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Author Archives: Jay Butchko

EstPlan20

When Is A Lifetime Gift Legally Binding In Florida?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Not everyone waits until they die to leave a gift or inheritance to a loved one. Many people choose to make inter vivos gifts, or transfers of property during their lifetime. Such gifts are legally binding on the donor–and their future estates–provided there was “donative intent” and the gift was actually delivered to the… Read More »

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Litigation

How Florida Probate Rules Prevent Creditors From “Jumping The Line”

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

When administering a Florida estate, the executor or personal representative must pay any debts or expenses of the estate from the available assets. If there are insufficient assets to pay everyone, the law spells out the order in which different classes of creditors are paid. For example, the highest class is the expenses related… Read More »

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Legal14

Can The Executor Object To A Surviving Spouse Taking An Elective Share Of An Estate?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Florida law permits the surviving spouse of a deceased individual to claim an “elective share” of their estate. The purpose of the elective share is to prevent someone from completely disinheriting their spouse. Basically, the elective share is equal to 30 percent of not just the deceased spouse’s probate assets, but also their homestead… Read More »

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EstPlan23

How The “Order Of Preference” Can Affect The Administration Of A Florida Probate Estate

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

In making a will, a person is generally free to name anyone they wish as the personal representative (executor) of their estate. When there is no will, however, Florida law determines the “order of preference” for the probate court to follow in appointing a personal representative. Normally the surviving spouse–if any–has priority, followed by… Read More »

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Legal33

Does Florida Law Actually Bar A Killer From Inheriting Their Victim’s Estate?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

A popular trope in crime fiction is the spouse who kills their significant other “to collect the insurance money.” In reality, of course, you cannot legally profit off someone’s death when you caused that death. Most states, including Florida, have what is known as a “slayer statute” to address such situations. Florida’s statute states… Read More »

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POA3

When Is A Florida Power Of Attorney Invalid?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

A power of attorney is a written, signed document whereby one person–a principal–grants certain authority to an agent to take some action on their behalf. Any legally competent adult may sign a power of attorney. By default, the power of attorney remains in effect only while the principal remains competent. That is to say,… Read More »

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CrumpledWill

Do I Have To Physically Destroy My Will To Revoke It?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Making a will is often not a one-time event. As your family and financial situation changes throughout your life, you will likely find yourself wanting to revoke your existing will and, hopefully, writing a new one. So how do you go about legally revoking a will in Florida? Do you actually have to physically… Read More »

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Inherit2

Do Stepchildren Have Inheritance Rights In Florida?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Many people marry more than once or have children from different relationships. Such blended families can create complications when it comes to estate planning and probate matters. Some people decide to include their stepchildren in their will or trust. But do stepchildren have any inheritance rights outside of such documents? The short answer is… Read More »

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EstPlan22

How Often Should I Review Or Revise My Florida Estate Plan?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Many people take the time to make a will. Then they put the document in a drawer and never think about it again. This is usually a mistake. Estate planning should never be a one-time affair. It is an ongoing process that evolves over time. So how often should you review your estate plan?… Read More »

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LegalAdvice

How Do You Sever A Joint Tenancy In Florida?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

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 »

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