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Florida Guardianship Litigation: What Happens if a Guardian Fails to File an Annual Accounting?

Uncategorized Mar 6, 2020
post about Florida Guardianship Litigation: What Happens if a Guardian Fails to File an Annual Accounting?

What is an adult guardianship? What are the duties of a guardian in Florida? Does a guardian have to file annual accountings with the Florida guardianship court? What happens if a guardian fails to provide a timely annual report? Florida Adult Guardianships At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, we handle many guardianship cases throughout Florida. When we refer to “guardianships”, we are talking about guardianships over adults, not minors. Commonly, children of the elderly file a guardianship to protect their mom or dad who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, certain disabled or injured adults may benefit from a guardianship if they are incompetent and unable to take care of themselves. Florida guardianship courts take guardianship proceedings very seriously because these proceedings can result in a ward’s rights being taken away. The “ward” is the person subject to the guardianship who has been determined to be incompetent or incapacitated. It is important to remember that, even if somebody is deemed incapacitated by a probate court judge in Florida, the court may not appoint a guardian if there’s a lesser restrictive alternative that adequately addresses the incapacitated person’s needs. For example, a power of attorney and a revocable trust may prove to be sufficient. West Palm Beach guardianship lawyers know that guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in Palm Beach or anywhere in Florida, you should refer to this chapter. You should also consider interviewing an experienced guardianship lawyer who can answer […]

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How to get interest in Florida lawsuit judgments

Uncategorized Mar 5, 2020
post about How to get interest in Florida lawsuit judgments

What is an interest rate? What is the interest rate on a Florida judgment or decree? How much interest do you get on a Palm Beach probate judgment? What should your Florida probate lawyer know about interest rates and judgments? Current Interest Rate on Florida Judgments Quarterly, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer sets the rate of interest payable on Florida judgments and decrees. As required by F.S. §55.03(1) , the CFO sets these rates on December 1, March 1, June 1, and September 1 of each year. According to the Current Judgment Interest Rates chart, which is posted on the website of Florida’s CFO, the interest rate for Florida final judgments since October 2019 has been 6.89% per annum. Beginning January 1, 2019, the interest rate for Florida judgments will be 6.83% per annum. West Palm Beach Probate Judgments After a probate or inheritance battle, a judgment may be issued. If you are trying to collect a judgment of a million dollars, the interest that may be attached can be significant. The interest on a judgment is usually way larger than that on a bank account. Therefore, learning the rules on interest payments in a West Palm Beach or Miami probate matter may prove valuable. Ask your Florida probate lawyer how much interest you could get on your West Palm Beach probate judgment. Vice versa, you should ask your West Palm Beach trust litigator how much interest you may have to pay if a judgment against you is […]

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What Happens if the Personal Representative of a Florida Estate Does Not Properly Provide Notice to Creditors?

Uncategorized Mar 4, 2020
post about What Happens if the Personal Representative of a Florida Estate Does Not Properly Provide Notice to Creditors?

What are the responsibilities of a personal representative in Florida when it comes to creditor claims? Does a personal representative need to publish Notice to Creditors? How does a personal representative determine the creditors of a Florida estate? Florida Statute 733.2121 and Notice to Creditors If you are serving as the personal representative of a Florida estate, you will have to comply with Florida Statute, section 733.2121. Therefore, as personal representative, you must properly publish Notice to Creditors and make a diligent search to determine creditors. To ensure that the Notice to Creditors is properly published, it is important to read the relevant statute in its entirety and to consult with your Florida estate attorney. Once the personal representative has provided Notice to Creditors, a clock begins to tick for the creditors who wish to file a claim. Therefore, if you believe that you have a claim against a Florida estate, it is important to get moving! 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. Palm Beach probate lawyers know that 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.” Therefore, if the personal representative of a Florida estate fails to properly give notice to a reasonably ascertainable creditor, […]

