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Florida Guardianship Appeal: Is a Family Member Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

Uncategorized Feb 21, 2020
post about Florida Guardianship Appeal: Is a Family Member  Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

What is a guardianship? When should you consult with a Florida guardianship lawyer? Do you have an elderly family member who is no longer able to take care of himself? How can a guardianship help you to protect your elderly mom or dad? Do guardians get paid? What should I know before filing to become the guardian of someone? West Palm Beach Adult Guardianships When most people think of a guardianship, they think of minor children. However, at our West Palm Beach litigation firm, we focus on adult guardianships. Any Florida guardianship attorney can tell you that guardianship litigation is booming. Unfortunately, many guardianships are filed to prevent or protect elderly family members from being taken advantage of by greedy caretakers, friends, neighbors etc. Oftentimes, we get calls from people who believe that someone is taking financial advantage of an elderly person. In other circumstances, the children of an elderly person call us because they believe their mom or dad is not properly caring for himself or herself. Guardianships are taken very seriously by the Florida courts because guardianship proceedings usually involve certain rights being taken away from the ward. The ward is the person who is subject to the guardianship. The right to marry and the right to contract are just two of the rights that may be taken from a ward during a guardianship proceeding. If a lesser restrictive alternative to a Florida guardianship, such as a POA or trust, exists the guardianship courts will consider them before […]


Florida Guardianships, Estates, and Artwork

Uncategorized Jan 24, 2020
post about Florida Guardianships, Estates, and Artwork

Are you the beneficiary of a Florida estate facing complicated legal issues? Have you been named the beneficiary in a Florida will but have still not received an inheritance after many years of estate proceedings? Are you worried that the personal representative of a Florida estate is not properly administering the estate? What does the Florida guardianship court have to do with probate litigation? Florida Inheritance Disputes and Recent Cases A January 8, 2020 article in The Washington Post Magazine discusses an artist named Purvis Young and the probate battles that the beneficiaries of his estate have encountered. Young did not have a spouse or any children. He named his friend Eddie Mae Lovest and 12 of her daughters and grandchildren as the main beneficiaries of his will.  His estate did not consist of much cash but, according to the article, there were 1,884 pieces of art. It makes sense that the beneficiaries thought the art would be sold and that they would inherit the sale money. However, like many Florida estate proceedings, it got a lot more complicated. Artist Purvis Young’s Florida Estate Young passed away back in 2010, yet estate proceedings still continue. West Palm Beach probate litigators know that inheritance battles can get pretty complicated. Here, there has been litigation not only regarding Young’s estate but also regarding the guardianship that Young was subject to prior to his death. Young’s guardian, David Mangiero, became the personal representative of Young’s estate. As personal representative, he is tasked with […]



Uncategorized Jan 7, 2020

Pankauski Lazarus PLLC is pleased to announce that The Florida Bar renewed Robert Hauser’s Board Certification in Appellate Practice. Mr. Hauser is a law partner at Pankauski Lazarus PLLC. Since June 1, 2009, Mr. Hauser has been named a Board-Certified Specialist by The Florida Bar in Appellate Practice. This designates Mr. Hauser as an expert and specialist in appeals in Florida. This past year, Mr. Hauser was featured in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He was recognized for his high caliber of work in Appellate Practice. Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on a rigorous peer-review survey comprising of more than 8.2 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys. Furthermore, Super Lawyers’ 2019 Annual List of Top Attorneys named Mr. Hauser as a “Super Lawyer” in appellate practice. This directory consists of the nation’s top attorneys who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Mr. Hauser remains available to consult regarding litigation and pending or potential final or non-final appeals in state, federal, or bankruptcy courts. Mr. Hauser offers trial and appellate support in almost any area of Florida law, including personal injury, products liability, securities fraud, family law, class actions, probate/trust disputes, business disputes, real estate disputes, and county-to-circuit appeals. If you are in need of an experienced Florida appellate lawyer, call (561)268-0233 ext.101 for a free consultation.


Epstein’s Estate, Creditor Claims, and Florida Lawsuits

Uncategorized Jan 3, 2020
post about Epstein’s Estate, Creditor Claims, and Florida Lawsuits

In August 2019, well-known financier Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in jail after being arrested on sex trafficking charges. According to an article in the SunSentinel, court documents suggest that Epstein’s estate is worth $559 million. Florida probate lawyers know that, when there is such a large estate at play, estate battles and inheritance disputes are likely to occur. When people know that there is money to fight over, they usually fight. Potential creditors and beneficiaries hire inheritance litigators, like those at Pankauski Lazarus, to assist them. In regards to the Epstein situation, it was definitely predictable that alleged victims of his sexual crimes would sue his estate. This is exactly what is now happening. Creditor Claims in Florida In Florida, the personal representative or executor of the estate will need to send out a Notice to Creditors. 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.” Many lawsuits are being filed against Epstein’s massive estate by his alleged victims. The alleged victims who get a judgment in their favor against the estate will be paid before the beneficiaries of Epstein’s will can inherit. Florida Lawsuit Against Epstein’s […]



