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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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Florida Business Lawsuits on a Contingency

Uncategorized Jun 20, 2020
post about Florida Business Lawsuits on a Contingency

When does a Florida business lawsuit on a contingency make sense? Florida shareholders and business owners, listen up! If you are the partner or a member of a Florida LLC, and are now involved in a business lawsuit in Florida, can you afford it? Here’s what Florida partners and former shareholders need to know. A contingency fee for your Florida business lawsuit may or may not make sense. Serious Business Lawsuit Lawyers Ask any business owner who has been forced out by their Florida partners, and he or she will tell you that you need to hire a tough litigator. What does this mean? You want to find a lawyer who is experienced. You should consider how long a law firm has been in business, and how many years of experience the Florida attorneys at the firm have. Ask the business lawyers you are interviewing how often they go to court. Let’s consider Florida probate law as an example. Many probate lawyers do not go to court. Instead, they write wills and trusts. However, probate litigators, like the attorneys at Pankauski Hauser, do NOT write estate plans. Instead, our attorneys fight hard in court for our clients. Trial experience is imperative if you are in need of someone to represent you in a Florida business dispute. Look for a Florida business attorney that is aggressive, yet professional. You want someone who will work hard and fight hard for yo, both inside and outside of the courtroom. You want a West […]

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Florida Civil Litigation: How does a voluntary dismissal affect an appeal?

Uncategorized Jun 16, 2020
post about Florida Civil Litigation: How does a voluntary dismissal affect an appeal?

Are you thinking about signing a settlement agreement where you agree to voluntarily dismiss your lawsuit? Have your Florida attorneys thoroughly explained how your voluntary dismissal will affect a future appeal? When should you agree to voluntarily dismiss a Florida probate or business lawsuit? What does voluntarily dismissing a lawsuit in Florida have to do with Florida appeals? Voluntary Dismissals in Florida Civil Lawsuits A recent Third DCA opinion, Metalonis v. Eastgroup Properties, explains just how voluntarily dismissing your lawsuit can affect an appeal. Here, the parties had entered into a Florida settlement agreement. One party did not comply with the terms of the settlement agreement so an emergency motion to compel compliance with settlement agreement was filed. The trial court, after a hearing, approved the terms of the agreement, granted the motion to compel and ordered that a voluntary dismissal with prejudice be filed. After the voluntary dismissal was filed with prejudice, and the case was dismissed, the party that filed the voluntary dismissal wanted to appeal the trial court’s order granting the emergency motion to compel. Unfortunately, by filing the voluntary dismissal, he had lost his chance to appeal. When to Voluntarily Dismiss Your West Palm Beach Lawsuit Only voluntarily dismiss your Florida probate or trust lawsuit if you are sure that you want the lawsuit to be COMPLETELY over! As the Metalonis v. Eastgroup case shows, once a party to a Florida lawsuit voluntarily dismisses his or her case, the trial court lacks jurisdiction to do anything. Therefore, an […]

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Florida Probate Litigation and Disclaimers

Uncategorized Jun 12, 2020
post about Florida Probate Litigation and Disclaimers

What is a disclaimer? When might you be asked to sign a disclaimer in your Florida probate case? What should you do if a disclaimer is presented to you by the opposing side? How can a probate lawyer help you to decide whether or not to sign a disclaimer? What constitutes a valid disclaimer in Florida? A January 23,2019 Third DCA opinion discusses a disclaimer in a Florida inheritance case, and what makes a disclaimer valid or invalid. Know What You Are Signing This may seem obvious but, before you sign ANYTHING, make sure that you read it and understand it! You would be surprised how many times our West Palm Beach probate law firm gets calls from beneficiaries who accidentally signed away their rights. Sometimes, these beneficiaries don’t even realize what they did until it is too late. In the probate world, disclaimers are common. For example, if a beneficiary does not want to have interest in , or inherit, a property, they will most likely be asked to sign a disclaimer. Before receiving an inheritance, beneficiaries are also usually asked to sign a disclaimer. In order to avoid any mistakes, and to avoid accidentally giving up valuable inheritance rights, you should have your Palm Beach inheritance lawyer review the disclaimer and go over it with you. Florida Law: Disclaimer of Property Florida Statute 739.104(3) explains what is required for a Florida disclaimer of property to be effective. The following must be met: The disclaimer must be in writing […]

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Florida Inheritance and Guardianship Litigation: Can a Guardian pay ward’s debt after ward’s death, despite objection by a beneficiary?

