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Miami Inheritances and Alimony

FAQs Dec 7, 2020
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What do Miami family law or alimony modification lawsuits have to do with Florida inheritance matters? Why are Florida divorce cases relevant to probate cases? What do South Beach estate litigators need to know about prenups and alimony? How important is it to hire an experienced Miami Beach appellate attorney for an alimony appeal? How can an appellate attorney help me to appeal a court order denying an alimony modification? Miami Prenups and Inheritances Your Miami estate planning lawyer or probate attorney can tell you that a prenuptial agreement (prenup) can protect your inheritance from your spouse in the case of death or divorce. In a prenup, you can specify how to divide up property and inheritances at the end of a marriage. Miami family law and probate lawyers 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 Miami family law attorney to represent you in an alimony battle, a probate attorney to fight for your inheritance, and even a West Palm Beach appellate attorney if the modification lawsuit leads to an appeal. Florida Alimony Modification Appeals If you are involved in alimony litigation, or questioning whether or not you should […]


Florida Appeals and Voluntary Dismissal

What We Do Dec 2, 2020
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Florida appeals and voluntary dismissals might seem like oil and water. How can you appeal a Florida lawsuit that was the subject of a voluntary dismissal? What does the voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit have to do with an appeal? Florida Inheritance Litigation and Civil Appeals Florida lawyers know that some trust or estate cases can lead to an appeal. If you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may be able to file an appeal. Also, if you win a Florida probate case, the other side may choose to appeal. Therefore, it is important to anticipate the possibility of having to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney. If you are in the process of hiring a Florida law firm to assist you with probate or trust litigation, you may want to look for a firm that is experienced in both litigation and appeals. If you hire a law firm that limits its practice to civil litigation and appeals, you may end up at advantage. Florida attorneys with both litigation and appellate experience know what to do during trial to ensure that issues are preserved for appeal. In addition, having experienced trial lawyers and appellate lawyers in one firm is beneficial because you may save time and money during an appeal due to the fact that the firm is already familiar with your case. If you need to hire a separate Florida appellate attorney, that attorney will need to obtain and review all of the trial level documents […]


Miami Appeals and Injunctions

What We Do Dec 1, 2020
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We provided other FREE LEGAL COMMENTARY on TEMPORARY INJUNCTIONS. Now consider: What if a Miami court tells me one thing but the official order says another? You should consider reading a recent opinion, Soldatich v. Jones to learn more. Miami appeals and injunctions is a topic that seems to be coming up more and more recently. Do you need a Florida appeals lawyer to help you? Or an injunction attorney? (Yes !!) Miami Injunctions + Adult Guardianships Miami guardianship attorneys are sometimes hired to file a petition for injunction against exploitation of a vulnerable adult per section 825.1035 of the Florida Statutes. In addition, a Miami lawyer may be needed file other petitions for injunction if the situation deems necessary. Guardianship litigation or Miami injunction lawsuits can lead to an appeal. If you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may be able to file an appeal. It’s also important to note that, if you win your case, the other side may appeal. Therefore, it’s smart to anticipate the possibility of having to hire an experienced Miami appellate attorney. Hiring a Miami Injunction Attorney If you are in the process of hiring a Miami law firm to file a petition for injunction on your behalf, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider the possibility of an appeal being filed. However, as any litigator can tell you, appeals do […]


Adult Florida Guardianship Necessary?

Our Firm Dec 1, 2020

Are you considering filing for guardianship over a loved one? It may be difficult to do when your mom or dad are slowing down. Or faltering. But advanced age and decreased mental acuity can make loved ones susceptible to financial abuse. Adult Florida Guardianship is one way to ask a Probate Court for help. And to protect your parents’ property and their health. To read a host of FLORIDA GUARDIANSHIP topics and commentaries on the law, CLICK THIS LINK. Guardianships in Florida At Pankauski Lazarus, we frequently encounter family members who are concerned about elderly relatives and wish to file guardianships. However, it is important to consider all of the facts prior to petitioning. Is the person you are concerned about incapacitated? Does he or she suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s? Does the person go to the grocery store and bank on his or her own or require assistance? Is the person taking care of him or herself? Also, it is important to consider the costs of filing a guardianship. Guardianship litigation can become pricy, especially if the guardianship is contested. Will your brother or sister fight you for guardianship of your mom? Chapter 744– Florida’s Guardianship Laws There are a lot of rules to help you along in the Adult Florida Guardianship process. Miami guardianship lawyers know that guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in Miami, or anywhere in Florida, you should refer to this chapter. An experienced Florida […]