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Florida Estates and Timely Creditor Claims

Uncategorized Mar 4, 2020
post about Florida Estates and Timely Creditor Claims

What is a reasonably ascertainable creditor in a Florida probate proceeding? How does a creditor give the personal representative of a Florida estate notice of his or her claim? What does the personal representative have to do to properly determine creditors? What happens if a creditor files a claim against a West Palm beach estate after the claim period? Florida Estate Proceedings: Notice to Creditors If you are serving as the personal representative of a Florida estate, you will have to comply with Florida Statute, section 733.2121. Therefore, as personal representative, you must properly publish Notice to Creditors and make a diligent search to determine creditors. To ensure that the Notice to Creditors is properly published, it is important to read the relevant statute in its entirety and to consult with your Florida probate attorney. Furthermore, in any probate matter, it is very important to know filing deadlines. 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.” Florida courts take deadlines very seriously. If you believe that you have a creditor claim against a Florida estate, you should begin interviewing estate lawyers and get your claim filed immediately. If you […]

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When is a Florida Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2020
post about When is a Florida Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

Do court appointed guardians get paid? What criteria does the court consider in determining an award of fees to a guardian? When is a guardian entitled to compensation? What is Florida Statute 744.108? Can a West Palm Beach guardianship lawyer assist me in guardianship litigation regarding fees? Is a Florida guardian entitled to attorneys fees? Who pays for the attorneys fees in a Florida guardianship? Guardian and Attorney Fees and Expenses If you are about to become a court appointed guardian in Florida, or are considering filing for guardianship of a vulnerable adult, you may want to read Florida Statute 744.108 in its entirety. This statute discusses the compensation of a guardian and sets forth the criteria to be considered by the Florida guardianship court in determining an award of fees to a guardian. In Florida, a guardian, or an attorney who has rendered services to the ward or to the guardian on the ward’s behalf, is entitled to a reasonable fee for services rendered and reimbursement for costs incurred on behalf of the ward.   What are the criteria the Florida guardianship court considers when fees for guardian or an attorney are submitted? Florida Statute 744.108 lists the following criteria: The time and labor required The novelty and difficulty of the questions involved and the skill required to perform the services properly The likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment of the person The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar services;(e) The nature and […]

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Ascertainable Creditors & Untimely Creditor Claims

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2020
post about Ascertainable Creditors & Untimely Creditor Claims

Who is considered to be a “reasonably ascertainable creditor” in a Florida lawsuit? Who does a personal representative in Florida need to serve a notice of creditors to? If a creditor fails to file a timely claim against a West Palm Beach or Miami estate, what happens? If you are involved in Florida litigation regarding a notice to creditors, you may want to read Cantero v. Estate of Caswell. Ascertainable Creditors If you are serving as the personal representative of a Florida estate, you will have to comply with Florida Statute 733.2121. Therefore, as personal representative, you must properly publish Notice to Creditors and make a diligent search to determine creditors. Florida Statute 733.2121(3)(a) explains in more detail what the personal representative must do to ensure that he or she properly gives notice to creditors of the estate. This section states the following : “The personal representative shall promptly make a diligent search to determine the names and addresses of creditors of the decedent who are reasonably ascertainable, even if the claims are unmatured, contingent, or unliquidated, and shall promptly serve a copy of the notice on those creditors. Impracticable and extended searches are not required. Service is not required on any creditor who has filed a claim as provided in this part, whose claim has been paid in full, or whose claim is listed in a personal representative’s timely filed proof of claim.” Furthermore, in any trust or estate matter, it is very important to know filing deadlines. Under Florida Statute 733.702(1), […]

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Florida Probate Litigation and Disclaimers

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2020
post about Florida Probate Litigation and Disclaimers

