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Inheritance Theft Laws in Florida

What We Do • Mar 24, 2021
post about Inheritance Theft Laws in Florida

Are you wondering where your inheritance is? Did someone improperly deny you your Florida inheritance? This legal commentary will provide insight on Inheritance Theft Laws in Florida. We have already written about INHERITANCE DISPUTES and APPEALS. Now, let’s focus a bit more on inheritance theft.

There are many aspects of Inheritance Theft Laws in Florida.

Civil Theft vs. Probate Remedies

Civil theft is said to be one cause of action in Florida. It is one part of Inheritance Theft Laws in the sunshine state. Admittedly, this law appears to be used too much, or, perhaps improperly. Florida Statute 772.11 is the Florida Civil Theft Law. It provides a civil penalty for doing criminal things. “Clients love the Florida Civil Theft Law” says Florida litigation attorney John Pankauski “you get triple damages and attorneys fees.” BUT, Pankauski reminds us, that’s only have a judge or jury trial. AFTER you win! And he should know. Unlike a lot of Florida lawyers who want you to settle all your cases, he actually tries cases and handles appeals. Yup, he is NOT for everyone. To read more about treble or triple damages under the civil theft law in Florida, and attorneys fees, read Florida Statute 772.11 (1). Consider also reading Florida Statute 772.185. For a FREE VIDEO on civil theft and damage calculation, CLICK HERE.

Probate Court Remedies

The truth is that most of your remedies for inheritance theft lie in probate court, or the civil court, and don’t involve Florida’s civil theft statute. “When you are talking about inheritances” says probate litigator John Pankauski “there are already mechanisms in the probate court to contest a will or trust.” These are usually done by filing a petition, such as a petition to revoke probate, or to contest a will. “If you think someone stole from you, you can demand an accounting or object to the estate inventory” says Pankauski. And, finally, there is a lawsuit which you can file if somebody interfered with your inheritance. It’s called a cause of action for tortious interference with an inheritance. So, keep this in mind if you wonder about your Florida inheritance. Remember, there is a big difference between a will contest and a fiduciary behaving badly. Whether a will or Florida trust is valid or VOID based on undue influence is ONE issue. But, if a trustee or executor is not sharing information with you, that’s another legal issue for your Florida probate litigation law firm. Finally, is your trustee or executor non disclosing distributions and money and assets? That’s a completely different story.