Declaratory Relief in Florida — only 5 things you gotta know
Trust beneficiaries and probate bene’s seek declaratory relief all the time. Especially those involved in a civil lawsuit unrelated to an estate or trust. Yep, been there, done that. But, do you know what this is really about? And how to handle an appeal? An August 2022 case reminds us how to seek declaratory relief from a Florida court. We have written about this Florida legal topic BEFORE. But there’s a new case to read if you need help with this topic.
You can do this !
There is a specific statute if you want a judge to determine your rights !
Actually there are a few !
Take a look at Chapter 86 of the Florida Statutes. That law tells you all you need to know (just about !) about seeking declaratory relief.
This is also expressed as filing an action for a declaratory judgment.
There’s even a specific law for trust beneficiaries, called Florida Trust Law 736.0210 (4)(f).
And estates or probates, which includes family member beneficiaries and personal representatives. Read 86.041, Florida Statutes.
What you NEED to know RIGHT NOW !
In August of 2022, Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal issued a ruling.
The case was Comisar v. Heritage Property. (read it for free by clicking that link)
In that Palm Beach County case, the trial judge was OVER-RULED by the appeals court.
He dismissed an action for declaratory relief.
But the appeals court said that the trial judge was wrong. That he committed error.
To make a claim for declaratory relief:
- You have to seek a declaration of rights
- Explain the basis for that
- Explain that there is a real controversy at hand
- Or………………..that the “seeds of litigation are ripening”
- That there is a real, practical need for a declaration
- The declaration which you are seeking deals with a real controversy going on right now
- No speculation
- If you are in doubt about your rights, you can go to court
- Wondering what a contract or Power of Attorney says? Ask the judge to tell you.