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Why Do Probate Estates Need To Publish A “Notice To Creditors”?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Even in the age of social media, when government officials announce decisions on Twitter and Facebook, there are still some legal formalities that require the use of an old-fashioned printed newspaper. One such example is the “Notice to Creditors” that must be published for every Florida probate estate. Perhaps you have seen such notices… Read More »

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The Limits Of The Federal Probate Exception

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Federal courts often exercise what is known as diversity jurisdiction over civil litigation. “Diversity” in this context refers to a diversity in where the parties live. For example, if you are a Florida resident and sue a Georgia resident, even under Florida law, the defendant has the right to invoke diversity jurisdiction and have… Read More »

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The Personal Representative’s Role In Collecting Money Owed To An Estate

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

When administering a probate estate, the personal representative may need to take legal action to collect any money or property owed to the estate. The personal representative has the same right to sue or be sued as the decedent. At the same time, the personal representative is also bound by any contractual arrangement signed… Read More »

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Can A Spouse Waive Their Right To An Elective Share Of The Other Spouse’s Estate?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

If you are married, Florida law does not permit you to unilaterally disinherit your spouse. A surviving spouse may claim an “elective share” of your estate regardless of the terms of your will or trust. The elective share is 30 percent of your estate, as calculated pursuant to Florida law. The surviving spouse must… Read More »

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What Is The Role Of A Trust Protector?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Trust litigation frequently involved challenges to the mental competency of the settlor, i.e., the person who originally created the trust. But a recent Arizona appeals court decision addressed a more interesting question: Is it possible to exercise undue influence over a settlor such that he improperly influences the actions of the person charged with… Read More »

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Is A Person’s Interest In A Limited Liability Company A Probate Or Non-Probate Asset?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

A common source of estate litigation in Florida is the question of what is considered a “probate” asset in the first place. For example, it is well understood that assets placed in a trust or subject to a payable-on-death designation are non-probate assets. But other assets may fall into more of a gray area… Read More »

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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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