What is a disclaimer? When might you be asked to sign a disclaimer in your Florida probate case? What should you do if a disclaimer is presented to you by the opposing side? How can a probate lawyer help you to decide whether or not to sign a disclaimer? What constitutes a valid disclaimer in Florida? A January 23,2019 Third DCA opinion discusses a disclaimer in a Florida inheritance case, and what makes a disclaimer valid or invalid. Know What You Are Signing This may seem obvious but, before you sign ANYTHING, make sure that you read it and understand it! You would be surprised how many times our West Palm Beach probate law firm gets calls from beneficiaries who accidentally signed away their rights. Sometimes, these beneficiaries don’t even realize what they did until it is too late. In the probate world, disclaimers are common. For example, if a beneficiary does not want to have interest in , or inherit, a property, they will most likely be asked to sign a disclaimer. Before receiving an inheritance, beneficiaries are also usually asked to sign a disclaimer. In order to avoid any mistakes, and to avoid accidentally giving up valuable inheritance rights, you should have your Palm Beach inheritance lawyer review the disclaimer and go over it with you. Florida Law: Disclaimer of Property Florida Statute 739.104(3) explains what is required for a Florida disclaimer of property to be effective. The following must be met: The disclaimer must be in writing […]

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Florida Alimony Appeals and Inheritances

Uncategorized Feb 27, 2020
post about Florida Alimony Appeals and Inheritances

What do West Palm Beach divorces or alimony disputes have to do with Florida inheritance matters? Why are Florida divorce cases relevant to probate cases? What do Palm Beach probate litigators need to know about prenups and alimony? How important is it to hire an experienced appellate attorney for an alimony appeal? How can an appellate attorney help me to appeal a court order denying an alimony modification? Florida Prenuptial Agreements Florida probate lawyers and appellate attorneys know that a prenuptial agreement (prenup) can protect your inheritance from your spouse in the case of death or divorce. In a prenup, a person can specify how to divide up property and inheritances at the end of a marriage. It is important to know that inherited assets can be considered in the award of alimony. However, by fixing the term and amount of alimony in a prenup, entangling an inheritance with a divorce can be avoided. In the case of death, inherited assets are treated just as any other asset. Therefore, in the absence of a prenup, inherited assets are subject to spousal claims just like any other asset. If you don’t have a prenup, you may find yourself needing to hire a Florida family law attorney to represent you in an alimony battle, a West Palm Beach probate attorney to fight for your inheritance, and even an appellate attorney if a decision needs to be appealed. Nangle v. Nangle If you are involved in alimony litigation or questioning whether or not you should execute a prenup prior to marriage, you may want to […]

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How Can a West Palm Beach Guardianship Help You to Protect an Elderly Loved One?

Uncategorized Feb 25, 2020
post about How Can a West Palm Beach Guardianship Help You to Protect an Elderly Loved One?

What is an adult guardianship? When should I consider hiring a West Palm Beach guardianship attorney? What can I do if I feel my elderly mom is being taken advantage of by a caretaker? How can I make sure that my elderly dad, who has Alzheimer’s disease, is not financially exploited? Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult As guardianship litigation lawyers, we at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus frequently encounter situations where elderly adults are being taken advantage of by those trusted to care for them. It seems that elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia are targeted most frequently because these particular diseases, unfortunately, can make them vulnerable. Greedy caretakers, neighbors, or friends, who know of a person’s vulnerability, may try to financially exploit them. The idea of having a caretaker or neighbor exploit your vulnerable family member can be sickening. However, there are certain things that can be done to try to prevent this from occurring. Florida Adult Guardianships You may want to consider filing for guardianship over mom and dad if they are no longer able to care for themselves. The guardianship process in Florida is taken very seriously by West Palm Beach courts because guardianship proceedings involve rights being taken away if the alleged incapacitated person is deemed incapacitated. The proceedings to determine incapacity are generally controlled by Florida Statute 744.331, and the statute must be strictly followed. To learn more about the procedures to determine incapacity in a hearing, you should read Florida Statute […]

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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 […]

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