Florida Inheritance Lawsuit and Personal Financial Data

FAQs Nov 24, 2020
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Are you involved a Florida Probate case? And it is about Florida Inheritance Lawsuit and personal financial data? One of the pressing issues is how much can you learn about money. Finances. And Personal Financial Data. Can a beneficiary request personal financial records from a Florida trustee? When can the opposing party request personal financial records from me? We have previously provided FREE FLORIDA LEGAL COMMENTARY on your Florida Right to Privacy . In Florida, there is a Constitutional right to privacy which includes financial information. Florida Trusts & Relevant Information West Palm Beach probate lawyers know that beneficiaries of a Florida trust have a right, under Florida probate and trust law, to “relevant information.” For one, beneficiaries have a right to receive an annual accounting from the trustee. In Florida, trustees actually have a duty to provide an annual accounting. Florida Statute 736.0813 (d) says that “a trustee of an irrevocable trust shall provide a trust accounting, as set forth in s. 736.08135, from the date of the last accounting or, if none, from the date on which the trustee became accountable, to each qualified beneficiary at least annually and on termination of the trust or on change of the trustee.” If you are the beneficiary of a trust in Florida, and your trustee is not providing you with requested relevant information or accountings, you should consider consulting with an experienced West Palm Beach inheritance attorney. Unfortunately, as trust and estates litigators, we know that there are “bad” trustees out there. Sometimes, […]


Enforcing a Florida Settlement Agreement–why so many motions ?

What We Do Nov 24, 2020
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If enforcing a Florida settlement agreement is so easy, why are there so many motions to enforce? What should you know before signing a settlement agreement in West Palm Beach? What should your Florida trial lawyer tell you before you decide to enter into a settlement agreement? IF someone does not comply with the settlement agreement, there is very clear caselaw on what to do next. If you would like to read about settlement agreements and PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS, CLICK HERE. In Florida, how can you compel compliance with a settlement agreement? Enforcing a Written Deal If you are involved in Enforcing a Florida Settlement Agreement, you need to consider the cost. And whether or not you can recover your attorneys fees and costs. Don’t forget to insure that the court retained jurisdiction to help you. At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, our attorneys handle probate litigation and civil appeals throughout Florida. Many times, we have to prepare, review appeal, or litigation a settlement agreement. Enforcing a Florida settlement agreement usually involves filing a motion. And be careful, because your agreement may have “prevailing party attorneys fees” provisions. The good news is that there is a lot of guidance from Florida’s Appellate Courts on what to do with settlement agreements. There are cases which are often cited when you have to enforce a settlement agreement. Although probate litigators frequent the courtroom, they must also handle other aspects of litigation. For example, outside of the courtroom, experienced trial lawyers prepare for depositions, negotiate settlement agreements, […]


Florida Surviving Spouse Rights and The Importance of Timely Filings

Probate Information Nov 23, 2020
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Every year, widows, widowers and surviving spouses inherit billions from Florida probates. Florida Surviving Spouse rights are very valuable for Florida estates. But most don’t want to leave money on the table. And you should know exactly how much you are entitled to. After all, the three most valuable rights a spouse has to a Florida estate are straightforward. First, Florida Homestead. Second, intestate share. Third Elective Share. Has your wife or husband recently passed away in Florida? Are you a surviving spouse? To read more FREE FLORIDA PROBATE COMMENTARY about rights of a surviving spouse, CLICK HERE. If you are the surviving spouse in an inheritance dispute in Florida, you may want to read Florida Statute 732.401 and a March 15, 2019 Second DCA opinion, Samad v. Pla. Don’t Sit on Your Inheritance Rights Florida law does not help those who sit on their rights. Florida Estate Law helps those who speak up and who EXERCISE their rights. Silence is often not a friend to surviving spouses’ inheritance rights. Florida probate lawyers know that surviving spouses in Florida have many inheritance rights. However, it is important to act on those rights, and act quickly. John Pankauski, managing law partner at Pankauski Lazarus, always reminds prospective and current clients that the law doesn’t reward those who sit on their rights! In Florida probate proceedings, there are many deadlines that must be met. For example, surviving spouses must make certain elections within a certain time frame. In addition, objections or filings […]


