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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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Holographic Wills in Florida

Uncategorized Dec 3, 2019
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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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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Marriage and Florida Guardianships

Uncategorized Nov 26, 2019
post about Marriage and Florida Guardianships

If I am subject to a guardianship in West Palm Beach, can I still get married? What is an adult guardianship? What should your guardianship lawyer know about the right to marry and guardianship litigation? What is Florida Statute, Section 744.3215? You may want to read, Smith v. Smith, a March 2, 2016 Fourth District Court of Appeal opinion. Florida Guardianships Probate lawyers know that, when we talk about guardianships in Florida, we’re not talking about guardians for minors. Instead, we are talking about guardianships for adults. Adults may be subject to a guardianship if they become incapacitated and unable to care for themselves. Oftentimes, family members file for a guardianship over a loved one in order to ensure that the loved one is being properly cared for. A Florida guardianship proceeding is initiated by the filing of a petition with a probate court. This petition explains that the person you are seeking a guardian for is incapacitated and needs some protection, or rights taken away. There is then a process to determine whether the person is incapacitated. The court also considers whether there is a lesser restrictive alternative to a guardianship that adequately addresses the person’s needs. For example, if a person has a power of attorney and a revocable trust, he or she may not need a guardian. Florida Guardianship Litigation At Pankauski Hauser, guardianship matters have become a very large part of our probate practice. This is because guardianship litigation in Florida is becoming more and more frequent. Guardianship litigation […]

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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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Divorce and Inheritance Rights in Florida

Uncategorized Nov 8, 2019
post about Divorce and Inheritance Rights in Florida

If you are divorced, can you still inherit from your ex-spouse under his or her Florida will? How does divorce affect inheritance rights in Florida? What if an ex-spouse is a beneficiary named in the decedent’s Florida will? Does it matter if my ex-wife wrote her will before we got married rather than during our marriage?  How can divorce affect an inheritance? Did you know that getting a divorce could have a substantial effect on your inheritance rights in Florida? Palm Beach probate lawyers know that certain probate statutes limit the inheritance rights of ex-spouses in Florida. Frequently, trust and estates litigators, like the lawyers here at Pankauski Hauser, encounter cases involving ex-spouses who believe they should be inheriting what had been left to them in a will that was written during their marriage. Is that ex-spouse entitled to inherit from his or her former spouse’s Florida will even though they got a divorce? This answer can prove to be tricky, and it depends on several factors. For example, one factor to be considered is whether the will was created BEFORE the marriage or DURING the marriage. Therefore, if you are getting a divorce in West Palm Beach or anywhere in Florida, you may wish to speak to your divorce lawyers and estate lawyers about this. You may also wish to read Florida Statute 732.507(2). What is Florida Statute 732.507? If you are the ex-spouse of a decedent, and you are named in the decedent’s Florida will, you may still be out […]

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Stalking in Florida and Email Evidence

Uncategorized Oct 31, 2019
post about Stalking in Florida and Email Evidence

What is stalking? How can you obtain a stalking injunction against someone? Do you need a Florida lawyer to help you obtain a stalking injunction? What do emails and stalking have to do with each other? Can email be used as evidence to prove stalking? Stalking and Florida Probate Litigation Florida probate attorneys, like those at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, know that disputes over inheritances can become intense. Frequently, probate lawyers who handle litigation witness family members “fight” in the courts over money and property. This can lead to nasty texts and emails being sent between siblings and/or beneficiaries. As John Pankauski states in his book Probate Litigation: Top 10 Probate Mistakes Revealed, “your family is going to fight over your wealth: when you’re gone and- perhaps- while you’re still alive.”  Sibling rivalries or family disputes can escalate, and injunctions for protection against stalking can end up being filed. Stalking in Florida 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. Is someone stalking you in West Palm Beach or Boca Raton? Are you involved in Palm Beach litigation where the person you are suing has started harassing you? Do you have a crazy neighbor […]

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Does the Florida Appellate Court Have Jurisdiction Over the Appeal of Your Probate Order?

Uncategorized Oct 29, 2019
post about Does the Florida Appellate Court Have Jurisdiction Over the Appeal of Your Probate Order?

Do you need to appeal a judgment in Florida? When do you need a West Palm Beach appellate attorney? What do appeals have to do with my Florida probate case? What are the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure? What is Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.170? You may want to read a recent Third DCA opinion, Maercks v. Maercks, to learn more about Florida probate appeals. Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.170 (b) Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.170(b) discusses what Florida probate and guardianship 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 probate appellate attorney, like Rob Hauser, Esq. at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, can help you determine whether or not you can appeal a certain probate order. For a free consultation, call (561)514-0900 ext.101. Maercks v. Maercks Maercks . Maercks is a good example of a Florida appeal involving a probate order. Here, a will was admitted to probate. There was another document that the decedent had executed regarding the distribution of her assets. The personal representative, who was also a beneficiary, petitioned to have the second document admitted to probate as a codicil even though he had not included it initially. After the trial court admitted the codicil to probate, another beneficiary appealed. Did the […]

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Florida Probate Appeals and Jurisdiction

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2019
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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