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What If a Florida Will Is Not Properly Signed by the Testator?

Uncategorized Jul 5, 2019
post about What If a Florida Will Is Not Properly Signed by the Testator?

Did your dad forget to sign his Florida will before he passed away? What can you do if the signature on a will looks fake? Is signing only your first name to a Florida will sufficient? How can you contest a will in Florida? When should you contact a West Palm Beach probate lawyer to determine whether you have a strong will contest case? How can an inheritance lawyer help you to prove that a will is invalid? 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 will. The person who is executing the will must have testamentary capacity. If they do not have testamentary capacity, or if the testator is proven to have been incompetent at the time he or she executed a will, the Florida will could be contested and deemed invalid by a probate court. 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 Statutory Requirements Must Be Met to Execute a Valid Will in Florida? As stated above, in order for a person to execute a valid will in Florida, they […]

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Who Inherits if There Is No Florida Will?

Uncategorized Jun 28, 2019
post about Who Inherits if There Is No Florida Will?

What is dying intestate in Florida? If my mom or dad dies intestate, who will inherit his or her homestead? What do the Florida intestacy laws say? If my spouse dies intestate in Palm Beach or Tampa, do I inherit or do my spouse’s kids from a prior marriage inherit? What is a petition to determine intestate beneficiaries? When Does a Person Die Intestate? West Palm Beach probate lawyers know that a person dies intestate when they die without a will. In addition, a person could die intestate if they executed a will that is invalid or had a will that they revoked without executing a new will. Florida Statute 732.101 states the following:  (1) Any part of the estate of a decedent not effectively disposed of by will passes to the decedent’s heirs as prescribed in the following sections of this code (2) The decedent’s death is the event that vests the heirs’ right to the decedent’s intestate property. How do I know if I am an “heir” of the decedent? Who Inherits If a Person Dies Intestate in Florida? If a person dies intestate, or without a valid Florida will, his or her heirs will inherit. In other words, heirs at law are entitled to inherit the decedent’s property under Florida’s intestacy statutes. If your spouse or parent dies without a will, you may have valuable inheritance rights under Florida law. For example, Florida Statute 732.102 tells probate lawyers what spouses inherit from an intestate estate. If My Husband or Wife Dies […]

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What is the Proper Venue For my Florida Probate Proceeding?

Uncategorized Jun 25, 2019
post about What is the Proper Venue For my Florida Probate Proceeding?

Venue For Probate Proceedings in Florida Venue is a legal term for where you can file a lawsuit. In other words, a venue is where actions or a lawsuit can be brought. Florida is the jurisdiction or “forum”, but venue refers to the particular county. For example, some cases can be brought in Orange County, while others can be brought in Palm Beach County. Florida Statute 47.011 & Trust Lawsuits Florida Statute 47.011 provides that “actions shall be brought only in the county where the defendant resides, where the cause of action accrued, or where the property in litigation is located.” Therefore, in a trust lawsuit, multiple factors will be considered to determine proper venue. Courts may consider where the trustee resides, where the trustee’s principal place of business is, where the Florida trust is being administered, etc. You should not assume that where the estate money is located is automatically a proper venue. For example, the estate money being located at a bank in Miami-Dade County, doesn’t guarantee that Miami-Dade County is a proper venue in which to sue the trustee. Venue and Florida Probate Administration Florida Statute 733.101(a) states that venue shall be in the county in this state where the decedent was domiciled. “Domicile” is defined in Florida Statute 731.201(13) as “a person’s usual place of dwelling and shall be synonymous with residence.”  Florida probate attorneys know that, if the decedent was not domiciled in Florida, his or her estate may still be probated in 1) any county where the […]

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Venue, Will Contests, and West Palm Beach Trust Lawsuits 

Uncategorized Jun 13, 2019
post about Venue, Will Contests, and West Palm Beach Trust Lawsuits 

Has your Florida trust attorney advised that you transfer your West Palm Beach trust lawsuit to a different venue? Has a beneficiary of an estate filed a motion to transfer venue? Are you confused about the Florida laws pertaining to venue, and how they can affect your Florida probate matter? When should a transfer of venue be considered? What is required for a Florida court to grant a motion to transfer venue? Can you move to transfer a will contest in Broward County to a more conveniently located venue? If you are involved in Florida litigation regarding a venue transfer, you may want to read an April 10, 2019 Fourth DCA opinion, Cohen v. Scarnato. Venue and Florida Probate Litigation Florida attorneys know that venue is a legal term for where you can file a lawsuit. In other words, a venue is where actions or a lawsuit can be brought. Florida is the jurisdiction or “forum”, but venue refers to the county in which your probate lawsuit or trust dispute may be heard. For example, some cases can be brought in Miami- Dade County, while others can be brought in Orange County. Proper Venue Florida Statute 47.011 provides that “actions shall be brought only in the county where the defendant resides, where the cause of action accrued, or where the property in litigation is located.” Therefore, in a trust or probate lawsuit, multiple factors will be considered to determine proper venue. Courts may consider where the trustee or personal representative […]

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How to Recognize Financial Exploitation of the Elderly in Florida

