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….
If you have won the lottery, then most certainly, congratulations are in order. However, before Florida lottery winners, 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. However, the first thing to do – even before signing the winning ticket – is to call your trust and estate lawyer. …
Can a Florida Estate Be Reopened After Probate?
Just because a probate in Florida has been closed by a 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….
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….
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….
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 &…
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….
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….
A probate court has the authority to appoint someone to serve as personal representative other than the statutorily entitled person to serve, if, on evaluating a person’s fitness to serve, it makes appropriate findings.
In this recent Third District Court of Appeal opinion, the trial court’s decision was reversed because it failed to make such requisite findings. Here, the decedent and his wife were married for just four days before the Decedent died. The Decedent’s father filed a petition for Administration, seeking appointment as the estate’s Personal Representative….
As the new year begins, and rather than wait for a life event to happen when you wish you had looked at your estate plan, now is a great time to review your current financial and estate plans. Even your plan that is just a few years old may be outdated, and so it may be time for an update.
For example, you may start planning for any gifts you wish to make in 2019. An individual now can give up to $15,000 to each recipient, without any limit on number of gifts;…