Uncategorized Jun 11, 2020
post about Florida Inheritance and Guardianship Litigation: Can a Guardian pay ward’s debt after ward’s death, despite objection by a beneficiary?

What is a Florida guardianship? What is ward? What happens when a ward dies in Florida? Is the Florida guardian able to pay the ward’s debt? Does the guardian have to provide notice of proceedings regarding payment of ward’s debt to the beneficiaries of the ward’s estate? Why would the beneficiary of a Florida estate sue the decedent’s guardian? Adult Guardianships in Florida 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. West Palm Beach 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. 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 […]

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Invoking the Relief of Certiorari in Your Florida Probate Case

Uncategorized Jun 6, 2020
post about Invoking the Relief of Certiorari in Your Florida Probate Case

What is a petition for certiorari? What should your Palm Beach probate attorney know about petitions for certiorari? When can you file a petition for certiorari in your inheritance lawsuit? What must you demonstrate to invoke the relief of certiorari in a Florida probate lawsuit? Should I file a petition of certiorari or an appeal? Probate Litigation and Petitions for Certiorari If you are in the middle of a heated probate battle in the Florida courts, there may be a time where you strongly disagree with an order from the trial court. What can you do if you believe that the trial court incorrectly entered an order? Do you have to wait to file an appeal? What if the order is non-appealable? Florida appellate lawyers know that, generally, you can only appeal final orders. However, there are exceptions. In limited circumstances, your Florida probate lawyer can seek certiorari review from the appellate court. Certiorari review only becomes an option when, during litigation, the trial court “departs from the essential requirements of law.” There are three requirements that must be demonstrated to invoke the relief of certiorari: 1) you have to establish a departure from the essential requirements of the law 2) resulting in material injury for the remainder of the case 3) the injury can’t be corrected on post-judgment appeal. Hiring a Florida Lawyer to File a Petition for Certiorari Invoking the relief of certiorari is not easy. Therefore, your probate lawyer should be experienced and knowledgeable about the process. […]

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When is a Disclaimer of an Interest in a Florida Estate Invalid?

Uncategorized Jun 2, 2020
post about When is a Disclaimer of an Interest in a Florida Estate Invalid?

How can a person give up his or her inheritance rights in Florida? What can I do if my mom left me a house in a will and I don’t want to inherit it? Can I sign away my rights to an inheritance? When should I hire a Florida probate lawyer? What is a disclaimer of interest? if you are involved in a probate or trust dispute, you may want to read a January 23, 2019 Third DCA opinion, Lee v. Lee. Lee v. Lee Here, Nicole Lee disclaimed her interest in the decedent’s Florida estate. She did so by executing a document prepared by the personal representative’s attorney. This document was called ” Disclaimer of Interest in Property of Estate.” The disclaimer was properly witnessed and notarized. However, when the personal representative of the Florida estate filed a petition for discharge seeking distribution of the estate’s assets, Ms. Lee objected. She argued that the disclaimer she had executed was not valid. The probate court court determined that the disclaimer was not valid. The probate court explained that the disclaimer was legally insufficient under section 739.104(3) of the Florida Statutes and violative of the statute of frauds because the disclaimer did not identify the real property being disclaimed. Florida Statute 739.104(3) explains what is required for a Florida disclaimer of property to be effective. The following must be met: The disclaimer must be in writing The disclaimer must declare that the writing is a disclaimer The disclaimer must describe the […]

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Florida Lawsuits: Injunctions and Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult

Uncategorized May 27, 2020
post about Florida Lawsuits: Injunctions and Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult

Unfortunately, Florida guardianship lawyers encounter many cases involving financial exploitation of the elderly or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Palm Beach guardianship lawyers and estate attorneys frequently receive calls from concerned relatives or friends regarding an elderly person being financially exploited or 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 West Palm Beach guardianship lawyer? Alzheimers and Dementia Many financial exploitation of the elderly or exploitation of a vulnerable adult cases involve elderly people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Due to their vulnerability, exploiters view people with mental illnesses as easy pray. If you suspect that your elderly parent, or disabled friend, is being exploited by his or her caretaker, you may want to read Florida Statute 825.103. You may also want to learn about Florida guardianships. Florida Adult Guardianships A family member can file a Florida guardianship for an adult who is no longer able to care for himself. A Florida guardianship can protect an elderly person or disabled person from being financially exploited as long as the appointed guardian can be trusted. In Florida, guardianship law is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. Soldatich v. Jones A January 22, 2020 Fourth DCA opinion, Soldatich v. Jones, is a great example of a Florida […]

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