Probate Malpractice Florida
Can you sue for probate malpractice Florida? Understanding WHO can sue is important. Perhaps more important is understanding WHAT you can sue for. What is PROBATE MALPRACTICE FLORIDA? And how do you exercise your rights when you have been damaged? Probate malpractice is very similar to, or may be described as, Estate Planning Malpractice. If you have been harmed in an estate or Florida probate, read on.
Probate Mistakes, Wrongs and $$
Everyone is stuck with the probate process, right? I mean, Florida law says that when people die with property, you have to “jump through these hoops.” Why? ….Well, that’s the law ! The deceased Florida resident’s property has to be gathered properly. That’s what Florida probate lawyers call “marshal.” And then the deceased person’s debts need to be paid. IRS, last federal income taxes, the CPA, credit card bills, auto loan, pool cleaning, water bill, cable, FPL, HOA, etc. etc. And then, funeral expenses and the estate lawyers need to be paid. Yes, there are “expenses of administration.” And all of these get paid before a Florida beneficiary sees a dime of inheritance. Don’t like it? Sorry, folks. That’s the law!! And, what is left over, goes to the BENEFICIARIES! But, you have to be an “interested person” to sue. You have to be personally damaged. THAT’s who can sue for probate malpractice Florida. An interested person is generally defined as a beneficiary or a creditor of the estate. It can include certain children, spouses, and heirs. Now, are you ready to talk about what we are here to discuss?…………….
Probate Malpractice Florida
lf the way a Florida estate has been handled is bad, you may have a claim for probate malpractice Florida. You may or may not have to file that claim in the probate proceeding. You know, …..the court proceeding for the deceased Florida resident. You have to have a probate in the county where the deceased resident lived or resided. Although, in some instances you may be able to file a claim in CIVIL COURT or even in federal court. It really depends on WHO you are suing and WHAT you claim went wrong. For example, if you have a claim against your mom or dad’s estate planning attorney, you need to file that malpractice claim in the civil division. And the statute of limitations for that is two years. But if the bad stuff happened in the probate, you might have to assert claims against the Personal Representative of the estate. Or, his or her lawyer for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty.
Suing the Executor of the Probate
The “executor” of the “probate,” or estate, is often referred to as the Personal Representative. The Personal Representative is a FIDUCIARY. If she breaks, or breaches, her fiduciary duties, she can be liable for damages. To read about a personal representative’s duties, click HERE and also HERE. Now, in the probate context, the time frame to sue the fiduciary may be only days or months. For example, objecting to an INVENTORY is required within 30 days. If there is a Petition for Discharge filed, or a final accounting, you may only have 20 days. And then….get ready for a trial. So, my point is that in the probate context, time frames are short. So talk to an experienced trial attorney who also handles appeals for probate litigation. Don’t delay. The law does not favor those who sit on their rights. The law favors those who take a stand, speak out and who EXERCISE their rights.