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Tag: #floridaprobate

Florida Probate — secrets from the experts

FAQs Dec 28, 2022
post about Florida Probate — secrets from the experts

Do you really need a lawyer for the Florida Probate that you are involved in? You may not, after all. Find out some secrets from the experts to help you stay informed, up to date, and to receive your inheritance. (Yup, that’s right: it should not be that difficult!) For more perspective on this topic, click HERE. Florida Probate Process Explained Previously, we have written about the whole “estate-probate-inheritance” process. To read more about this topic, you can click here. But, let’s quickly go over some basic, important aspects that you NEED to know. First, if there is no will, then “heirs” inherit through intestacy. This includes the surviving spouse unless he signed a prenup or some waiver of inheritance rights. Second, in an intestate estate, adult children — NOT just minor children– inherit. And maybe even some grandkids. Intestacy is the passing of property from an estate to heirs. It’s a process with its own special rules. Why talk so much about this topic? Because today, lots and lots of people die without a will. Even those who had the money to afford an attorney to write one. It happens all the time. Third, to get your inheritance, you probably need to “open” a probate. Why? Because you probably want two things: first, a “personal representative” appointed to administer the estate; and two, orders from the probate judge that say you inherit. (This is true especially for real estate or homestead. When you go to sell it, the title […]


Florida Estate Laws

Our Firm Apr 14, 2021
post about Florida Estate Laws

There are two things you need to read to grasp Florida Estate Laws. There are also some other rules and authority which you may want to read. But let’s focus on these two important bodies of law for now. Would you like to read more about Florida Probate, Pour Over Wills, or Guardianship? Then you can click those words. If really want to read more, here is a link for FREE FLORIDA LEGAL COMMENTARY. If you still want to read more about probate law in Florida, watch a host of excellent FREE FLORIDA ESTATE VIDEOS. Florida Probate Code To understand Florida Estate Laws, begin with the Florida Probate Code. The Florida Probate Code is contained in Florida Statutes. Chapters 731-735. Those laws will tell you who may participate in a probate, how to open a probate and what must be done. There are laws in there about inventories, and rights and duties. There is also a definition section that helps explain important terms. Like what an “interested person” is. And how a Personal Representative should be acting. Most family members, beneficiaries and heirs like this because their rights are explained. But what if you are trying to exercise your rights in a Florida Probate. Don’t you need to know the procedures? Florida Probate Rules While the probate code is important, don’t forget about the Florida Probate Rules. Those rules set forth procedures and guidelines for getting stuff done in a Florida estate proceeding. The rules talk about petitions and hearings […]


Florida Probate Lawsuit — 5 ways to go on the offense

What We Do Mar 28, 2021
post about Florida Probate Lawsuit — 5 ways to go on the offense

Is your Florida Probate Lawsuit stuck in the mud? Maybe you are sick of sports analogies. But, consider these 5 ways to go on the “offense” for your estate case. But, you need to be ready for a probate trial. If you are not ready for a trial, maybe you should consider a “Plan B.” There is a small group of excellent trial attorneys who limit their practice. They have explained HOW THEY APPROACH A PROBATE CASE. And it’s OK that this group of Experienced Trial + Appellate Attorneys is not for everyone. You need to find the right fit. Knowledge is Power: Understanding Your Probate Case First, consider your Florida Probate Lawsuit as a whole, the facts and the law. “I can’t tell you how many times I get a call from prospective clients who want to change attorneys” says Probate Litigator John Pankauski. He advises taking a step back and getting a “30,000 foot” view. There’s two things that those new or potential clients always talk about. “First, they want to go on the offense and get aggressive. Second, they don’t know exactly how much they are fighting over.” How much are your damages? How strong is your case? How weak is your opponent’s? These are all basic questions you need hard and fast answers for. If you don’t have them, maybe you don’t understand your probate case. If you are filing a WILL CONTEST, what is the basis to attack the will? A complete and thorough analysis […]


Is the Florida Will Valid: a free legal video for family members, heirs & beneficiaries

FAQs Mar 28, 2021
post about Is the Florida Will Valid: a free legal video for family members, heirs & beneficiaries

Heirs, adult children and beneficiaries of Florida probates + estates have asked for this ! A definite guide + legal commentary that answers the question: is the Florida Will Valid? For a free video on this Florida probate topic, CLICK HERE. What Makes a Will Valid? Under Florida law, a will is valid if it was signed properly and the person signing knew what she was doing. 2 witnesses are needed. The person signing the will and the two witnesses must all sign at the same time in “the presence of each other.” The person making the will needs to have a general understanding of what she is doing. This means that they should understand that the document is a will, that they are disposing of property at death. Leaving property at death. When they die. One should have an idea of what property they own, and who their family members are. Not only is mental competency important. But the will signer must be free of any pressure, force or UNDUE INFLUENCE. A will that is caused by an INSANE DELUSION or fraud is void. For more commentary on how to sign a Florida Will, CLICK HERE. Florida Probate Code The Florida Laws on wills are found online, free of charge. Just google Chapter 732, Part V. Or, you can CLICK HERE. This part of the total Florida Probate Code sets forth the rules for valid wills. Those laws tell you who may make a will in Florida. And how […]


Florida Probate Litigation: What is a Pour Over Will?

Uncategorized Mar 7, 2019
post about Florida Probate Litigation: What is a Pour Over Will?

What is a pour over will ? Should I speak with a Florida trust and estates lawyer to create one? What do I do if my mom has passed away leaving a pour over will?  These are all good questions.  For a more current commentary on pour over wills, click HERE.  But many heirs and family members also want to know about contesting a Florida will.


What does “TOD” mean on this Bank Statement?

Uncategorized Feb 3, 2015
post about What does “TOD” mean on this Bank Statement?

Billion$ in “TOD” Florida Bank Accounts What does “TOD” mean on a bank account?  We have previously written about TOD accounts and Florida POD accounts. Now, let’s update this important Florida probate topic by giving you a link to two important Florida statutes + also a 2105 Florida probate opinion you can read for free. Here is the link to previous Florida TOD commentary: https://www.pankauskilawfirm.com/blog/avoid-probate-in-west-palm-beach-through-trusts-life-insurance-and-other-non-probate-assets-learn-how/ Transfer on death typically means that the named individual on the bank account inherits it automatically, by operation of law, when the other co owner dies.  Securities such as stocks and bonds and interests in Florida LLCs may be the subject of transfer on death ownership.  Florida Transfer on Death Security Registration Act TOD Law in Florida A 2015 Florida probate case about TOD accounts and pay on death accounts sheds like on these “will substitutes.”  2015 Florida TOD Probate Case  When someone dies all his or her assets don’t necessarily go to the same place!  And sometimes special bank accounts do not need to be probated. The good news is that Florida has TOD laws and Pay On Death Statutes which you can read for free.  Florida Statutes on TOD and Pay on Death Accounts Do not just assume the probate property is the extent of your relative’s estate. Now more than ever, people are setting up bank accounts and investment accounts with a “designation of beneficiary” to transfer on death (TOD). The beneficiary is the person to whom the asset will transfer after the […]