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Estate Litigation and the Right to an Accounting

Uncategorized Apr 30, 2019
post about Estate Litigation and the Right to an Accounting

A recent Texas appeals case, Brown v. Arenson,  involves a request for an accounting from the beneficiaries of an estate. Although this is not a Florida case, probate lawyers in Florida encounter beneficiaries seeking an accounting very frequently. Did you know that, in Florida, beneficiaries of estates and trusts have rights under the Florida Trust Code and the Florida Probate Code. If you are not receiving the information you want about an inheritance, your trust or a Palm Beach probate, you can file an action for an accounting. 

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Florida Joint Trusts and Amendments

Uncategorized Apr 30, 2019
post about Florida Joint Trusts and Amendments

If you and your spouse create a trust in Florida together, can you amend it after your spouse dies? In Florida, can a trust created by a husband and wife be amended at any time? Do both settlors of a joint trust have to amend the trust together? What should probate lawyers and estate litigation lawyers know about joint trusts in Florida?  A February 27, 2009 Second DCA opinion, Provost v. Justin, discusses these issues. 

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POA Lawsuits and Sibling Rivalry

Uncategorized Apr 30, 2019
post about POA Lawsuits and Sibling Rivalry

Do you believe that your mom or dad is a victim of probate fraud in Florida? What if your evil sister unduly influenced your mom to change her Palm Beach estate plan? What if your brother forced your elderly aunt into changing her POA so that he could steal from her? Has your mentally impaired parent been wrongly influenced to make changes to his or her Florida will?

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According to Florida Trust Law, What is a Trust Accounting?

Uncategorized Apr 30, 2019
post about According to Florida Trust Law, What is a Trust Accounting?

According to Florida Trust Law, what is a trust accounting? Is a trustee of a Florida trust required to provide beneficiaries of the trust with accountings? What can you do, as a beneficiary, if the trustee of your mother’s trust refuses to provide you with any information? How can you, as a beneficiary, find out how much the trust is worth? The use of trusts has become more and more popular. In fact, revocable or living trusts are now frequently a part of one’s basic Florida estate plan and Florida estate planning lawyers find themselves creating them often. So, what are the laws regarding them?

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Florida Divorce Litigation, Probate Lawsuits, and Homestead Properties

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2019
post about Florida Divorce Litigation, Probate Lawsuits, and Homestead Properties

What does the Florida Constitution tell us about homestead property in Florida? What is the Florida Constitution’s homestead exemption? Why would a West Palm Beach divorce lawyer need to be familiar with the homestead laws in Florida? Should your Florida probate attorney know about homestead exemptions and exceptions? What do the Florida homestead laws have to do with inheritance or divorce? Florida lawyers know that there are many probate and family law cases that involve a homestead property. Disputes regarding this property frequently arise. For example, in a probate case, beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate could be fighting over homestead property. Therefore, you should choose a trust and estates lawyer who knows what the Florida Constitution has to say about homestead. A good example of a divorce case that involves a homestead property is Luis de Diego v. Barrios. In this April 24, 2019 Third DCA opinion, a former husband and a former wife were involved in litigation over the former husband’s homestead property. Was it proper to subject his Florida homestead property to an equitable lien? To read the entire opinion, click here.

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Florida Homestead Property: When Can Homestead Property be Subjected to Equitable Liens?

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2019
post about Florida Homestead Property: When Can Homestead Property be Subjected to Equitable Liens?

Can your Florida homestead property be subjected to equitable liens? Can a final judgment force someone to sell his or her Florida homestead property? What does The Florida Constitution say about homestead property and equitable liens? If you are dealing with a Florida lawsuit involving homestead property, you may want to read an April 24, 2019 Third DCA opinion, Luis de Diego v. Barrios. Here, the appellate opinion explains that The Florida Constitution provides that homestead “shall be exempt from forced sale under process of any court, and no judgment, decree or execution shall be a lien thereon.” However, there is an exception. Homestead property MAY be subject to equitable liens ” where fraud, reprehensible or egregious conduct is demonstrated.” To read the entire opinion click here. To interview a trial attorney regarding a homestead issue in Florida, call (561)514-0900 ext.101.

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Can an Equitable Lien be Imposed on Homestead Property in Florida?

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2019

What is homestead property in Florida? What should probate lawyers and divorce attorneys know about homestead laws in Florida? Can an equitable lien be imposed on someone’s homestead property? Can someone be forced to sell their homestead property? An April 24, 2019 Third DCA opinion, Luis de Diego v. Barrios, discusses these issues. Although this is a Florida divorce case, not a probate case, probate lawyers frequently encounter lawsuits involving homestead property. Here, in a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, the court found that the house the parties lived in while married, although solely in former husband’s named and purchased before the marriage, was marital property. Therefore, it awarded the former wife half of the value of the home, which was to be paid by former husband within ninety days of the judgment. About a year later, the wife filed an action because the former husband had not paid her the money for the house. The trial court entered an order requiring the former husband to pay what the wife was owed within five days, or refinance or sell the home in order to pay her. The husband appealed arguing that he didn’t have the resources to pay the former wife, and that the “trial court lacked the authority to render the sale or refinancing of the marital home, as it would improperly modify the property rights set forth in the Final Judgment and violate the Florida Constitution’s homestead exemption.” What did the appellate court decide? To read the […]

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Florida Trust Law: When Are the Testamentary Aspects of a Revocable Trust Invalid?

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2019
post about Florida Trust Law: When Are the Testamentary Aspects of a Revocable Trust Invalid?

As stated in a 2017 Second DCA opinion, Kelly v. Lindenau, the testamentary aspects of a revocable trust in Florida are invalid “unless the trust document is executed by the settlor of the trust with the same formalities as are required from the execution of a will. In other words, in order for a Florida revocable trust to be valid, it must be executed with the same formalities as a Florida will. What are these requirements? Where can I learn more about what is required to create a valid Florida revocable trust? How can an estate planning lawyer help me to insure that the trust I have created is valid? If you are looking to create a Florida trust or will, you should read Florida Statute 732.502. This statute provides the formalities that are required for the proper execution of a will or revocable trust in Florida. For example, wills and trusts must be signed by two attesting witnesses. In Kelly v. Lindenau, the trust amendment in question was only signed by one witness. Was the trust amendment deemed valid by the Florida courts? To read the entire opinion, click here. To interview a trust lawyer, cal (561)514-090 ext. 101.

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Continental Breakfast in Honor of Retired Justice Barbara Pariente

Uncategorized Apr 26, 2019
post about Continental Breakfast in Honor of Retired Justice Barbara Pariente

Palm Beach appeals court Justice Barbara Pariente has retired, and The Fourth DCA Historical Society is hosting a Continental Breakfast on May 10, 2019 at 8:15 a.m. in honor of her. Judge Pariente admirably served on the 4th District Court of Appeal (DCA) for Florida, which hears appeals for Palm Beach, Martin and Broward Counties. Everyone at Pankauski Hauser PLLC, in West Palm Beach, Florida, wishes Judge Pariente a fun and happy retirement. Pankauski Hauser has an active appellate practice in Palm Beach and throughout Florida, handling appeals for probate, trust, guardianship, estate, business and divorce matters. Robert Hauser, esq. of Pankauski Hauser is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Appellate Law. For a free consultation with an experienced appellate attorney, call (561)514-0900 ext.101.

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