Monthly Archives: March 2022
How Do You Sever A Joint Tenancy In Florida?
A joint tenancy is a method whereby two or more people hold an undivided interest in a real or personal property. The idea behind joint tenancy is that when one co-tenant dies, the remaining co-tenants continue as owners of the undivided whole. In other words, the co-tenants have “survivorship” rights in the property itself…. Read More »
How Broad Is A Trustee’s Discretion In Refusing To Make A Distribution?
In establishing a trust, the grantor has the right to afford as much (or as little) discretionary authority to the trustee as they wish. To the extent the trust gives the trustee discretionary power, however, they must exercise it in “good faith” and “in accordance with the terms and purposes of the trust and… Read More »
Do Unmarried Partners Have Any Inheritance Rights In Florida?
Millions of people are in loving, committed relationships that do not involve marriage. Indeed, many couples are putting off or simply avoiding marriage altogether. There can be many benefits to this, but there are also some potential drawbacks, particularly when it comes to inheritance rights. To put it simply, unmarried partners have no inheritance… Read More »
Joint Tenants Or Tenants In Common? Why The Distinction Matters When It Comes To Probate
When two people hold title to real property as joint tenants with right of survivorship, that means that when one owner dies, the other automatically receives full ownership of the property. The property does not pass through the probate estate of the deceased joint tenant first. In other words, if Steven and Kelly own… Read More »
Can I Still Serve As My Late Spouse’s Executor If They Died While Our Divorce Was Pending?
When a married person dies in Florida, their surviving spouse has certain statutory rights. This includes the right to a certain share of their deceased spouse’s estate, as well as first priority to be appointed as personal representative of that estate. These rights may be waived, however, through a written contract or agreement signed… Read More »
Prince Estate Finally Headed For Resolution After Six Years
Prince Rogers Nelson, the musician best known just by his first name “Prince,” died nearly six years ago, in April 2016. Yet only now, in early 2022, is his probate estate close to winding down. So why has the process taken so long and what lessons can we take away from this estate? Disputes… Read More »
Can A Notary Also Serve As Witness To A Will?
One of the critical requirements to make a valid will in Florida is two witnesses. More precisely, the person making the will (i.e., the testator) must sign their original will in the presence of at least two witnesses. That is to say, the testator and both witnesses must be together at the time the… Read More »
Florida Appeals Court: Probate Judge Lacked Authority To Enforce Settlement Agreement Between Estate And Charitable Foundation
Probate and trust disputes are often resolved through negotiated settlement as opposed to contested litigation. A settlement agreement is a legally binding contract that may be enforced in court if necessary. That can mean that the aggrieved party either has to file a new civil lawsuit or, if possible, seek to enforce their rights… Read More »
Florida Courts Sort Out International Dispute Over Artworks Stolen From Trust
It is not unheard of for a family member to take a deceased loved one’s possessions without going through the proper probate process. Consider the hypothetical example of the person who takes a painting “because the deceased would have wanted me to have it.” Such minor disputes do not necessarily lead to litigation. Of… Read More »