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Florida Will Execution Formalities vs. Florida Trust Execution Formalities

Uncategorized Apr 26, 2019
post about Florida Will Execution Formalities vs. Florida Trust Execution Formalities

What is required to execute a valid will in Florida? What is required to execute a valid West Palm Beach trust? When it comes to executing trust documents or Florida wills, how do the formalities that are required differ? A 2017 Second DCA opinion, Kelly v. Lindenau, answers these questions. Florida probate lawyers know that, in Florida, the execution formalities for a will and a revocable trust are the same. According to Florida Statute 736.0403(2)(b), revocable trusts or trust amendments “are invalid unless the trust document is executed by the settlor of the trust with the same formalities as are required for the execution of a will.” What does this mean? What are the formalities required for the execution of a Florida will? Florida statute 732.502 tells you exactly what the requirements are. To read this statute, click here. One of those requirements is that a will, and therefore a trust or trust amendment, must be signed by two witnesses. In Kelly v. Lindenau, this was not done. Was the trust amendment still considered to be valid? Click here to read the entire appellate opinion.

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How Many Witnesses Must Sign a Florida Trust in Order for the Trust to be Valid?

Uncategorized Apr 26, 2019
post about How Many Witnesses Must Sign a Florida Trust in Order for the Trust to be Valid?

What formalities are required for the execution of a valid trust in Florida? What remedies do you have if you are the beneficiary of a West Palm Beach trust that was not executed properly? How can a Florida trust lawyer help you to succeed in your trust battles? When should you hire a trust litigation lawyer to assist you in your West Palm Beach trust matter? A 2017 Second DCA opinion is a good example of trust litigation that may occur due to the improper execution of a Florida trust or Florida trust amendment. This case discusses what is required for the execution of a valid trust or trust amendment in Florida. In Florida, a trust or trust amendment must be executed by the settlor, or creator of the trust, with the same formalities that are required to create a valid Florida will. These formalities include the requirement that a will or trust must be signed in the presence of two attesting witnesses. Furthermore, “those two attesting witnesses must themselves sign the will in the presence of the settlor and of each other.” This option also explains that strict compliance with these formalities is required in order for a trust document or amendment to be valid. To read the entire opinion, click here. For a free consultation with an experienced wills and trusts attorney in Florida, call (561)514-0900 ext.101.

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Florida Trust Law: Is Constructive Trust a Proper Remedy for Error in Execution of a Trust?

Uncategorized Apr 26, 2019
post about Florida Trust Law: Is Constructive Trust a Proper Remedy for Error in Execution of a Trust?

What is the proper remedy for error in execution of a Florida trust? What can you do if a trust was improperly executed at the time it was created? What if a Florida trust doesn’t have two witness signatures? Is there a proper remedy for error in execution of a trust? If you are involved in trust litigation, you may wish to read a May 17,2017 Second DCA opinion, Kelly v. Lindenau. This Florida trust case regarded a trust amendment that was not signed by a second witness. Therefore, it was not properly executed as required by Florida trust law. When the successor trustee brought action against the trust beneficiary seeking declaration as to the validity of the amendment, the purported beneficiary filed a counterclaim seeking reformation of the trust amendment. The beneficiary sought to correct the amendment’s improper execution under the statute permitting reformation of mistakes and constructive trust. The trial court granted the beneficiary’s counterclaim but the appellate court reversed and remanded. The Florida appellate court held that “[1] amendment’s improper execution could not be corrected under statute permitting reformation of mistakes, and [2] constructive trust was improper remedy for error in execution. To read the entire case, click here. To interview a West Palm Beach trust lawyer, free of charge, call (561)514-0900 ext. 101.

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Florida Estate Lawsuits: Depository For Estate Assets

Uncategorized Apr 24, 2019
post about Florida Estate Lawsuits: Depository For Estate Assets

A January 9, 2019 Fourth DCA opinion, Goodstein v. Goodstein, is a good example of a Florida inheritance dispute between the beneficiaries of an estate and the personal representative. Here, the personal representative appeals a non-final order granting the beneficiaries’ petition to designate a trust company as a depository for estate assets. What is a restricted depository? When is one necessary in a Florida probate? What are the circumstances that provide support for a restricted depository? What should my probate lawyer know about these issues? 

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Do My Mom and Dad Need Orlando Guardianships?

Uncategorized Apr 24, 2019
post about Do My Mom and Dad Need Orlando Guardianships?

What is a guardianship? When is a guardianship necessary? Can an Orlando guardianship help to protect my mother who has dementia? Guardianships are not the only means of helping an incapacitated person in the State of Florida. In fact, Florida Guardianship Law actually requires the use of the least restrictive alternative to protect persons incapable of caring for themselves and managing their financial affairs whenever possible. What does this mean? What is an acceptable less restrictive alternative to a guardianship?

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What Does Florida’s Slayer Statute Say?

Uncategorized Apr 24, 2019
post about What Does Florida’s Slayer Statute Say?

If a person unlawfully kills someone, intentionally kills someone, or merely  participates in procuring the death of someone, that person is NOT entitled to any benefits under the Florida will or trust of the victim. To find out more information about this, read Florida Statute 732.802. This statute is known to West Palm Beach probate lawyers as Florida’s Slayer Statute.

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Florida Intestate Estates and Family Rivalries: Does Having a Florida Will Help?

Uncategorized Apr 24, 2019
post about Florida Intestate Estates and Family Rivalries: Does Having a Florida Will Help?

Probate litigators frequently encounter battles between a decedent’s children and the decedent’s second or third spouse. These battles can get every heated when there is no will involved, especially if there is a question as to whether or not the surviving spouse was legally married to the decedent at the time of his or her death. This is exactly what happened in Cohen v. Shusan, a Second DCA opinion.

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Florida Trust Litigation and Qualified Beneficiaries

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2019
post about Florida Trust Litigation and Qualified Beneficiaries

A January 9,2019 Fourth DCA opinion discusses what is required for a charity to be considered a qualified beneficiary of a Florida trust. Why is being a “qualified beneficiary” important? It is important because trustees of West Palm Beach or Orlando trusts are only required to “inform and account” to the trust’s qualified beneficiaries. 

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Can a Charity be a Qualified Beneficiary of a Florida Trust?

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2019
post about Can a Charity be a Qualified Beneficiary of a Florida Trust?

Who can be a beneficiary of an Orlando or Boca Raton trust? Can a charity be a qualified beneficiary of a trust in Florida? What is Florida Statute 736.0110 ? If you are deemed to be a qualified beneficiary of a trust, what rights do you have? What are beneficiaries of trusts in Florida entitled to? A recent Fourth DCA opinion, Hadassah v. Melcer, discusses this issue. 

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