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Florida TOD Accounts + Federal Court

What We Do • Feb 15, 2021
post about Florida TOD Accounts + Federal Court

Were you supposed to inherit a Florida TOD account from a bank or financial company? Is the probate executor making a claim to your Florida TOD account? This recent federal case on Florida TOD accounts may prove helpful to understanding your rights. If you still have questions, be sure to find a litigation law firm that has experience trying TOD and pay on death cases, as well as handling TOD appeals.

Is Federal court better? … Federal court may be the place to enforce your rights to a Florida TOD account. Consider federal court vs. state court suggests TOD lawyer John Pankauski.

Federal Case Sheds Light on Florida TOD Accounts + Federal Court

While most Florida probate lawyers only practice in state court, there are some expert probate litigators who also handle federal court cases in Florida. Just ask John Pankauski, Managing Member of the boutique firm Pankauski Lazarus PLLC. “We have a federal court trial in March of 2021 in the Middle District of Florida . 2020 was very busy for us in Federal Court in Florida. We had a few matters in the USDC Southern District of Florida.” Pankauski should know. After all, TOD accounts and pay on death bank accounts are a unique area of the law. “Look out for so called ‘probate’ lawyers who say they go to court, but who actually never try a case” warns Pankauski. “Don’t get me wrong. Mediation and settlement may make a lot of sense, but they are not for everyone.” he continues. “There are a lot of Florida probate lawyers who just want you to settle everything.” Well, needless to say, that’s not him.

Florida TOD Accounts + Federal Court

A recent, 2019 federal court Florida TOD case dealt with Florida Statute 655.79 and also the issue of how a bank account is titled. Or……rather, whose name, and what words, are on a particular account. Is the account a transfer on death account like a POD account, or Pay on Death? Is the account a Totten Trust? Or, does the account really belong to the estate and should it be probated like any other asset? Knowing whether an account belongs to the Florida probate because it’s a convenience account, under Fla. Stat. 655.80, or whether or not it is a true joint account with rights of survivorship, suggests Pankauski, often turns on the evidence — and knowing where to look. Consider reading Bayuk v. Prisiajniouk (2019, U.S.D.C. — Middle District, Fla.) 2019WL7293591. There is no substitute for experience.