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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Dispute POA

My father lives in Florida. I live in California.

He added my name and my brothers name to the deed of his condo (no mortgage) in 2017.

In 2021 my brother passed away. In March 2022 my brothers widow was given POA over my father and added herself to the Quitclaim deed without my... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 11, 2022

And you want to know whether the power of attorney and the deed can be annulled, and you can examine the bank accounts? You need to retain a Florida attorney for the purpose of adjudicating your father incompetent as of the date of the POA.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My cousin passed with no will in place. She did not have children and her spouse passed years before she did.

I was told that next in line are aunts and uncles. Are cousins entitled to their parent share if the parent is deceased? When did the law change? I was told the law changed after my cousin passed.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on May 8, 2022

I am sorry for your loss and the passing of your cousin, please accept my condolences for you and your family. You will need to work with and get a probate attorney in the state where they were a resident, if property was owned in another state, you will likely need an attorney there as well. When... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Waiver for discharge, release and receipt that I have been paid but I have not been paid

Requesting my signature stating the pr has paid me full in cash but I have not rcvd any money. Should I sign

Attorney said its normal verbiage

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Apr 27, 2022

Should you sign a receipt for money you didn't receive? Of course not. Tell the attorney (for the PR, I assume) to explain, not simply to tell you that a paper by which you indicate you have received money which you have not received is "normal verbiage".

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Does the Florida Homestead law about surviving spouses supercede a will if the will left the property to the children?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Apr 25, 2022

Yes, as long as no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement was signed or some other waiver of Homestead Rights, then the surviving spouse usually has substantial rights to Homestead (at least a life estate or half 50% interest) amongst many other rights. The Will or any estate planning for that matter... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Collections and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can the courts take my inheritance?

Lake County FL courts have a $100,000 lien against me. I need to know if they can take the money my mother left me when she died.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Apr 22, 2022

You will want counsel of a competent FL attorney, assuming the legacy is situated in FL. `Exemption Rights will be pertinent here. You may even open up a Trust. This is a public forum and you do not need to talk about this with anyone else but your attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: What are my rights if I am a "issue" of a deceased parent

My grandmother passed in 2011, then my mother passed away 2013. My uncle is trustee of my grandmothers Will. My grandmother had a property and stated in her Will "Upon the sale and liquidation of the property, all net proceeds shall be paid to my children, and if any should not be alive then... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Apr 18, 2022

Yes, you and your siblings (as well as your and your siblings' descendants, if any) are the "issue" of your mother.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My mother died recently and has a living trust. As the trustee, I have some questions about procedure.
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 18, 2022

Do yourself an enormous favor by NOT seeking help on this public website about something as important as this.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Florida on
Q: If a first name name is printed incorrectly by a notary on a will is it void it says Ronald instead of Robert

None

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Apr 8, 2022

This should definitely be corrected, Ronald is a big difference from Robert and while you can try to claim it is just a typo scrivener error potentially, I would not rely on it and I would get it corrected, updated and changed as soon as reasonably possible. There is no real conceivable way someone... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Do heirs have ownership? House in trust was transferred from grantor to grantee and heirs. Grantee remarried and passed.

The 2011 transfer doc states "Grantor does hereby convey and transfer unto the Grantee, heirs and assigns, the following described property.....". The original trust was created for my father and his decendants. It was controlled by a trustee, as he had many issues. We benefited... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Apr 7, 2022

No, you do not have any interest in the property. If the deed was to "the Grantee, heirs and assigns", it means that the grantee was given "fee simple" title to the property. The wording " heirs and assigns" means the GRANTEE's heirs or whoever the GRANTEE might... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother recently passed, her assets were put in a trust and my sister was made trustee. So far, she has not provided

the beneficiaries (5 siblings including the trustee) with details of the trust nor an accounting of the trust. My understanding from reading FL statutes is that she has 60 days to provide a copy of the trust and an accounting of the trust's assets and liabilities to the beneficiaries. She has... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 6, 2022

The reason why Florida law allows Trustees at least 60 days to notify beneficiaries is to allow the Trustee sufficient time to locate and examine the decedent's Last Will, search for and gather the decedent's personal property, get copies of deeds to real property, inventory all of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I was left 90,000 more than 20 years ago and cannot locate where it is. A Massachusetts attorney recommended MAINE

That all I know

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Apr 1, 2022

You likely need to start with an attorney in the state where this probate or matter took place. You should start with the deceased person's state of residence/domicile, where their Homestead was located and where their property/estate was probated. If there are monies due, it would be listed... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Do you have to file a will in Fl? Everything is left to the husband/wife. House & car is paid off.

