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Is “House Fraud” A Major Problem In The Florida Probate System?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

Having an estate plan is always a good idea, but it is especially important if you own your home or other real property. While intestate succession law determines who inherits your property in the absence of a will, you need to consider the possibility that someone might try to take advantage of the situation… Read More »

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What Happens When A Trustee Needs To Recover Property Wrongfully Taken From A Florida Trust?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

One function of the personal representative of a probate estate or a trustee for a trust is taking legal action to recover property that was wrongfully taken from either. A trustee, for example, has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust to ensure that trust assets have not been misappropriated. This may… Read More »

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How The Rules For Compensating Personal Representatives And Trustees Can Differ Under Florida Law

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

A person serving as the personal representative of a probate estate or the trustee of a trust is normally entitled to reasonable compensation for their services. In some cases, a person may serve in both roles and be entitled to compensation in each capacity. But the rules governing such compensation may differ depending on… Read More »

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What Happens When Multiple Wills Are Filed With A Probate Court?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

One thing that can trigger litigation in an estate is the purported existence of multiple wills. This can happen because a person signed a new will without first destroying the prior will. Or it may simply be a case where someone is presenting a document as a superseding will even if it appears to… Read More »

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What Are The Limits Of A Florida Financial Power Of Attorney?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

There is sometimes a misunderstanding about the scope of a Florida Power of Attorney (POA). Some people think signing a POA means giving another person absolute and complete control over their lives. But a POA only grants as much–or as little–power as the principal wishes. Indeed, some POAs are limited to performing a specific… Read More »

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Has COVID-19 Led More People To Make Wills?

By Mark R. Manceri, P.A. |

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many people to reassess various aspects of their lives. This includes estate planning. According to one recent survey, people who have suffered from a serious case of COVID are far now more likely to have a written will and other estate planning documents. This survey came from Caring.com, a… Read More »

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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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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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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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