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When is a Florida Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

Uncategorized Oct 2, 2020
post about When is a Florida Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

Do court appointed guardians get paid? What criteria does the court consider in determining an award of fees to a guardian? When is a guardian entitled to compensation? What is Florida Statute 744.108? Can a West Palm Beach guardianship lawyer assist me in guardianship litigation regarding fees? Is a Florida guardian entitled to attorneys fees? Who pays for the attorneys fees in a Florida guardianship? Guardian and Attorney Fees and Expenses If you are about to become a court appointed guardian in Florida, or are considering filing for guardianship of a vulnerable adult, you may want to read Florida Statute 744.108 in its entirety. This statute discusses the compensation of a guardian and sets forth the criteria to be considered by the Florida guardianship court in determining an award of fees to a guardian. In Florida, a guardian, or an attorney who has rendered services to the ward or to the guardian on the ward’s behalf, is entitled to a reasonable fee for services rendered and reimbursement for costs incurred on behalf of the ward.   What are the criteria the Florida guardianship court considers when fees for guardian or an attorney are submitted? Florida Statute 744.108 lists the following criteria: The time and labor required The novelty and difficulty of the questions involved and the skill required to perform the services properly The likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment of the person The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar services;(e) The nature and […]

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Florida Lawsuits: POA Documents and Arbitration

Uncategorized Oct 2, 2020
post about Florida Lawsuits: POA Documents and Arbitration

What does a power of attorney (POA) document have to do with arbitration? When is arbitration correctly compelled by a trial court? How do you interpret the scope of a POA document? How can a health care surrogate become involved in litigation regarding arbitration? POA and Health Care Documents in Florida Florida Guardianship lawyers know that, even if a person is deemed incapacitated by a probate court judge in Florida, the court may choose not to appoint a guardian if there’s a lesser restrictive alternative that adequately addresses the incapacitated person’s needs. Therefore, POA and health care documents can prove to be very valuable. If you meet with aFlorida estate planning attorney to execute a POA, trust and/or health care documents, you will be able to choose who will take care of you if you are to become unable to care for yourself. If a proper estate plan is in place, and you get Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may not have to worry about strangers, or greedy relatives that you dislike, taking over you and your finances. The Scope of a POA Sometimes, it can become confusing to a trustee or POA as to what the estate documents allow them to do exactly. For example, certain POA documents specify or limit the authority that it delegates. How do courts determine what authority a POA grants? A recent Fourth DCA opinion, Manor Oaks, Inc. v. Campbell discusses whether or not a particular POA document gives a health care surrogate the ability […]

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Florida Guardianship Litigation: What Happens if a Guardian Fails to File an Annual Accounting?

Uncategorized Sep 23, 2020
post about Florida Guardianship Litigation: What Happens if a Guardian Fails to File an Annual Accounting?

What is an adult guardianship? What are the duties of a guardian in Florida? Does a guardian have to file annual accountings with the Florida guardianship court? What happens if a guardian fails to provide a timely annual report? 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 of the elderly file a guardianship to protect their mom or dad 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. 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. It is important to remember 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. For example, a power of attorney and a revocable trust may prove to be sufficient. West Palm Beach guardianship lawyers know that guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. If you are involved in guardianship litigation in Palm Beach or anywhere in Florida, you should refer to this chapter. You should also consider interviewing an experienced guardianship lawyer who can answer […]

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FREE CLE WEBINAR FOR Florida LAWYERS: SEPTEMBER 11,2020

Uncategorized Sep 1, 2020
post about FREE CLE WEBINAR FOR Florida LAWYERS: SEPTEMBER 11,2020

Pankauski Hauser Lazarus is offering Continuing Legal Education (CLE) webinars, which are approved by the Florida Bar. Pankauski Hauser Lazarus exclusively represents clients in matters involving disputes, trials and appeals surrounding estates, business, wills and probate litigation. All CLE webinars are sponsored by Pankauski Hauser Lazarus and FREE to Florida Bar members. Are You a Miami or Palm Beach Lawyer in Need of Technology CLE Credits? On September 11, 2020 at 12:00 p.m., Pankauski Hauser Lazarus PLLC will be offering a FREE, 1 credit hour CLE on preserving and collecting client email for litigation, led by attorney Andrew Kwan. This webinar is approved by The Florida Bar for 1 technology credit or 1 general credit.  E-Discovery in the Real World – Preserving and Collecting Client Email for Litigation WHEN: Friday, September 11, 2020, 12:00 p.m.-12:50 p.m. WHERE: Online via Zoom. REGISTRATION REQUIRED: To register for this CLE webinar, click here. Once registered, you will receive an email with the link to join the webinar.  If you have any questions, or need more information, please email Amanda@phflorida.com.