Uncategorized May 24, 2019
post about How to Recognize Financial Exploitation of the Elderly in Florida

Unfortunately, financial exploitation of the elderly has become a huge issue throughout Florida. Palm Beach guardianship lawyers and estate attorneys frequently receive calls from concerned relatives or friends regarding an elderly person being financially abused. What are the different ways that an elderly person may be financially exploited? How can you detect if your mom or dad is being financially exploited? What should you do if you believe that your elderly relative is being taken advantage of by a caretaker or “friend” ? When do you need an experienced Florida guardianship lawyer? Florida Couple Arrested for Financial Exploitation of the Elderly A recent article by Fox News describes just one way that an elderly person can be financially exploited. Here, a Florida couple allegedly stole over $50,000 from the bank account of an 82-year-old veteran. They stole most of the money by placing threatening calls to the man. They would tell him that, if he didn’t pay, he would have to go to jail. The police became aware of this scam because the poor elderly man called the Veterans Crisis Center after discovering that his bank account had been drained. He told the Crisis Center that his bank accounts were negative, and that he didn’t know what to do other than to end his own life. To read the entire article about this Florida exploitation of the elderly case, click here. Power of Attorney Mis-Use The above article discusses how an elderly person can be financially exploited by a scam […]

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Can Your Ex Spouse Inherit From Your Florida Will If You Forget to Change It?

Uncategorized May 7, 2019
post about Can Your Ex Spouse Inherit From Your Florida Will If You Forget to Change It?

Did you write a Florida will while you were married? What if that marriage has ended and your forget to change your will before you pass away? Can your ex-wife or ex-husband still inherit from your will if you get a divorce? If you are involved in a Palm Beach probate matter where an ex-spouse inherits in the decedent’s will, you may want to read a recent Second DCA opinion, Gordon v. Fishman.

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Florida Wills : Who Can Write a Valid Palm Beach Will?

Uncategorized May 7, 2019
post about Florida Wills : Who Can Write a Valid Palm Beach Will?

Are you thinking of writing a Florida will? Who’s allowed to write a will in Florida? Can you write a Palm Beach will if you are only 15 years old? What can an estate planning attorney assist you with? What should you know before executing an Orlando will or trust? Did you know that you must be of ” sound mind” to execute a valid will in Florida? You may want to read Florida Statute 732.501. 

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When is an Original Document, Not a Copy, Required in a Florida Lawsuit?

Uncategorized May 3, 2019
post about When is an Original Document, Not a Copy, Required in a Florida Lawsuit?

Is a duplicate document admissible to the same extent as an original in a Florida lawsuit? What is a negotiable instrument? What should Florida probate lawyers know about promissory note disputes? What happens if an original promissory note is lost? If you are asking these questions, or involved in West Palm Beach litigation involving a promissory note, you may want to read a recent First DCA opinion, MBC Gospel Network, LLC v. Florida’s News Channel,LC. Here, Florida News Channel did not submit the original note in question, and had failed to allege a lost note claim, or reestablish the lost note. Yet, the trial court entered judgment for Florida’s News Channel. On appeal, the appellate court explains that,” under the Florida Evidence Code, section 90.953, Florida Statutes, a duplicate document is admissible to the same extent as an original, but not if the document is a negotiable instrument…” In this case, the promissory note in question IS a negotiable instrument. To read more about promissory notes, negotiable instruments, and whether or not an original document is required, click here to read MBC Gospel Network, LLC v. Florida’s News Channel,LC in its entirety.

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Florida Lawsuits and Promissory Notes

Uncategorized May 3, 2019
post about Florida Lawsuits and Promissory Notes

What is a promissory note? When do you need to produce the original note in court? Is a copy of a promissory note sufficient or do you need the original? What does Florida Statute 673.3091 require? If you are involved in a Florida lawsuit involving a promissory note, you may want to read an April 22,2019 First DCA opinion MBC Gospel Network, LLC v. Florida’s News Channel,LC. Here, one of the issues on appeal is ” whether the trial court erred by granting judgment without requiring Florida’s News Channel to demonstrate its entitlement to enforce the note by producing the original promissory note or reestablishing it as a lost note.” What did the First DCA decide? Was a copy of the promissory note good enough or were they required to submit the original? To read the entire opinion, click here.

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What Should Your Florida Trial Lawyer Know About Indispensable Parties?

Uncategorized May 3, 2019
post about What Should Your Florida Trial Lawyer Know About Indispensable Parties?

What is an indispensable party? Why should your Florida trial lawyer be familiar with this term and the rules regarding it? Can my Florida lawsuit be dismissed for failure to join indispensable parties? Who is an indispensable party to my Florida lawsuit? If you are wondering whether or not someone is an indispensable party, you may want to read an April 22,2019 First DCA opinion, MBC Gospel Network, LLC v. Florida’s News Channel,LC. Here, the Florida appellate court defines what an indispensable party is. It explains that ” an indispensable party is 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.” The appellate court also explains that, when determining whether a party is indispensable, ” the relevant question is not whether the action may proceed efficiently without the missing party, but whether the action can proceed at all.” To read the entire opinion, click here.

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