Protecting Yourself as a Trustee
May 8, 2023
A trustee can be removed from his or her fiduciary position by either a court or at the request of a settlor or a beneficiary.
In addition to removal as trustee, a trustee can face a lawsuit if he or she is in breach of trust.
The applicable statute is Florida Statute 736.0706, which states in relevant part:
(1) The settlor, a cotrustee, or a beneficiary may request the court to remove a trustee, or a trustee may be removed by the court on the court’s own initiative….
Morrow v. Morrow, 354 So. 2d 642 (Fla. 3d DCA Feb. 8, 2023)
April 26, 2023
The recent Third District Court of Appeal reviewed the requirements for a valid will under Fla. Stat. 732.502 and found the handwritten will which was at issue, in this case, to be valid.
In this case, both on a confession of error and based on the court’s independent review, the appellate court found that the will was handwritten, but reflected the signatures of the testator, two witnesses, and a notary along with the notary’s seal. …
Does a person’s debt go away when they die?
April 19, 2023
The short answer: No, the debt does not simply go away when someone dies owing a debt. Generally speaking, a decedent’s estate is responsible for paying any unpaid debts, and no one else is required to pay those debts. When a decedent dies, their assets pass to their estate, and if there is no money or property left, then, usually, the debt will not be paid….
Estate tax and related planning
April 3, 2023
The estate tax affects only certain estates: in 2023 it applies to estates exceeding a taxable value of $12.92 million, which is taxed at a rate of 40%. While this does not give cause for concern to many, these figures can and do change. Estate tax is often debated in politics and it frequently changes. …
All Shook Up: Lisa Marie Presley’s Trust
March 22, 2023
In January 2023, Elvis Presley’s only daughter, Lisa Marie, died. Multiple online news sources subsequently reported that Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley, filed documents in a California court alleging that Lisa Marie’s 2016 Trust Amendment is invalid. More specifically, online news sources reported that the trust amendment contains a misspelling of Priscilla’s name, there was a failure to notify Priscilla of the trust amendment, the signature of Lisa Marie looks atypical, and there is a lack of witnesses and notarization on the document….
March 1, 2023
Gifting to your adult children a portion of their inheritances while you are still alive is a topic of discussion that is not always as simple or clear-cut as it may seem on the surface.
Some reasons you might consider doing this may be if you have more in your savings than you thought you would at this stage in life, you have made profitable investments, you do not have concerns over medical expenses, or even just want to see how your children might pursue their dreams and goals with some extra financial assistance. …
Modifying or Reforming an Irrevocable Trust?
February 13, 2023
The question of whether an irrevocable trust can be changed, amended, reformed or modified is one with an almost-surprising answer. Can this happen? Yes, it can.
Pursuant to Florida’s Trust Code, Chapter 736 of the Florida Statutes, an irrevocable trust can be modified if the modification or change is consistent with the intent of the grantor (i.e., the creator of the trust itself). …
No Contest Clauses are Unenforceable in Florida
January 31, 2023
Sometimes testators include no contest clauses in their estate planning documents, thinking that these will help ensure their wishes will be honored after their death. No contest clauses, or “in terrorem clauses”, basically serve as a deterrent to a beneficiary of a will or trust, who might otherwise seek to challenge the terms of the will or trust, including bringing litigation regarding the will or trust. …
Florida Probate – Public Record
January 25, 2023
A question often asked by potential clients is whether a probate case or probate court records can be somehow shielded from being publicly found in court records. The short answer to this question is no.
A probate court record consists of the court-filed documents, which includes, among other things, a copy of the will, the petition for administration (seeking to admit that will to probate), the order which appoints the personal representative (Florida’s term for “executor”) and the Letters of Administration providing that personal representative to act on behalf of the estate, the probate inventory, and the estate’s accounting….
December 6, 2022
Ancillary probate administration matters are secondary to domiciliary probate. Ancillary probate comes into play when a non-Florida resident dies owning real estate or other tangible property in another state, but owned property also in Florida. Chapter 734 of the Florida Statutes is the ancillary probate section of Florida’s Probate Code.