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

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2020
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 […]


Florida Probate Appeals and Homestead Property

Uncategorized Apr 25, 2020
post about Florida Probate Appeals and Homestead Property

When do I need an appellate lawyer in Florida? What type of appeals may you encounter if you are involved in Florida probate litigation? Did you know that the other side in your lawsuit may file an appeal if they disagree with the trial court’s decision? Why should I hire an appellate attorney who also does probate litigation for my probate appeal? 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 also knowledgeable about 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 in Appellate Practice. Because our firm’s focus is litigation and appeals, our trust lawyers know what to do during trial to ensure that issues are preserved for appeal, if necessary. In addition, having focused trial lawyers and appellate lawyers in one firm is beneficial because you may save time and money during the appeal due to the fact that the firm is already familiar with your case. […]


COVID-19, Florida’s Stay-at- Home Order,and Depositions

Uncategorized Apr 3, 2020
post about COVID-19, Florida’s Stay-at- Home Order,and Depositions

What is a deposition? How are West Palm Beach lawyers holding depositions while social distancing? If I have a deposition scheduled, will it be canceled because of the Coronavirus Disease(COVID-19) pandemic? How has technology made depositions possible during social distancing? Are my West Palm Beach estate lawyers still able to take depositions and attend hearings while this is all going on? Depositions in Florida A deposition is where someone is placed in front of a video tape and/or a court reporter, and asked questions by opposing counsel. The person being deposed is required to answer the questions truthfully and under oath. Florida trial lawyers know that depositions can prove to be one of the most important events during a civil case, aside from the trial itself. It is an opportunity to gather important information from both people who may benefit a case and opposing parties. Probate and business litigators may choose to depose people who may know relevant facts to the case. For example, in a probate case, a witness to a Florida will or POA document may be deposed. In an undue influence case, a doctor who has knowledge of the victim’s Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia may be deposed. Social Distancing and Depositions How can West Palm Beach probate lawyers hold depositions while staying safe during this pandemic? Under some circumstances, depositions are done telephonically. However, at the very least, the notary or person swearing in the witness is physically with the witness. The Florida Governor’s stay-at-home order, effective April […]


Practicing Florida Law and COVID-19

Uncategorized Mar 28, 2020
post about Practicing Florida Law and COVID-19

How are Florida lawyers practicing law and social distancing? How has the Coronavirus Disease(COVID-19) affected Florida law firms? Can I still hire a Florida probate litigator to help me with an inheritance dispute? How has technology made practicing law possible during times like these? Are my West Palm Beach estate lawyers still able to take depositions and attend hearings while this is all going on? Are probate and business lawsuits still being filed? Florida Law and Technology As West Palm Beach trust and inheritance lawyers, the attorneys at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus know the importance of staying focused and productive, even while the world is experiencing a pandemic. Because of the CDC social distancing recommendations and requirements, many Florida law firms, including our litigation firm, are relying on technology to seamlessly continue to work on cases. The good news is that many lawyers today frequently utilize technology in their everyday practices. Therefore, they are familiar with the programs that allow them to virtually lawyer. For example, CourtCall allows Florida lawyers to easily attend hearings via telephone. Our attorneys are very familiar with CourtCall because we represent clients throughout the state of Florida. Therefore, appearing telephonically can, sometimes, be the most cost effective and convenient way. Furthermore, our Florida litigators are able to conduct telephone conferences, rather than in-person meetings, with both clients and each other. Zoom is being used for video depositions and some hearings. Plus, on April 1,2013, e-filing became mandatory throughout Florida. Therefore, petitions and court documents are filed via […]


Stalking Injunctions in Florida

Uncategorized Mar 16, 2020
post about Stalking Injunctions in Florida

When is a stalking injunction necessary 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 Florida? Are you involved in Florida litigation where the person you are suing has started harassing you? Do you need a West Palm Beach lawyer to petition for injunction for protection against stalking? What Does a Stalking Injunction have to do with Florida Inheritances? West Palm Beach probate attorneys, like those at Pankauski Hauser, know that disputes over inheritances can become messy. What do we mean by “messy”? Frequently, probate lawyers who handle litigation witness family members “fight” in the courts over money and property. 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.”  Many heated Florida trust and estates battles involve sibling rivalries. For example, one sibling may sue another sibling for unduly influencing their mom, while mom had dementia or Alzheimer’s, to change her Florida will or trust. Another example would be a sister suing her brother, the brother was dad’s power of attorney (POA), for wrongly […]


How to get interest in Florida lawsuit judgments

Uncategorized Mar 5, 2020
post about How to get interest in Florida lawsuit judgments

What is an interest rate? What is the interest rate on a Florida judgment or decree? How much interest do you get on a Palm Beach probate judgment? What should your Florida probate lawyer know about interest rates and judgments? Current Interest Rate on Florida Judgments Quarterly, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer sets the rate of interest payable on Florida judgments and decrees. As required by F.S. §55.03(1) , the CFO sets these rates on December 1, March 1, June 1, and September 1 of each year. According to the Current Judgment Interest Rates chart, which is posted on the website of Florida’s CFO, the interest rate for Florida final judgments since October 2019 has been 6.89% per annum. Beginning January 1, 2019, the interest rate for Florida judgments will be 6.83% per annum. West Palm Beach Probate Judgments After a probate or inheritance battle, a judgment may be issued. If you are trying to collect a judgment of a million dollars, the interest that may be attached can be significant. The interest on a judgment is usually way larger than that on a bank account. Therefore, learning the rules on interest payments in a West Palm Beach or Miami probate matter may prove valuable. Ask your Florida probate lawyer how much interest you could get on your West Palm Beach probate judgment. Vice versa, you should ask your West Palm Beach trust litigator how much interest you may have to pay if a judgment against you is […]


