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Tagged: estate administration

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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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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Interested Person Properly Challenges Estate Administration Expenses

Duff-Esformes v. Mukamal, 332 So. 3d 17 (Fla. 3d DCA 2021)

The appellant in this case, Elizabeth Ann Duff-Esformes, was the Decedent’s surviving spouse, one of two beneficiaries of the Decedent’s estate.  The other beneficiary was the residual beneficiary, the Nathan J. Esformes Living Trust, to which the appellant was the sole beneficiary as well. …

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What A Power Of Attorney Does In Florida

…The idea of ceding control over certain parts of someone’s life may not seem like an attractive idea, but there are some cases where it is best to have an individual ready to represent them. If an individual is unable to manage their own business affairs or finances, such as due to a medical issue, the court may end up appointing someone to do this, which means that an individual could end up with a person they’ve never met making important choices for them.

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Estate Administration In Florida

…When a person dies in Florida, either a designated executor or a person appointed by the court will serve as the decedent’s estate administrator. During the preparation of their wills, it is important for testators to be careful when choosing an executor for their estate in order to make certain the person is competent, able and trustworthy enough to carry out the tasks involved.

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