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Category: Blog

What if a beneficiary dies before the probate concludes?

What happens to a beneficiary’s share under a Will if he or she dies before the probate administration is concluded?

If the Will named that beneficiary, there may be provisions for his or her succession, including whether there was a required survival period.  If so, then the beneficiary’s share may well be given to someone else pursuant to the Will….

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Adult child – Helping a Parent or Unduly Influencing?

As more and more middle-aged children are caring for their elderly parents, their roles include managing and dividing finances.  This may be more pronounced in the state of Florida in light of the great elderly population.

This may lead to issues with respect to estate planning, especially if the elderly parent has diminished mental capacity, and relies on an adult child for decision making. …

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After a gamer dies, where do his or her video game accounts and purchases go?

Mobile games and video games are popular and even in-game purchases have become nearly commonplace.  You may wonder what happens to these accounts and these purchases after death. 

A patent which was applied for in 2019 by Tencent Holdings has been recently granted.  This patent, among other things, deals with the inheritance of digital assets. …

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Are life insurance proceeds subject to probate?

Short answer? No. But there are exceptions, of course.

Death benefits which are payable under your life insurance are not considered estate assets. This means they will not be distributed pursuant to your last Will. 

This may mean that, if you are not careful, your life insurance proceeds may go to the wrong people….

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Too young for a power of attorney? Think again.

You just turned 18, and you are headed off to college hundreds of miles away from your parents. You are excited for classes to begin, and the worst thing imaginable happens. You are in an accident, in the hospital, unconscious. Your parents get a phone call from a roommate or friend to tell them. 

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Notice to Creditors in a Florida Probate

A notice to creditors is a newspaper publication. It is a public announcement in the county where the decedent died.  This announcement is done by the appointed personal representative (through their lawyer), which is done to alert or give notice to a decedent’s potential creditors about the death and that there is a probate proceeding which is presently being administered. …

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What does it mean to be a fiduciary, and what does it look like to breach fiduciary duties?

A ward’s guardian, an estate’s personal representative, and trustees of trusts are all considered fiduciaries within the guardianship, probate, and trust administration processes.  Fiduciaries are held to a high ethical and legal standard. They are charged with the obligation to manage the property of the ward, or the estate, or the trust, for the best interest of the beneficiary of such property.  …

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What to do about Retrieving Digital Assets – Particularly Apple iCloud Stored Information

One often wonders what happens with our social media accounts and digital information, such as photos, after death.  Photographs used to be kept in physical photo albums, but now they are kept on our phones, posted on social media, and/or stored in “the cloud.”  Our social media accounts are used to keep track of milestones, big events, and even the day-to-day of our ordinary lives, by way of photos and videos….

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What if you don’t like the nominated personal representative and believe there’s a conflict that would prevent their appointment?

The trial court cannot refuse to appoint the nominated personal representative of an estate based on an alleged conflict where the record contains no competent substantial evidence from which the court can conclude that there is a conflict of interest.  See Werner v. Estate of McCloskey, 943 So.

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Examining Committee Reports in a Contested Incapacity Proceeding

If you have sought the determination of capacity and the appointment of a guardian with respect to a loved one by filing the appropriate petitions with the guardianship court, and these petitions are contested, you should be cognizant of this trap with respect to the examining committee reports. 

When a petition to determine incapacity is filed, the guardianship court will appoint an attorney for the alleged incapacitated person, appoint 3-person examining committee to meet with and evaluate the alleged incapacitated person, and schedule a hearing on the petition to determine incapacity….

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