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Florida Appellate Lawyers and Injunctions

Uncategorized Aug 28, 2020
post about Florida Appellate Lawyers and Injunctions

What is a Florida appeal? When do I need to hire a Florida appellate attorney? Can I appeal a circuit court’s order? Can a court orally promise something and then say something different in their written order? Florida Injunctions and Appeals Florida guardianship lawyers are sometimes hired to file a petition for injunction against exploitation of a vulnerable adult per section 825.1035 of the Florida Statutes. In addition, guardianship lawyers may file other petitions for injunction if the situation deems necessary. Guardianship litigation or Florida injunction lawsuits can lead to an appeal. If you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may be able to file an appeal. It’s also important to note that, if you win your case, the other side may appeal. Therefore, it’s smart to anticipate the possibility of having to hire an experienced Florida appellate attorney. Hiring a Florida Injunction Lawyer If you are in the process of hiring a Florida litigation firm to file a petition for injunction on your behalf, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider the possibility of an appeal being filed. However, as any litigator can tell you, appeals do occur. What if you win your West Palm Beach injunction lawsuit 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 […]

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Florida Appellate Lawyers and Guardianship Cases

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2020
post about Florida Appellate Lawyers and Guardianship Cases

What is an appeal? When might I need a Florida appellate attorney in my guardianship case? When do you need to hire a Florida appellate attorney? What guardianship orders are appealable? What can I do if I do not agree with a judgment issued in my West Palm Beach guardianship proceeding?How can guardianship litigation lead to a guardianship appeal? Florida Guardianship Litigation and Appeals Florida guardianship lawyers know that some guardianship proceedings can lead to an appeal. For example, if you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may wish to file an appeal. On the other hand, if you win, the other side may appeal. Therefore, it is important to anticipate the possibility of having to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney. Hiring Florida Guardianship and Appellate Lawyers If you are in the process of hiring a Florida law firm to assist you with guardianship litigation, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider the possibility of an appeal being filed. However, in the guardianship world, appeals do occur. What if you win a lawsuit and the other side decides to appeal? You will want to make sure you have an appellate attorney, who is knowledgeable about both the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure and Florida Guardianships, ready to assist. At Pankauski Hauser Lazarus, one of the law partners, Robert Hauser, has been named a Board Certified Specialist […]

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Florida Trust Appeals and Evidentiary Hearings

Uncategorized Aug 25, 2020
post about Florida Trust Appeals and Evidentiary Hearings

What is an appeal? When might I need a Florida appellate attorney in my trust lawsuit? What does an evidentiary hearing have to do with an appeal? When is an evidentiary hearing required in a trust lawsuit in Florida? How should I choose a Florida appellate attorney to assist me with an appeal? Palm Beach Trust Litigation and Appeals Trust lawsuits are common in Florida. Frequently, beneficiaries sue trustees . For example, a beneficiary may sue a trustee after the trustee fails to provide an accounting or if they believe the trustee has stolen money from the trust. Beneficiaries in Florida have many rights. If the trustee is not properly upholding his or her duty as trustee, a lawsuit may be necessary. Florida probate lawyers know that some trust and estates proceedings can lead to an appeal. For example, if you disagree with a final judgment or order, you may wish to file an appeal. On the other hand, if you win, the other side may appeal. Therefore, it is important to anticipate the possibility of having to hire a West Palm Beach appellate attorney. Hiring Florida Trust and Estate Litigators and Appellate Lawyers If you are the beneficiary of a Florida trust, and you are in the process of hiring a Florida law firm to assist you with trust litigation, you may want to look for a law firm that is experienced in both trust litigation and appeals. In the early stages of litigation, many people fail to consider […]

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Florida Homestead – 6 months to get half the sale money for a widow

Uncategorized Aug 20, 2020
post about Florida Homestead – 6 months to get half the sale money for a widow

Florida Homestead – 6 months to get half the sale money for a widow Every Florida probate lawyer from Miami to Palm Beach knows that the homestead rights of a spouse can be very, very valuable. But, did you know that one of the most valuable probate rights that a widow has must be exercised within six months of death? That’s right. In Florida, a surviving spouse has a right to make an ELECTION to get half of the homestead sale proceeds. Therefore, if your wife or husband dies with a $5 million condo on the ocean in Sunny Isles or Aventura, you can ask for $2.5 million. BUT, you only have 6 months to make a proper election under Florida Probate Code Section Florida Statute 732.401. Surviving Spouse Homestead Rights in Florida Florida Statute 732.401 explains that a surviving spouse in Florida takes a life estate in the homestead property UNLESS the surviving spouse elects to, instead, take an undivided one-half interest in the homestead as tenants in common. This Florida rule is very important to be familiar with if you are the surviving spouse, and there is a homestead property in Miami or West Palm Beach. Would you rather be allowed to live in the property and have control of the property until you pass away, or would you rather own an undivided interest in half of the property? Owning half of the property means that you would be co-owners with the decedent’s adult children or entitled heirs. You should […]

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The “Business Records Exception” to the Hearsay Rule in Florida

Uncategorized Aug 18, 2020
post about The “Business Records Exception” to the Hearsay Rule in Florida

Are you in a lawsuit where business records are at issue? Like a Florida trust case involving bank account statements or cell phone records? Then you may need to satisfy what Florida probate lawyers call the “business records exception” before the court will even let the documents into evidence. Failing to meet the requirements of the business records exception found in Section 90.803 of the Florida Evidence Code (which you can view for free here) could sink your case. Last month, the Florida Supreme Court decided an important foreclosure case on the business records exception, overturning a prior Florida appeals court case. Read on to hear what Palm Beach trial lawyers have to say about this important case and the business records exception. What is “hearsay” and why does it matter? “Hearsay” is any statement, except for the testimony of a live witness, which is offered to a court in order to prove that what the statement says is true.  Hearsay is defined by Florida Statutes Section 90.801, which you can view for free here. Hearsay is generally inadmissible and will NOT be considered by a court unless there is an exception to the hearsay rule. For example, in an auto accident case that depends on proving whether a traffic light was red or green, a witness can testify that she saw that the light was red. However, that same witness would NOT be allowed to testify that a police officer told her that the light was red. Why the […]

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Sumner Redstone Dies: Who Will Inherit?

Uncategorized Aug 14, 2020
post about Sumner Redstone Dies: Who Will Inherit?

On August 12, 2020, The New York Times reported that renowned media mogul Sumner Redstone had passed away. He was best known for his ownership roles at both Viacom and CBS, which today are merged as ViacomCBS. Who will fight over Redstone’s wealth in probate court? What does his estate consist of? Who will inherit? Lawsuits Regarding Mental Capacity and Inheritance During his lifetime, Redstone was frequently involved in litigation. Litigation regarding his massive estate had already began prior to his death. For example, Sumner was involved in a long legal battle with a former girlfriend, Menuela Herzer. Here, Herzer challenged his mental capacity. She had originally been a beneficiary in his will and, according to a recent article in the The New York Times, she stood to inherit as much as $50 million, plus his Beverly Hills house, before she was removed from his will. In Florida, according to Florida Statute 732.501, a testator must be “of a sound mind” when executing or amending a will or trust. Therefore, at the time of an estate plan change, a person must have, in general, understood the “nature and extent of property to be disposed of and testator’s relation to those who would naturally claim a substantial benefit from will, as well as general understanding of practical effect of will as executed.” In re Wilmott’s Estate, 66 So. 2d 465(Fla. 1953), 40 A.L.R. 2d 1399. How do you challenge a Florida estate plan change if someone is not competent? Proving that someone lacked the mental capacity to change their Florida […]

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