Boyes, Farina & Matwiczyk

Leverage. Insight.

561.694.7979

561.694.7979

News/Blog

Deference to the Intent of a Testator or Settlor

May 13, 2019

The Third District Court of Appeal’s recent opinion in Sibley v. Estate of Sibley, — So. 3d —, 2019 WL 1461325 (Fla. 3d DCA April 3, 2019) reminds us that a testator’s or settlor’s intent is to be given paramount deference in constructing the language of a testamentary document.

In Sibley, Charles Sibley, the trustee, appellant, and brother of the decedent, appealed the trial court’s order determining, inter alia, that the foundation-beneficiary of the trust was “not in existence” at the time of the decedent’s death. …

Categories:

Probate Trivia Night Winners

May 3, 2019

Three of our attorneys participated in the South Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Eighth Annual Probate Trivia Night on May 2, 2019, held at the Bocaire Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida.  After three rounds of trivia questions and two tiebreaker rounds, our three attorneys prevailed!  Their prize winnings included gift cards, “Speed Passes” to a motion calendar hearing, and bragging rights as “Probate Code Mavens”.  Congratulations to Duane Pinnock, Adam Sabocik, and Allison Sabocik!

Pictured above are Duane, Adam, and Allison together with Ms….

Categories:

Changing of Venue in Trust Disputes

April 29, 2019

The Fourth District Court of Appeal’s recent opinion in Cohen v. Scarnato, issued April 10, 2019, has us again rethinking the appropriate venue in which to bring a trust dispute action.

Florida Statute 47.122 provides that “[f]or the convenience of the parties or witnesses or in the interest of justice, any court of record may transfer any civil action to any other court of record in which it might have been brought.”  If seeking a transfer of venue under this section, and as explained by the Cohencourt, affidavits or other evidence are necessary to demonstrate the necessity for change of venue based on the statutory factors of convenience of the parties or witnesses or the interest of justice….

Categories:

Lottery Trusts

April 22, 2019

If you have won the lottery, then most certainly, congratulations are in order.  However, before you collect your winnings, you may want to think about how you manage your brand-new wealth.  You may be excited to cash it in, go on a spending spree, buy a whole island or even just a new house, fancy sports car, pay off any debt, and send checks to your family and friends, aside from the initial payment of income taxes to the IRS. …

Categories:

Reopening a Florida Probate

April 15, 2019

Can a Florida Estate Be Reopened After Probate?

Just because a probate estate has been closed by a probate court, this does not mean that it cannot be reopened.  Indeed, public policy favors finality and the closing of estates.  A non-contested estate is supposed to be closed within 12 months from the issuance of letters of administration.  However, if probate assets are subsequently located after closure, a probate can be reopened to distribute those. SeeFla. Prob. R….

Categories:

Estate Planning For Same-Sex Couples

March 26, 2019

In the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld the right of same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states. This brought marriage equality to same-sex couples, no matter in what state they reside. Since then, same-sex married couples have been able to do their estate planning just as heterosexual couples.

Estate planning is something that must be revisited intermittently and carefully reviewed, particularly with same-sex couples. Challenges remain for same-sex couples who entered into legal unions, domestic partnerships, or other civil unions prior to marriage being an option for them….

Categories:

4th DCA: What’s a “qualified beneficiary” and why should trustees care?

February 20, 2019

Under Florida’s Trust Code there are two classes of beneficiaries, and which class you fall in is a big deal.

As defined in F.S. 736.0103(4), the term “beneficiary” refers to the entire universe of persons who have a beneficial interest in a trust, as well as to any person who has a power of appointment over trust property in a capacity other than as trustee. For purposes of this definition it’s immaterial whether the beneficial interest is present or future, vested or contingent, or whether the person having the interest is ascertainable or even living….

Categories:

Judy Daily Achieves Paralegal Certification National Association of Legal Assistants Certified Paralegal, Celebrates 20 Years with Firm

February 13, 2019

Judy Daily has recently achieved her national paralegal certification from The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). Recognized by the American Bar Association as a designation of a high level of professional achievement, the Certified Paralegal (CP) credential signifies that a paralegal is capable of providing superior services to law firms, corporations and their clients.

“I pursued my paralegal certification to deepen my knowledge in the field of law,” Daily said. “The rigorous program required copious amounts of self-discipline and an intensive study regimen that has made me more confident and effective in my position.”

A paralegal and assistant to Partner John Farina, Daily has over 26 years of experience in the legal field, 20 of them with Boyes, Farina &…

Categories:

Rizk v. Rizk, 2018 WL 631228 (Fla. 3d DCA Dec. 4, 2018)

February 7, 2019

Issues surrounding wills executed outside of the state of Florida, or even outside of the country, may present an interesting analysis on whether the will can be determined valid in Florida.

In this recent opinion from the Fourth District Court of Appeal, the Decedent’s brother was a Haitian native, and just a few months before his death, he prepared a will pursuant to the dictates of Haitian law. Per the court’s opinion, this requires the testator to dictate the will to a Haitian notary, who transcribes it and reads it back to the testator, after which the will is signed by the testator, a notary, and 4 witnesses, and the original will is registered by the notary with the Haitian Tax Office and the notary keeps the original….

Categories:

Cook v. Cook, 2018 WL 4520379 (Fla. 4th DCA Sept. 20, 2018, rehearing granted Nov. 28, 2018)

January 31, 2019

The ward in this guardianship case was found to be completely incapacitated, and the trial court imposed a plenary guardianship on him. However, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the three-person examining committee made their determinations for purposes of their required reports, reporting that a plenary guardianship should be imposed, and without conducting comprehensive examinations of the prospective ward. What does this mean? As a matter of public policy, individual rights and freedoms should not be restricted unless necessary for the safety and protection of your loved one….

Categories: