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Monthly Archives: June 2021

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Florida’s Fiduciary Access To Digital Assets Act

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Florida was one of the first states to adopt a comprehensive “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.” This law covers not just situations where an authorized person–i.e., the personal representative of a probate estate–seeks to access data belonging to a deceased user, but also someone acting as a legal guardian for a minor or… Read More »

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Who Will Be Named Executor Of An Estate If There Is No Will?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

The appointment of a personal representative is one of the most important steps in the process of administering a probate estate. If the deceased individual–known in legal terms as the decedent–left a will, then that document will typically nominate a personal representative. But what happens when there is no will? How does the probate… Read More »

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Can A Trustee Be Sued For Refusing To Maximize The Value Of A Trust’s Assets?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

When assets are placed into a trust, the trustee assumes a legal duty to manage those assets for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries. And while the trust may give the trustee broad discretion in managing the trust’s assets on a day-to-day basis, such discretion is not unlimited. The beneficiaries can take legal action… Read More »

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Why Would An Estate Be Turned Over to The State Of Florida?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

According to some surveys, approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults do not have a will. Dying with no will is not necessarily a problem. Florida has intestacy laws to provide for such situations. The general rule is that an intestate estate–i.e., any probate property not disposed of by will–is first divided among the spouse and… Read More »

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Florida Appeals Court: Trust Beneficiaries Must File Separate Lawsuit To Challenge Trust Accounting

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Sometimes, trust litigation is the result of an incomplete or poorly drafted trust instrument. Take this recent decision from the Florida First District Court of Appeal, Stokes v. Jones. This is part of an ongoing lawsuit involving the trustees and beneficiaries of a trust created by a now-deceased settlor. The settlor had named her… Read More »

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Is An Estate Bound By A Prenuptial Agreement?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Engaged couples often sign prenuptial (or antenuptial) agreements in contemplation of marriage. Although most people associate such agreements with divorce, they can also make provisions for what happens in the event either spouse dies while the parties are still married. For example, a prenup might provide each spouse waives certain rights they might have… Read More »

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Can A Contract Override My Will?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

In general, a person is free to dispose of their property in their last will and testament as they wish. But a will does not override any preexisting contracts the person may have signed. Put another way, you cannot use your will to dispose of property in a way that violates the terms of… Read More »

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What Happens When The Personal Representative Of An Estate Improperly Takes Property For Themselves?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Personal representatives have a fiduciary duty to the heirs and beneficiaries of a probate estate. This means, among other things, that an executor cannot embezzle estate assets for their own personal benefit. If such embezzlement occurs, the beneficiaries of the estate have the right to take legal action against the personal representative. Kansas Supreme… Read More »

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