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 […]

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 […]

All Shook Up: Lisa Marie Presley’s Trust

Lisa Marie Presley’s Trust

In January 2023, Elvis Presley’s only daughter, Lisa Marie, died.  Multiple online news sources subsequently reported that Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley, filed documents in a California court alleging that Lisa Marie’s 2016 Trust Amendment is invalid.  More specifically, online news sources reported that the trust amendment contains a misspelling of Priscilla’s name, there was […]

Ancillary Probate

Ancillary Probate

Ancillary probate administration matters are secondary to domiciliary probate. Ancillary probate comes into play when a non-Florida resident dies owning real estate or other tangible property in another state, but owned property also in Florida.  Chapter 734 of the Florida Statutes is the ancillary probate section of Florida’s Probate Code.  The ancillary probate process would […]

Florida Probate – Public Record

Florida Probate, Public Record

A question often asked by potential clients is whether a probate case or probate court records can be somehow shielded from being publicly found in court records.  The short answer to this question is no. A probate court record consists of the court-filed documents, which includes, among other things, a copy of the will, the […]

No Contest Clauses are Unenforceable in Florida

No Contest Clauses

Sometimes testators include no contest clauses in their estate planning documents, thinking that these will help ensure their wishes will be honored after their death.  No contest clauses, or “in terrorem clauses”, basically serve as a deterrent to a beneficiary of a will or trust, who might otherwise seek to challenge the terms of the […]

Estate tax and related planning

Estate and Tax Planning

The estate tax affects only certain estates: in 2023 it applies to estates exceeding a taxable value of $12.92 million, which is taxed at a rate of 40%. While this does not give cause for concern to many, these figures can and do change. Estate tax is often debated in politics and it frequently changes.  […]

Morrow v. Morrow, 354 So. 2d 642 (Fla. 3d DCA Feb. 8, 2023)

Morrow v. Morrow

The recent Third District Court of Appeal reviewed the requirements for a valid will under Fla. Stat. 732.502 and found the handwritten will which was at issue, in this case, to be valid. In this case, both on a confession of error and based on the court’s independent review, the appellate court found that the […]

Is there privacy in probate?

Privacy in Probate

An often-asked question from potential clients is whether probate matters can remain private and protected from the public eye.  Most people want their personal family and financial affairs to stay private. But, if you have a will, it must be deposited (filed) with the probate court after your death.  (To be technical, the custodian of […]