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Hearsay & Bank Business Records: 4th DCA explains Florida evidence and bank records

Uncategorized Dec 6, 2015
post about Hearsay & Bank Business Records: 4th DCA explains Florida evidence and bank records

So, probate litigation law firms need to know not just the Florida Probate Rules,  but also Florida Chapter 90, the rules of evidence.  A November 4, 2015 Florida 4th DCA case explains what hearsay is and who you can get bank records into evidence in a Florida lawsuit. While this is not a probate case, Florida estate lawyers should take note of this case. Why?  Because there is a lot of work by probate litigation lawyers West Palm Beach over bank accounts and financial accounts which require bank statements, financial accounts statements, and other financial records to be produced and introduced to prove your probate case.

Why Probate Litigators Need to Know About Hearsay

  • Bank records are important to Florida trust lawyers and estate and probate attorneys
  • Why? Well, if the decedent had a line of credit or home equity line or home mortgage, the estate or probate will have to deal with the bank as a creditor
  • And because a lot of Florida residents have a revocable trust, in Florida, the probate rules, or laws, and the Florida trust laws, collide, and make the trustee of the revocable trust pay debts of the estate if the estate does not have enough case or property
  • Finally, there is a lot of legal lawsuits in probate court about who owns a Florida bank account, a stock brokerage account or a financial account
  • Is that a POD account or a joint tenancy with a right of survivorship?
  • Or does the Palm Beach estate get the account because it was an estate account or a convenience account?
  • Lots of probate litigation over bank accounts by estate lawyers in Florida
  • So, in this recent Florida appeals court case out of West Palm Beach, this appeal dealt with a matter out of  Broward County
  • Hearsay is defined in this appellate opinion
  • And even though there is no per se rule precluding the admission of computerized business records acquired from a prior bank or bank employee, the records custodian MUST have some knowledge of the prior record keeper’s business protocols
  • So, listen up beneficiaries and probate lawyers in Florida
  • First of all, don’t assume that bank records are going to come into evidence in the probate court
  • The records may be objected to based upon hearsay
  • So, how are you going to win your estate lawsuit or defend your bank account if you need those records in evidence? http://www.4dca.org/opinions/Nov.%202015/11-4-15/4D13-4818.op.pdf
  • 40 Fla. L. Weekly D 2474 Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas v. Frias