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West Palm Beach Settlement Agreements and Privileged Communications

Uncategorized Jul 24, 2020
post about West Palm Beach Settlement Agreements and Privileged Communications

What is a settlement agreement? When do settlement agreements come into play during a probate battle? Whens should you sign a settlement agreement? What should you know before signing a settlement agreement in Florida? What should your Miami trial lawyer tell you before you decide to enter into a settlement agreement? When does litigation occur to enforce a settlement agreement? What happens if you do not comply with the terms you agreed to in a settlement agreement? In Miami, how can you compel compliance with a settlement agreement? Florida Litigators and Settlement Agreements At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, our attorneys handle civil litigation and appeals throughout Florida. Our trial attorneys handle probate, guardianship, and business disputes. The cities we practice in, to name a few, include Miami, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. Although business 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, prepare petitions, etc. Another part of a business lawyer’s job is to provide client’s with legal options. Some clients choose to be more aggressive than others. For example, some clients want to have their day in court at a trial, while others prefer to end their inheritance dispute as quickly as possible. Some probate and business lawsuits are resolved with a settlement agreement. An experienced Florida lawyer can help you to negotiate settlement terms, explain to you what the terms in the agreement actually mean (prior to […]

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West Palm Beach Trust Lawsuits: When is an Evidentiary Hearing Necessary to Determine Relevancy?

Uncategorized Jul 22, 2020
post about West Palm Beach Trust Lawsuits: When is an Evidentiary Hearing Necessary to Determine Relevancy?

Are you involved in a West Palm Beach trust lawsuit? Have you, as the beneficiary of a Palm Beach trust, recently sued a Florida trustee? Can a Florida court compel the disclosure of trust information? What must the court consider if financial information from a nonparty is requested? How should I choose a West Palm Beach lawyer for my complex Florida trust battle? Choosing a Palm Beach Trust Lawyer If you are the beneficiary of a trust, or even the trustee of a Florida trust, you may find yourself in need of a trust lawyer. Trust litigation happens often and having a powerful trust attorney representing you is important. When interviewing Florida lawyers for a trust lawsuit, you may want to consider how many years of experience the lawyer has practicing trust law. For example, has your lawyer just began practicing law or does he/she have over 20 years of experience like the partners at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus do. Also, you may want to make sure that your trust lawyer is extremely familiar with Florida’s Trust Code and the Florida Statutes pertaining to trust and civil lawsuits in Florida. Lastly, look for a lawyer who limits his or her practice. If trust and estate litigation and appeals is one of the firm’s main practice areas, the lawyers at the firm have probably been in front of a Florida judge in many other trust lawsuits. Trust Lawsuits and Evidentiary Hearings Florida trust lawsuits can involve many different issues and topics. For […]

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Florida Trust Litigation: Compelling the Disclosure of a Florida Trust’s Financial Records

Uncategorized Jul 22, 2020
post about Florida Trust Litigation: Compelling the Disclosure of a Florida Trust’s Financial Records

Are you the beneficiary of a Florida trust? Has the trustee provided you with an accounting? Do you know how much the Florida trust you inherit from is worth? Do you believe that a trustee has stolen money from the trust? How can you compel the trustee of a Florida trust to disclose the trust’s financial records? When should you hire a West Palm Beach trust attorney? Florida Beneficiary Rights To Relevant Information Beneficiaries of a Palm beach trust have a right, under Florida probate and trust law, to “relevant information.” This includes a right to receive accountings. Therefore, when you are the beneficiary of a West Palm Beach or Miami trust, you have a right to request, from the trustee, an accounting of that trust. 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.” Trust Lawsuits in Florida If you are the beneficiary of a Florida trust, and you believe the trustee is hiding something, or has stolen money, you may decide to sue the trustee. The trustee has a duty to communicate certain information to the trust beneficiaries. If the trustee is ignoring your inquiries, refusing to provide you with […]

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Florida Appeals and Alimony Modification

Uncategorized Jul 21, 2020
post about Florida Appeals and Alimony Modification

What is a Florida appeal? When do you need to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney? What probate or family law orders are appealable? How can an appellate attorney help me with an alimony modification? Florida Family Law Litigation and Appeals Florida lawyers know that some family law cases can lead to an appeal. If you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may be able to file an appeal. If you win a case, the other side may appeal. Therefore, it’s important to anticipate the possibility of having to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney. Hiring a Florida Appellate Lawyer For Your Family Law Appeal If you are in the process of hiring a Florida appellate firm, you may want to look for a law firm with extensive experience in handling civil appeals. Does the West Palm Beach appellate attorney you are interviewing have over twenty years of experience? How many appellate briefs have they written? At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, one of the law partners, Robert Hauser, has been named a Board Certified Specialist by The Florida Bar in Appellate Practice. The appellate team at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus handles appeals in each and every district court of appeal in Florida.  Nangle v. Nangle If you are involved in alimony litigation, you may want to read Nangle v. Nangle, a December 18, 2019 Fourth DCA opinion. This case is a good example of how an alimony dispute can end up in a Florida appellate court. Here, the former husband […]

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Florida Trust Lawyers and Rule 4-1.6

