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When Can a Florida Lawsuit be Dismissed for Failure to Join Indispensable Parties?

Uncategorized Dec 5, 2019
post about When Can a Florida Lawsuit be Dismissed for Failure to Join Indispensable Parties?

What is an indispensable party in a Florida probate or business lawsuit? How does the Florida Supreme Court define an indispensable party? How do Florida probate courts and civil courts determine whether a party is indispensable or not? If you have questions about indispensable parties in Florida, you may want to read an April 22,2019 First DCA opinion, MBC Gospel Network, LLC v. Florida’s News Channel,LC. Although this is not a Florida probate opinion, probate trial lawyers encounter lawsuits involving indispensable parties. In this Florida appeal, one of the issues raised by the Appellants is “whether the trial court erred by failing to dismiss the case for failure to join indispensable parties.” The appellate court goes on to explain that ” The Florida Supreme Court has defined an indispensable party as ‘one whose interest in the controversy makes it impossible to completely adjudicate the matter without affecting either that party’s interest or the interests of another party in the action.” Do you still have questions about indispensable parties and Florida lawsuits? To read the entire opinion, click here. For a free consultation with a Florida trial lawyer, call (561)514-0900 ext.101.

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Probate Litigation: Florida Wills and Divorce

Uncategorized Dec 4, 2019
post about Probate Litigation: Florida Wills and Divorce

How can divorce affect an inheritance? Will my ex-husband still inherit from my Palm Beach estate if we get divorced? What happens if you leave an ex-spouse property in a Florida will? Are you involved in a probate matter regarding divorce and a Florida will? If so, you may want to read a recent Second DCA opinion, Gordon v. Fishman.

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Injunctions and Florida Law

Uncategorized Nov 26, 2019
post about Injunctions and Florida Law

When will a Florida trial court grant an injunction? To be entitled to an injunction in Florida, what must be proven? When do you need to hire a Florida lawyer to assist you with an injunction? Injunctions and Florida Business or Probate Lawsuits Sometimes, West Palm Beach lawyers are asked to file an injunction. Why would a business lawyer or trust and estates lawyer be asked to file an injunction? Well, sometimes, disputes over inheritances or money can become very messy. Florida litigation lawyers know that, when it comes to money, people can go to extreme measures. Although the fight for the money is being handled in court, there have been cases where one party is so upset that they begin to “stalk” or “harass” the other party. At this point, a stalking injunction may be considered. Temporary Stalking Injunctions in Florida To be entitled to a stalking injunction in Florida under section 784.0485, “a petitioner must prove by competent, substantial evidence a single incident of stalking.” According to Florida Statute 784.048(2), stalking occurs when a person “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person. You may wonder what the definition of “harass” is according to the Florida Statutes. To harass means to “engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.” §784.048(1)(a), Fla. Stat. Shannon v. Smith If you looking to petition for temporary stalking injunction against someone in Florida, you may […]

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Guardianship Lawsuits and the Right to Marry

Uncategorized Nov 15, 2019
post about Guardianship Lawsuits and the Right to Marry

Does a Ward have a right to marry? If you are a Florida guardianship lawyer, or a family member involved with an aging or fragile adult who is subject to a guardianship, you will want to read the Fourth DCA’s March 2,2016 opinion in the Smith case.

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Florida Fifth DCA holds that disinherited beneficiaries may bring suit during the pendency of a separate will or trust contest.

Uncategorized Sep 17, 2019

Do disinherited children have standing to sue the trustee or a fiduciary who is mis-managing estate or trust assets? Typically, no. But if there is a will and/or trust contest underway to restore their inheritance rights, the answer is likely yes.  Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue in Cruz v. Community Bank . Attorney Alexander Briggs, Esquire, of Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, PLLC successfully briefed and argued this case before the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach, Florida on behalf of the appellants. In Cruz, two children were essentially disinherited by their father. The son received nothing, and the daughter received only a life estate in homestead property. Shortly before his death, the father executed a trust that purported to leave most of the trust and estate assets to charity. Then the father died. The children filed an action to invalidate the will and trust on the grounds that their father did not have capacity at that time of his signature. If they succeed, they will inherit all of the trust and estate assets. While their lawsuit was pending, the trustee sent them an accounting and monthly statements with “limitations notices” that, under Section 736.1008, Florida Statutes, invoked a six-month statute of limitations for any causes of action arising from the accounting or statements. The statements tended to show that the trust property was not invested or producing income, and that it was in fact dwindling. Faced with this short deadline, the children sued for breach of trust, even […]

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Robert J. Hauser, Law Partner at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus PLLC, Featured in The Best Lawyers in America

Uncategorized Sep 16, 2019
post about Robert J. Hauser, Law Partner at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus PLLC, Featured in The Best Lawyers in America

Robert J. Hauser of Pankauski Hauser Lazarus PLLC has been chosen to be featured in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He is recognized for his high caliber of work in Appellate Practice. Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on a rigorous peer-review survey comprising of more than 8.2 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys. Since June 1, 2009, Mr. Hauser has been named a Board-Certified Specialist by The Florida Bar in Appellate Practice. Mr. Hauser remains available to consult regarding litigation and pending or potential final or non-final appeals in state, federal, or bankruptcy courts. Mr. Hauser offers trial and appellate support in almost any area of law, including personal injury, products liability, securities fraud, family law, class actions, probate/trust disputes, business disputes, real estate disputes, and county-to-circuit appeals. For a free consultation with Mr. Hauser, call (561)514-0900 ext.101.

