Interested Person Properly Challenges Estate Administration Expenses

Duff-Esformes v. Mukamal

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.  […]

Can an Irrevocable Trust be Modified Under Florida Law?

What is an irrevocable trust

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 […]

Florida’s Elective Share Overview

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 […]

Appointing a Trustee? Consider a professional.

professional trustee

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.  […]

Unclaimed Property and Florida Probate

Unclaimed Property

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 […]

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.  Other reasons might […]

No Will? Who is to be the Personal Representative?

Intestate Estate

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.  Next in line would be […]

Void or Lapsed Devises

Old Wills

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 […]

Tortious Interference with an Expectancy

Tortious Interference

Tortious interference claims occur when one commits tortious conduct in an attempt to deprive or interfere with the inheritance of another, such as by way of fraud or duress, which interferes with the inheritance or gift going to whom the decedent had intended.  In such an instance, if the third party was successful in not […]