Uncategorized Jul 3, 2020
post about Florida Trust Lawyers and Rule 4-1.6

What is rule 4-1.6? What do my West Palm Beach lawyers need to know about this rule? What do trust lawsuits have to do with attorney-client privilege? What is a waiver of consent? What information can your trust lawyer disclose without your consent? Can you compel a nonparty to disclose privileged information? Disclosure of Trust Documents and Attorney-Client Privilege Rule 4-1.6 is one of the rules regulating the Florida Bar. This particular rule is very important as it is addresses a lawyer’s duty in regards to the confidentiality of his or her client’s information. Specifically, this rule states that ” a lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation, or the disclosure is permitted by Rule 4-1.6(b).” If you are involved in trust, estate, or even business litigation in Florida, you should consider reading this rule in its entirety. That way, you can understand your lawyer’s responsibilities when it comes to attorney-client privilege. Florida Statute 90.502 In addition to becoming familiar with rule 4-1.6, you may want to read  Florida Statute 90.502. This is the Florida statute that attorney-client privilege is governed by. Per the statute, as a client, you have “a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, the contents of confidential communications when such other person learned of the communications because they were made in the rendition of legal services […]

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Holographic Wills in Florida

Uncategorized Jul 1, 2020
post about Holographic Wills in Florida

Who can write a valid will in Florida? What does it mean to be of “sound mind”? What is a holographic will according to Florida law?  Are holographic wills valid in Florida? What should I know about Holographic wills? What Florida Statutes can I read to learn more about Holographic wills in Florida? How can a Florida probate lawyer assist me if I believe a will was not properly executed? When should I hire a West Palm Beach estate lawyer to contest a holographic will in my Florida probate proceeding? Who Can Write a Valid Will in Florida? Florida Statute 732.501 states that any person who is of a sound mind and who is 18 years or older may execute a Florida will. Florida estate lawyers and West Palm Beach trust attorneys know that a person needs to have testamentary capacity when they execute a will. Otherwise, their Florida will may end up being contested by the beneficiaries. What is being of a “sound mind”? What is testamentary capacity?  There are four main components to show testamentary capacity (sometimes called “sufficient mental capacity”) in Florida: understanding that he or she is creating a distribution of his or her property after death, knowing the nature and extent of his or her property, knowing the named heirs and members of his or her family understanding in a reasonable manner the general nature and effect of the act of signing the will.  What is a Holographic Will? A Palm Beach probate lawyer can tell […]

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Florida Probate Appeals and Jurisdiction

Uncategorized Jun 30, 2020
post about Florida Probate Appeals and Jurisdiction

What is a probate appeal? When do you need to hire a Florida appellate attorney? What probate orders are appealable? What should West Palm Beach probate lawyers know about Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.170? What happens if it is determined that a Florida appellate court does not have jurisdiction to hear a certain appeal? Florida Probate Litigation and Appeals Florida lawyers know that some probate cases can lead to an appeal. If you disagree with a final judgment, you may be able to file an appeal. There are certain probate orders that can also be appealed. If you win, the other side may appeal. Therefore, it’s important to anticipate the possibility of having to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney. Hiring a Florida Probate Lawyer If you are in the process of hiring a Florida probate litigation firm, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both estate litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider the possibility of an appeal being filed. However, in the probate world, appeals do occur. What if you win your Florida probate case and the other side decides to appeal? You need to make sure you have a powerful appellate attorney, who is knowledgeable about both the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Florida Probate Rules, ready to assist. At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, one of the law partners, Robert Hauser, has been named a Board Certified Specialist by The Florida Bar […]

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Surviving Spouse Rights: Inheriting Homestead Property in Florida

Uncategorized Jun 27, 2020
post about Surviving Spouse Rights: Inheriting Homestead Property in Florida

Do surviving spouses in Florida have inheritance rights? What inheritance rights do surviving spouses have? Can my wife give her house to someone else in her Florida will or trust? Can my husband leave me and our minor children nothing? What do spousal rights have to do with Palm Beach probate litigation? Can my spouse of twenty years leave all of his money to his children from a prior marriage? If I am a surviving spouse, should I hire a Florida probate litigation lawyer? What am I entitled to? What happens to the homestead? Palm Beach Surviving Spouse Inheritance Rights In Florida, a surviving spouse may have rights to property of a deceased spouse. As In re Estate of Magee discusses, there are statutory minimum benefits that must be provided for families regardless of the decedent’s intent. What are these benefits? Homestead, elective share, and family allowances are three of the main rights of surviving spouses in Florida. With that being said, these rights can be waived by a prenuptial agreement. Did you sign away your Florida inheritance rights? Talk to an experienced Florida inheritance lawyer to learn exactly what you, as a surviving spouse in Florida, are entitled to inherit. Florida Statute 732.401 This important statute describes the descent of homestead in Florida. If you are a surviving spouse in West Palm Beach or Boca Raton, you definitely want to read this statute if there is a homestead property involved. Your Florida probate attorney should also be very familiar with this statute to ensure that you do not […]

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Health Care Surrogates, Guardianships and Florida Lawsuits

Uncategorized Jun 26, 2020
post about Health Care Surrogates, Guardianships and Florida Lawsuits

What is a health care surrogate? What is a power of attorney (POA)? How is a health care surrogate different than a guardian? When may Florida litigation regarding a health care surrogate occur? What decisions can a health care surrogate make? 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 or friends of the elderly file a guardianship to protect someone 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. In Florida, guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in West Palm Beach, or anywhere in Florida, you should refer to this chapter. You should also consider interviewing an experienced guardianship litigation lawyer who can answer your questions and properly file petitions on your behalf. Guardianships and Lesser Restrictive Alternatives 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. Guardianship lawyers know 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. Therefore, you may be able […]

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

Uncategorized Jun 25, 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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