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ROBERT J. HAUSER, PARTNER AT PANKAUSKI HAUSER LAZARUS PLLC, RECOGNIZED IN SUPER LAWYERS’ 2019 LIST OF TOP ATTORNEYS

Uncategorized Sep 16, 2019
post about ROBERT J. HAUSER, PARTNER AT PANKAUSKI HAUSER LAZARUS PLLC, RECOGNIZED IN SUPER LAWYERS’ 2019 LIST OF TOP ATTORNEYS

Super Lawyers’ 2019 Annual List of Top Attorneys names Pankauski Hauser Lazarus PLLC partner Robert J. Hauser as a “Super Lawyer” in appellate practice. This directory consists of the nation’s top attorneys who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Robert J. Hauser has been practicing in West Palm Beach since 1997, and has been board certified by the Florida Bar in appellate practice since 2009.  Mr. Hauser handles only litigation and appeals. He has handled a broad variety of matters, including complex business disputes, probate litigation, family law, health care litigation, attorneys’ fees disputes, and bankruptcy appeals. To set up an initial consultation with Mr. Hauser, call (561)268-0233 Ext.101.

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Can an Improperly Executed Trust Amendment Be Validated Under the Statute Permitting Reformation to Correct Mistakes of Law Affecting the Settlor’s Intent?

Uncategorized Aug 16, 2019
post about Can an Improperly Executed Trust Amendment Be Validated Under the Statute Permitting Reformation to Correct Mistakes of Law Affecting the Settlor’s Intent?

What happens if a trust is created but it was not properly signed by two witnesses? What if a Florida trust is not properly executed? Is a trust that is not properly executed in Florida still valid? Can an amendment’s improper execution be corrected under the statute permitting reformation of mistakes? If you are involved in trust litigation where a mistake was made in the execution of a Florida trust, you may want to read Kelly v. Lindenau, a May 17, 2017 Second DCA opinion. Here, the validity of a trust amendment was in question. The trust amendment in the Florida probate case conveyed settlor’s residential property to a beneficiary. The issue was that the trust amendment was not signed by a second witness. Therefore, according to Florida trust law, it was not properly executed. The successor tustee brought action against the beneficiary in the aendment seeking declaration as to the validity of the trust amendment. The benefificary filed a counterclaim seeking reformation of the trust amendment, and the trial court ultimately granted the beneficiary’s counterclaim. However, the Second DCA disagreed with the trial courts decision. The appellate court help that “amendment’s improper execution could not be corrected under statute permitting reformation of mistakes, and constructive trust was improper remedy for error in execution.” To read the entire case, click here.

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What are the Rights of a Person Determined Incapacitated in Florida?

Uncategorized Aug 15, 2019
post about What are the  Rights of a Person Determined Incapacitated in Florida?

What is Florida Statute 744.3215? Did you know that if you are deemed incapacitated in Florida, certain rights may be taken away from you? Can all of my rights be taken away from me? What rights will I still have if I am a Ward? How can my guardianship lawyer help me to understand my rights? Florida Statute 744.3215 is the relevant statute. It lists the rights that a person retains when determined incapacitated and the rights that may be removed.

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Personal Representative of Florida Estate Brings Wrongful Death Action

Uncategorized Aug 7, 2019
post about Personal Representative of Florida Estate Brings Wrongful Death Action

Are you the personal representative of an estate in Florida? Do you believe that a wrongful death action should be filed? Can you file a wrongful death action as the personal representative of an estate? How do you file a wrongful death action in Florida? When do you need a Florida estate lawyer and a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer? Carpenters Home Estates Inc. v. Sanders A July 12, 2019 Second DCA opinion, Carpenters Home Estates Inc. v. Sanders, is a great example of a case where the personal representative of a Florida estate brings a wrongful death claim. Here, the personal representative brought action against a nursing home owner and operator for both negligence and wrongful death. What does this case show us? The Personal Representative of a Florida Estate Plays Many Roles When you are appointed as the personal representative of an estate, you should be prepared to make many important decisions. In Florida, the personal representative of an estate needs to be represented by a lawyer. Hiring an experienced probate lawyer to represent you as personal representative can definitely make the process much smoother and less stressful. In addition to choosing an experienced lawyer, you want to make sure that you work compatibly with the West Palm Beach probate lawyer that you choose. You and your probate lawyer will work together to decide what makes sense for the beneficiaries of the Florida estate. In some cases, your probate lawyer may suggest that you also hire a personal injury […]

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