Ascertainable Creditors & Untimely Creditor Claims

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2020
post about Ascertainable Creditors & Untimely Creditor Claims

Who is considered to be a “reasonably ascertainable creditor” in a Florida lawsuit? Who does a personal representative in Florida need to serve a notice of creditors to? If a creditor fails to file a timely claim against a West Palm Beach or Miami estate, what happens? If you are involved in Florida litigation regarding a notice to creditors, you may want to read Cantero v. Estate of Caswell. Ascertainable Creditors If you are serving as the personal representative of a Florida estate, you will have to comply with Florida Statute 733.2121. Therefore, as personal representative, you must properly publish Notice to Creditors and make a diligent search to determine creditors. Florida Statute 733.2121(3)(a) explains in more detail what the personal representative must do to ensure that he or she properly gives notice to creditors of the estate. This section states the following : “The personal representative shall promptly make a diligent search to determine the names and addresses of creditors of the decedent who are reasonably ascertainable, even if the claims are unmatured, contingent, or unliquidated, and shall promptly serve a copy of the notice on those creditors. Impracticable and extended searches are not required. Service is not required on any creditor who has filed a claim as provided in this part, whose claim has been paid in full, or whose claim is listed in a personal representative’s timely filed proof of claim.” Furthermore, in any trust or estate matter, it is very important to know filing deadlines. Under Florida Statute 733.702(1), […]


Florida Alimony Appeals and Inheritances

Uncategorized Feb 27, 2020
post about Florida Alimony Appeals and Inheritances

What do West Palm Beach divorces or alimony disputes have to do with Florida inheritance matters? Why are Florida divorce cases relevant to probate cases? What do Palm Beach probate litigators need to know about prenups and alimony? How important is it to hire an experienced appellate attorney for an alimony appeal? How can an appellate attorney help me to appeal a court order denying an alimony modification? Florida Prenuptial Agreements Florida probate lawyers and appellate attorneys know that a prenuptial agreement (prenup) can protect your inheritance from your spouse in the case of death or divorce. In a prenup, a person can specify how to divide up property and inheritances at the end of a marriage. It is important to know that inherited assets can be considered in the award of alimony. However, by fixing the term and amount of alimony in a prenup, entangling an inheritance with a divorce can be avoided. In the case of death, inherited assets are treated just as any other asset. Therefore, in the absence of a prenup, inherited assets are subject to spousal claims just like any other asset. If you don’t have a prenup, you may find yourself needing to hire a Florida family law attorney to represent you in an alimony battle, a West Palm Beach probate attorney to fight for your inheritance, and even an appellate attorney if a decision needs to be appealed. Nangle v. Nangle If you are involved in alimony litigation or questioning whether or not you should execute a prenup prior to marriage, you may want to […]


How Can a West Palm Beach Guardianship Help You to Protect an Elderly Loved One?

Uncategorized Feb 25, 2020
post about How Can a West Palm Beach Guardianship Help You to Protect an Elderly Loved One?

What is an adult guardianship? When should I consider hiring a West Palm Beach guardianship attorney? What can I do if I feel my elderly mom is being taken advantage of by a caretaker? How can I make sure that my elderly dad, who has Alzheimer’s disease, is not financially exploited? Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult As guardianship litigation lawyers, we at Pankauski Hauser Lazarus frequently encounter situations where elderly adults are being taken advantage of by those trusted to care for them. It seems that elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia are targeted most frequently because these particular diseases, unfortunately, can make them vulnerable. Greedy caretakers, neighbors, or friends, who know of a person’s vulnerability, may try to financially exploit them. The idea of having a caretaker or neighbor exploit your vulnerable family member can be sickening. However, there are certain things that can be done to try to prevent this from occurring. Florida Adult Guardianships You may want to consider filing for guardianship over mom and dad if they are no longer able to care for themselves. The guardianship process in Florida is taken very seriously by West Palm Beach courts because guardianship proceedings involve rights being taken away if the alleged incapacitated person is deemed incapacitated. The proceedings to determine incapacity are generally controlled by Florida Statute 744.331, and the statute must be strictly followed. To learn more about the procedures to determine incapacity in a hearing, you should read Florida Statute […]


Florida Guardianship Appeal: Is a Family Member Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

Uncategorized Feb 21, 2020
post about Florida Guardianship Appeal: Is a Family Member  Guardian Entitled to Compensation?

What is a guardianship? When should you consult with a Florida guardianship lawyer? Do you have an elderly family member who is no longer able to take care of himself? How can a guardianship help you to protect your elderly mom or dad? Do guardians get paid? What should I know before filing to become the guardian of someone? West Palm Beach Adult Guardianships When most people think of a guardianship, they think of minor children. However, at our West Palm Beach litigation firm, we focus on adult guardianships. Any Florida guardianship attorney can tell you that guardianship litigation is booming. Unfortunately, many guardianships are filed to prevent or protect elderly family members from being taken advantage of by greedy caretakers, friends, neighbors etc. Oftentimes, we get calls from people who believe that someone is taking financial advantage of an elderly person. In other circumstances, the children of an elderly person call us because they believe their mom or dad is not properly caring for himself or herself. Guardianships are taken very seriously by the Florida courts because guardianship proceedings usually involve certain rights being taken away from the ward. The ward is the person who is subject to the guardianship. The right to marry and the right to contract are just two of the rights that may be taken from a ward during a guardianship proceeding. If a lesser restrictive alternative to a Florida guardianship, such as a POA or trust, exists the guardianship courts will consider them before […]


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