Uncategorized Dec 20, 2019

Pankauski Lazarus PLLC exclusively represents clients in matters involving Florida estate, business, wills and probate litigation. We represent beneficiaries, trustees and executors throughout Florida when disputes develop in regards to wills, trusts, administration, inheritances, investment losses, beneficiaries’ rights and many other estate, business, property & probate topics. The attorneys at Pankauski Lazarus are serious litigators who frequently appear in courts throughout Florida. When choosing a Florida inheritance lawyer, or probate attorney, to represent you in a will contest or trust lawsuit, it is important to ask how comfortable the attorney is actually going to court. It’s also important to consider how many years of experience the lawyer has and whether or not the lawyer’s practice focuses on inheritance and trust litigation. Any experienced attorney knows that it is imperative to stay current on changes made to Florida Statutes or rules that are relative to his or her practice. On December 19, 2019, the Supreme Court of Florida filed a revised opinion amending The Florida Probate Rules. Will contest attorneys and Florida probate lawyers will want to read this report as the amendments pertain to important rules deadlines. In Re: Amendments to the Florida Probate Rules- 2019 Regular Cycle Report On December 19, 2019, the Supreme Court of Florida issued amendments to the Florida Probate Rules. What are the amendments? An amendment to Rule 5.020 changes the deadline for service of a motion for rehearing from ten days to fifteen days after the date of filing of the or judgment. Florida […]


Florida Inheritances and Wrongful Death Actions

Uncategorized Dec 12, 2019
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What do wrongful death cases have to do with West Palm Beach probate lawsuits? Are you involved in a Florida probate matter that involves a wrongful death action? What are the elements of damages in wrongful death cases in Florida? What should your estate lawyer know about wrongful death lawsuits in Florida?  Florida Probate Lawyers and Personal Injury Lawyers West Palm Beach estate lawyers know that, before they bring a wrongful death action, there must be an open estate with a serving personal representative. Therefore, an estate must be opened prior to serving the other side with a wrongful death lawsuit. Frequently, your Florida personal injury lawyer will hire an estate lawyer or instruct you to hire one. You are even more likely to need an estate lawyer if a complicated probate proceeding emerges. For example, if there are issues with appointing a personal representative, an experienced probate litigator should be consulted. Furthermore, a probate litigator may prove necessary if other family disputes arise in the estate while the wrongful death action is pending. Wrongful death cases can also prove to be valuable and relevant sources of information for a probate attorney, or for someone involved in probate litigation. Sometimes, probate cases involve wrongful death actions. However,even if your probate matter does not involve a wrongful death action, you may want to read some wrongful death cases because Florida probate litigators and Florida person injury lawyers encounter similar legal issues. Philip Morris USA Inc & R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Stanley Martin & […]


Undue Influence and Probate Litigation

Uncategorized Dec 5, 2019
post about Undue Influence and Probate Litigation

Cases involving undue influence can be difficult, and they require assistance from a skilled probate litigator or trust and estates lawyer.Florida probate litigators rely on circumstantial evidence when litigating a case involving undue influence.Why is circumstantial evidence relied on? Because the person who would be the key witness in the case is deceased! What are the factors that should be considered to prove undue influence? What proves that a beneficiary actively procured the will that is being contested?


How Do Florida Courts Determine Whether a Party is Indispensable?

Uncategorized Dec 5, 2019
post about How Do Florida Courts Determine Whether a Party is Indispensable?

Did you know that your Florida lawsuit could be dismissed for failure to join an indispensable party? Therefore, it is important to know what an indispensable party is and who qualifies as one. A recent First DCA opinion, MBC Gospel Network, LLC v. Florida’s News Channel,LC, involves the issue of whether a case should have been dismissed for failure to join indispensable parties. This opinion explains what an indispensable party is and what question is asked to determine whether or not a party is indispensable. To read the entire case and learn more about indispensable parties in Florida lawsuits, click here. To interview a trial lawyer, free of charge, call (561)514-0900 ext.101.


When Can a Florida Lawsuit be Dismissed for Failure to Join Indispensable Parties?

Uncategorized Dec 5, 2019
post about When Can a Florida Lawsuit be Dismissed for Failure to Join Indispensable Parties?

What is an indispensable party in a Florida probate or business lawsuit? How does the Florida Supreme Court define an indispensable party? How do Florida probate courts and civil courts determine whether a party is indispensable or not? If you have questions about indispensable parties in Florida, you may want to read an April 22,2019 First DCA opinion, MBC Gospel Network, LLC v. Florida’s News Channel,LC. Although this is not a Florida probate opinion, probate trial lawyers encounter lawsuits involving indispensable parties. In this Florida appeal, one of the issues raised by the Appellants is “whether the trial court erred by failing to dismiss the case for failure to join indispensable parties.” The appellate court goes on to explain that ” The Florida Supreme Court has defined an indispensable party as ‘one whose interest in the controversy makes it impossible to completely adjudicate the matter without affecting either that party’s interest or the interests of another party in the action.” Do you still have questions about indispensable parties and Florida lawsuits? To read the entire opinion, click here. For a free consultation with a Florida trial lawyer, call (561)514-0900 ext.101.


Probate Litigation: Florida Wills and Divorce

Uncategorized Dec 4, 2019
post about Probate Litigation: Florida Wills and Divorce

How can divorce affect an inheritance? Will my ex-husband still inherit from my Palm Beach estate if we get divorced? What happens if you leave an ex-spouse property in a Florida will? Are you involved in a probate matter regarding divorce and a Florida will? If so, you may want to read a recent Second DCA opinion, Gordon v. Fishman.