Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Phillip William Gunthert
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Am i considered a heir to my mother estate? She’s was married at the time of her death
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jan 26, 2021

Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your mom, please accept my condolences for you and your family. Maybe, it depends on a number of factors. A parent is not required to leave anything to their adult children. Issues that will matter will include whether there was a Will, a Trust, how was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: I received a Petition for Administration from my sister for our mother's estate.

The Petition says it will be filed in Holmes County, FL which is where my sister lives but my mother's residence at the time of her death was in Okaloosa County, Florida. Is it legal for me sister not to probate the will in the same county as our mother's residence?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jan 23, 2021

I am very sorry for your loss of your mom, please accept my condolences and sympathy for you and your family at this difficult time. A petition for probate must be done in the county where the deceased resided (homestead located, lived, had residence). Start by looking at where your mom's home... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: need a declaration of heirs lawyer
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jan 18, 2021

I would encourage you to contact a Florida Probate Attorney as they will be able to help you and help you determine what needs to be done and the type of probate, if any, that needs to be done. An Affidavit of Heirs often needs to be done if there is no Will and an Intestate (without a Will)... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: if there are 4 siblings and 1 resides on estate property can he be made to move
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jan 15, 2021

Yes, if probate is complete then you can pursue a potential partition action (avoid it if you can) but you should try to reach reasonable resolution and agreement first. Probate should determine who owns what and then siblings buy out one another with refinance or other options, if nothing works... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Moms trust reads I can't get inheritance until I work 1 year. I am getting SSI in Florida

I tried to work but can't keep job because my bipolar manic depression. I had 3 different jobs n 2020

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jan 13, 2021

You will need to get a copy of your Trust and have it reviewed by a Florida Estate Planning/Probate Attorney. There may be circumstances that allow you to overcome Trust limitations and what appear to be stringent limits.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Banking for Florida on
Q: My friend got his SSI and stimulus check direct deposited on 12-31-2020. Unfortunately, he passed away on 1-1-2021.

Can his family keep that money or does it have to be returned?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jan 4, 2021

I am very sorry for your loss and the passing of your friend. Based on the information that you have provided it would appear that the money was officially his. It is likely that these monies and other issues may need to be addressed with and through a probate and you will likely need to find and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I have life insurance by my employer. Can state or federal debt owed by a beneficiary cause the payout to be reduced?

I live in Florida. The beneficiary of my life insurance policy owes back child support for an adult child. The beneficiary's check is already being garnished for the monthly amount. I am just not sure if they would take what is owed in a lump sum from the life insurance proceeds.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Dec 31, 2020

If life insurance is paid out to the debtor it is likely that those monies will be garnished or otherwise pursued and taken. An alternative would be for the monies to go into a Trust where a Trustee controls the monies and their distributions and limits how, when, where, how much and so forth is... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Where can I find help for a friend who is on limited income, medicaid, etc and wants to update his will?

This person owns a house which has no mortgage, but hasn't updated his will for over 20 years. He asked me for recommendations, so I am trying to research his least costly options.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Dec 14, 2020

Each county usually provides some pro-bono services for people in need and unable to afford services. Many law offices will also work with people in need based on on their circumstances and ability to pay. You can also contact the State of Florida Bar if you cannot find a county bar or individual... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My mother passed with one asset in the amount of $7772.13. Do I file for Sumary Judgment or Disposition of Property?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Dec 9, 2020

Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your mom, please accept my condolences. Generally, Disposition of Property Without Administration may be applicable, you can check online with the clerk of the court and on the forms. Here is the rule for Florida Statute 735.301: No administration shall... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Help!! I think my family has stolen my inheritance!!!

My brothers and I received a generic letter and check in the mail stating the estate was closed but we never saw the will or signed anything. What do I do? The checks we received bounced also.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Dec 3, 2020

Sorry for your loss and please accept my condolences. You should start by checking in the county where the estate probate was filed, you can get all the estate documents from the clerk of the court, but you should have received notification from the estate attorney/personal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: Do I pay medical bills or save the money for taxes after someone dies? We are not in probate.

