is a Florida guardian entitled to attorneys fees? Who pays for the attorneys fees in a Florida guardianship? Guardian and Attorney Fees and Expenses If you are about to become a court appointed guardian in Florida, or are considering filing for guardianship of a vulnerable adult, you may want to read Florida Statute 744.108 in its entirety. This statute discusses the compensation of a guardian and sets forth the criteria to be considered by the Florida guardianship court in determining an award of fees to a guardian. In Florida, a guardian, or an attorney who has rendered services to the ward or to the guardian on the ward’s behalf, is entitled to a reasonable fee for services rendered and reimbursement for costs incurred on behalf of the ward.   What are the criteria the Florida guardianship court considers when fees for guardian or an attorney are submitted? Florida Statute 744.108 lists the following criteria: The time and labor required The novelty and difficulty of the questions involved and the skill required to perform the services properly The likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment of the person The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar services;(e) The nature and […]


Florida Lawsuits: POA Documents and Arbitration

Uncategorized Oct 2, 2020
post about Florida Lawsuits: POA Documents and Arbitration

What does a power of attorney (POA) document have to do with arbitration? When is arbitration correctly compelled by a trial court? How do you interpret the scope of a POA document? How can a health care surrogate become involved in litigation regarding arbitration? POA and Health Care Documents in Florida Florida Guardianship lawyers know that, even if a person is deemed incapacitated by a probate court judge in Florida, the court may choose not to appoint a guardian if there’s a lesser restrictive alternative that adequately addresses the incapacitated person’s needs. Therefore, POA and health care documents can prove to be very valuable. If you meet with aFlorida estate planning attorney to execute a POA, trust and/or health care documents, you will be able to choose who will take care of you if you are to become unable to care for yourself. If a proper estate plan is in place, and you get Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may not have to worry about strangers, or greedy relatives that you dislike, taking over you and your finances. The Scope of a POA Sometimes, it can become confusing to a trustee or POA as to what the estate documents allow them to do exactly. For example, certain POA documents specify or limit the authority that it delegates. How do courts determine what authority a POA grants? A recent Fourth DCA opinion, Manor Oaks, Inc. v. Campbell discusses whether or not a particular POA document gives a health care surrogate the ability […]


Florida Guardianship Litigation: What Happens if a Guardian Fails to File an Annual Accounting?

Uncategorized Sep 23, 2020
post about Florida Guardianship Litigation: What Happens if a Guardian Fails to File an Annual Accounting?

What is an adult guardianship? What are the duties of a guardian in Florida? Does a guardian have to file annual accountings with the Florida guardianship court? What happens if a guardian fails to provide a timely annual report? Florida Adult Guardianships At Pankauski 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. 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. 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. West Palm Beach guardianship lawyers know that guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in Palm Beach or anywhere in Florida, you should refer to this chapter. You should also consider interviewing an experienced guardianship lawyer who can answer your […]



Uncategorized Sep 1, 2020

Pankauski Lazarus is offering Continuing Legal Education (CLE) webinars, which are approved by the Florida Bar. Pankauski Lazarus exclusively represents clients in matters involving disputes, trials and appeals surrounding estates, business, wills and probate litigation. All CLE webinars are sponsored by Pankauski Lazarus and FREE to Florida Bar members. Are You a Miami or Palm Beach Lawyer in Need of Technology CLE Credits? On September 11, 2020 at 12:00 p.m., Pankauski Lazarus PLLC will be offering a FREE, 1 credit hour CLE on preserving and collecting client email for litigation, led by attorney Andrew Kwan. This webinar is approved by The Florida Bar for 1 technology credit or 1 general credit.  E-Discovery in the Real World – Preserving and Collecting Client Email for Litigation WHEN: Friday, September 11, 2020, 12:00 p.m.-12:50 p.m. WHERE: Online via Zoom. REGISTRATION REQUIRED: To register for this CLE webinar, click here. Once registered, you will receive an email with the link to join the webinar.  If you have any questions, or need more information, please email Amanda@phflorida.com.


Florida Appellate Lawyers and Injunctions

Uncategorized Aug 28, 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 […]