Does probate need to get involved!?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Mar 25, 2022

Yes, you have an affirmative duty to file any Will with the clerk of the court in the county where the deceased person was a domiciled resident (where their Homestead is located). The Florida Statute says you must do this within 10 days, no one will hold you to that timeline. As far as requiring an... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Florida on
Q: Can a beneficiary request that their inheritance be transferred to an account which is not in their name?

The account was opened by their girlfriend.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Mar 12, 2022

Maybe, not preferred and probably not likely. You would need to minimally provide some sort of a notarized document stating clearly in writing with your signature and witnesses notarized that this is what you want the estate representative to do, even then, it is likely that they will not be... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Accessing my deceased father's checking account?

His first and last name are same as mine. Before he passed we did a notarized will naming me as sole beneficiary. We also have a signed a notarized POD (PAY ON DEATH) for his checking account naming me beneficiary which I did upload to the bank, although I've heard nothing from them. I've... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Mar 9, 2022

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your father, please accept my condolences and sympathy for you and your family at this sad time. Generally, any assets with a pay on death designation will go directly to that named person. Whether you should be taking money out before hearing from... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Next of kin without a will?

My partner passed away a few weeks again, and the jurisdiction assigned to the case took his phone and a couple of other things into evidence since there was an open investigation. He did not have a will. His dad tried to call and obtain the phone back, and was told by the officer that he needs a... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Mar 6, 2022

No. Your partner's father can obtain the phone by complying with Florida Statute 735.301, et seq. "Disposition Without Administration". He doesn't need an attorney to do that. Of course, the phone can be kept by the police until the investigation is over.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I am the beneficiary in my spouse's will. I am changing my whole name, first name and adding his last name.

how will this affect the current will that i am the beneficiary, does the will has to be updated with my new name or can it stay as it is?

We reside in FLorida.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Mar 4, 2022

While it will generally be fine, as is, I would recommend that you simply do a Codicil to the Will to make sure it is 100% accurate and correct to avoid any issues or questions whatsoever. A Codicil is a simple addition to a Will for small and simple changes of this sort.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: How long do I have to respond to a home owner association letter after receiving. Ex they told me to pressure wash s

Four days ago I received a letter that I needed to pressure wash the side of my house. Two days after I receive the letter I went outside and pressure wash the side of my house and it is squeaky clean. Four days after receiving the letter they sent somebody out to come and pressure wash my house... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Mar 2, 2022

You apparently fixed the problem within the 4 days, so what is the difficulty? Did you respond in writing to their ultimatum??

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My father passed away, I have a notarized will and POD form but didnt turn into bank. Can I access his account

The will and the banks POD are dated and notarized before his death. I am the sole beneficiary, I also had a finanncial and health POA while he was alive. I have his debit card and PIN. I paid for the cremation using his card. I am assuming since I have a singed and notarized POD form naming me as... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Feb 25, 2022

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your father, please accept my condolences for you and your family. The Power of Attorney ends on the date of death of your father, so that document is no longer of use. The Will should be copied and the original submitted to the clerk of the court in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: As the only son of my father who passed years ago, do I have rights to his estate after his wife passes away?

My father left when I was young. We re-connected a few times but did not stay in touch before he died a number of years ago. His wife is still alive, living in the house they owned. They had no children and she has none of her own. When she passes away, do I have any rights to the home, cars, etc?... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 20, 2022

It would depend on whether your father left a will and, if so, whether the will was admitted to probate. If there was no will, you would, generally, inherit half of the estate. See an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My grandfather charlie cotton owned many properties in Osceola county! In 1934 he opened up the pinky villa, the first

Night club in Osceola county, when he died he made a trust and my father Ronald phillips was executer over the entire estate. When my father passed away three years ago me being the only child with his last name everything was passed down to me, my aunt and uncle manipulated and lied to me to get... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Feb 17, 2022

You will need to get a copy of the Trust and or any other probate/estate documents and the documents that you signed and have them reviewed by a Florida Probate Attorney. Of particular concern is the fact that you have waited 3 years to take any action in order to start to address this matter and... Read more »

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