Adult son. Only owned one vehicle (outright, his name only) and had joint bank account with his Dad. We have received a medical bill related to his death which would wipe out his account. Should I pay it or hold the money until I file his taxes? He owed last year.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Nov 27, 2020

I am very sorry for your loss and the passing of your son, please accept my condolences and sympathy at this difficult time for you and your family. You do not need to pay the medical bill unless there is a probate and there are assets to pay the bill, usually, a joint account goes to the joint... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts for Florida on
Q: Does Limited Power of Attorney form (for the sale of timber) have to have 2 witnesses? I know it has to be Notarized
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Nov 17, 2020

Yes, a Florida Power of Attorney requires signature, two witnesses and notarization in order to be valid.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My father recently passed without leaving a will and very few registered assets with low value. What is our next step?

My father lived in Maryland, was not married, did not own a home, and has no debt nor retirement accounts. His only registered assets are a boat ($5k value), Md commercial fishing license, furniture and older firearms. He leaves behind myself (next of Kin), significant other, and my half brother... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Nov 17, 2020

Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your father, please accept my condolences. You will end up needing to work with and speak with a Maryland Probate Attorney. In Florida there is a small estate option (Disposition of Property without Administration), you may want to look into a similar... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I need a property attorney to help me take ownership of my dads land and stop the violations?

My father passed away this year. He owns a home. My name is not on the deed and I still live there. Recently I received many violations by the state of Jacksonville Florida. I feel harassed.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Nov 5, 2020

I am sorry for your loss and the passing of your father, please accept my condolences and sympathy for your loss and this difficult time, You will need to speak with a Florida Probate Attorney, you will also want to get a copy of the deed to have it reviewed. It is likely that some version of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Estate has received a check via snailmail from a life insurance company. It's made out to the deceased...without

"to the estate of" . The 8x11 paper has the check at the bottom 1/3....and top 2/3 is marked ''not negotiable."

Can you tell me what this means? Can I deposit it into the estate checking account? Thanks so much.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Nov 3, 2020

This is an estate asset and if you have opened probate and have an estate account set up, these funds will go into this account. If this check and sum was not previously known or listed, you likely need to amend the probate documents to include this check and these sums in the probate case. You... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: RE: PROBATE Hi ~ I am currently working with a probate attorney. I retained him on 9.15 and signed docs which hit the

the court's desk on 9.19. There hasn't been any movement. My atty. said it would take about 2 weeks for me to be appointed representative. Nothing has happened yet. I am paying some of my late sister's bills in the meantime. What do you think? Thanks so much.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Oct 21, 2020

I think that is moving quite quickly, especially the filings by attorney, once filed you wait on the clerk and the judge and it takes time. If this is a Formal Probate you better get used to some waiting.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: what happens when a piece of real estate was left to 6 adult siblings and only four have signed a document to sell it.

The house is rented and four want to sell it. Can the sale happen with a majority or does everyone have to be on board?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Oct 18, 2020

No, it cannot, it requires a forced partition action, this involves the court, time, effort and money, everyone will be better served if you reach some sort of an agreeable arrangement amongst yourselves, if not, the partition action is what you will have to look into. The sale cannot happen unless... Read more »

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: What should I do about this situation? Where do I start?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Oct 17, 2020

If your issue is a Florida Probate circumstance then you will need to provide additional information and details and speak with and work with a Florida Probate Attorney, in Florida almost all probates end up requiring a probate attorney for a number of reasons. You need to provide more details and... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: What is the waiver of petition and notice of administration?

This is for my uncle who passed away. My aunt asked her friend who is a lawyer to help with this and he sent it to all of us.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Oct 16, 2020

There are a lot of different waivers for many different things in probate, it is usually to speed up the process and move things along. If you have any doubts about anything you should no doubt have the documents reviewed by a Florida Probate Attorney. One question I would ask, if there is a Will,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: I think Im being scammed and so is my elderly 77yr mom. Dad died 6yrs ago my mom and I had 50-60k and a 300k house gone

I just found out all money was cashed out along with MY life ins without my knowing and now after 20yrs I invested 300k in a home Im being told is sold and I must get out with nothing to show? Im being scammed? My money is all gone and now so is my home!

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Oct 14, 2020

If this is related to a divorce you will need to seek out a family law attorney. If this is related to a probate, you will want to get a copy of the property deed as well as the Will/Trust/Probate Documents. You starting point is likely the clerk of the court in the county where this took place... Read more »

View More Answers

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.