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Tagged: beneficiaries

Void or Lapsed Devises

What To Do With Old Wills

Updating your estate plan every few years, and particularly after a big life event (such as death, divorce, having a child, etc.), is most often an estate planner’s recommendation.  That being said, people do not always follow those recommendations.  Sometimes wills which are 10 or more years old are brought in by a client seeking to open up a probate. …

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No Will? Who is to be the Personal Representative?

In an intestate estate – i.e., an estate in which the Decedent died without having a will – the state of Florida’s Probate Code statutes dictate how the Decedent’s assets will be distributed.

Assuming the Decedent was married, the surviving spouse typically is the one appointed as the personal representative. …

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Termination of a Florida Trust

There are a handful of reasons why a Florida trust might be terminated.  Often a trustee no longer wants to serve as a trustee or the beneficiaries no longer want a trust, but the trust may indeed terminate by its very terms.  In other words, the trust may have an expiration date. …

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Unclaimed Property and Florida Probate

Unclaimed or abandoned property refers to financial assets which have not had contact with its owner, are unknown or lost, or have been left inactive or not generated any activity by its owner, or are otherwise somehow unclaimed or abandoned by its owner.  Some common types of unclaimed property include bank accounts (both checking and savings accounts), stocks, annuities, certificates of deposit from financial institutions, uncashed dividends, payroll checks, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders, insurance payments or refunds, life insurance policy payments, utility security deposits, and even contents of safe deposit boxes….

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Appointing a Trustee? Consider a professional.

A trustee is charged with protecting and investing trust assets and administering those assets per the terms of the trust agreement for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries.  See Fla. Stat.  736.0801 et seq.

While this sounds like a basic premise, there are some important functions which a trustee must do in their fiduciary role. …

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Florida’s Elective Share Overview

In Florida, one cannot completely disinherit their spouse.  The right to a surviving spouse’s estate is called the elective share, which is thirty percent (30%) of the decedent-spouse’s estate.  Fla. Stat. 732.2065.  Indeed, a decedent’s surviving spouse is entitled to four different rights which come into play in the absence of a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. …

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Can an Irrevocable Trust be Modified Under Florida Law?

The short answer to this question is yes.

What is an irrevocable trust?  It is a trust document that generally is not subject to revocation or modification, once executed and funded. There are exceptions which may permit the changing of the terms of an irrevocable trust.

The Florida Trust Code, Chapter 736 of the Florida Statutes, allows a court to modify an irrevocable trust where the modification is consistent with the intent of the grantor….

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Husband Improperly Transferred Millions to His Girlfriend Without Wife’s Knowledge

Wallace v. Torres Rodriguez, — So. 3d —, 2022 WL 1481782 (Fla. 3d DCA 2022)

This recent case from the Third District Court of Appeal involved a husband, a wife, and the husband’s longtime girlfriend.

In 2010, the wife, Patricia, asked her attorney to draft an irrevocable trust agreement for both her and the husband, Milton….

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Considerations When Writing Wills

…Some Florida residents have the misconception that writing a will is unnecessary unless they are wealthy. This is in most cases not true, and people may benefit from having one in place no matter the size of their estates. Having a valid will can ensure that the testator’s assets are distributed to the intended beneficiaries instead of being subject to the state’s law of intestacy, which in some cases may produce a far different result than the one the testator had wanted.

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Florida Wills And Avoiding Mistakes

…There are several common mistakes that Florida residents make regarding wills. Some people fail to write one in the first place, either because they consider doing so is an arbiter of their death or they simply put it off, thinking it is something to do when they are elderly. Others write wills and then forget about them, failing to update them or review them despite having major life changes.

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