Florida Appeals and Jurisdiction

What We Do Nov 22, 2020
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Are you involved in Florida litigation? Do you need to appeal an order or judgment? A good trial lawyer will know if you can appeal that order now, or whether you have to wait until the end of your case. Sometimes, you want to appeal an order now. But you can’t because the Florida Appellate Court lacks jurisdiction. Most “appealable” orders must be final. A good Florida Appellate Attorney knows that many NONFINAL orders MUST BE appealed now. Rather than waiting to the end of your Florida lawsuit. There are some Florida Appellate Rules which can create a “use it or lose it” 30 day period to appeal an order or judgment. What is Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.130? You may want to read a recent 5th District Court of Appeal opinion. Hollinger v. Hollinger is a quick read to learn more about Florida probate appeals and appellate jurisdiction. Also, to read an April 29, 2021 appellate opinion on appeals and jurisdiction, click HERE. Florida Appellate Rule 9.130 Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.130 discusses what nonfinal orders are appealable. It is important to consider whether the Florida appellate courts can even hear an appeal regarding the order you disagree with. If you try to appeal an order that is not appealable, the appeal may be dismissed due to the appellate court’s lack of jurisdiction. An experienced Florida appellate attorney, like Robert Hauser, Esq. at Pankauski Lazarus, can help you determine whether or not you can appeal a certain order. Hauser […]


Suing a Trustee Individually and as Trustee of a Miami Trust

What We Do Nov 21, 2020
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Are you suing a trustee individually? Most trust beneficiaries want to know what their rights are when a trustee behaves badly. We have previously written about REMOVING A TRUSTEE and SUSPENDING A TRUSTEE. When should you sue a trustee both individually and as trustee of a trust in Florida? Suing a person who happens to be serving as a trustee is different than suing that person in his or her capacity as trustee. If a Florida Probate Court surcharges your trustee or finds there are damages, that trustee may have to pay personally and not from trust funds. Florida Trustee Duties Under the Florida Trust Code, a trustee has the following duties: Duty to Administer the Trust in good faith and accordance with its purposes and the Florida trust code. Duty of Loyalty. A trustee cannot engage in self dealing for its own advantage of profit, it must be loyal to the trust and beneficiaries. The trustee violates the duty of loyalty any time a transaction is entered for the trustee’s own advantage or benefit. These are general voidable by the court.  Duty of Prudence. The trustee must administer the trust as a prudent person would after considering the purpose of the trust, its terms, what the circumstances of the trust and market are etc. The trustee also cannot incur unreasonable expenses. Duty of Special Skills means that a trustee with special skills will be held responsible to utilize those skills. For example, if a person serves as a trustee who is a lawyer or accountant, that person will be held to a […]


Florida Adult Guardianships: Alleged Incapacitated Person and Her Attorney

What We Do Nov 19, 2020
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Are you involved in a Miami guardianship proceeding? Florida Adult Guardianships seem to be on the rise. Many family members not only file for guardianship for a mother or father. They also sometimes fight over who will be in charge. Probate Judges always appoint a lawyer to represent the person who is the subject of a guardianship. But what if you want a different lawyer? We have provided thoughtful free commentary on Florida Guardianship Law, as well as the Netflix show I Care A Lot and even Britney Spears. Now, let’s talk about Florida Adult Guardianships in Miami. After all, Guardianships are not just for minors. Miami Guardianships At Pankauski 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. Maybe they are suffering from dementia or Alzheimers. Or, sometimes it’s more subtle. They are just slowing down. And they need some help. And, their property needs some management and protection. To read about financial exploitation or elder abuse, CLICK HERE. To see a FREE VIDEO on financial exploitation of the elderly, CLICK THIS LINK. Furthermore, certain disabled or injured adults may benefit from a guardianship if they are incompetent and unable to take care of themselves. Occasionally, parents of adult children may file a Florida guardianships if the adult child is unable to handle his or her needs. Florida guardianship lawyers know that guardianship […]