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Questions Answered by Lauren Nagel Richardson
5 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: My aunt just passed away recently. In her Will she's left me her condominium, her vehicle, life insurance policy,..

.. And bank accounts. I've lived with her for almost 6 years. I just received her urn and death certificates. My first question is: When I received the death certificates, there was no cause of death listed. (She passed away from lymphoma) Is that normal in the state of Florida not to list cause... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Mar 9, 2020

Hi Travis: I am so sorry for your loss. You will need to work with a Florida probate attorney to open your aunt's estate and get the court orders admitting the will to probate transferring her assets. Depending on the size of the estate, you may qualify for summary administration, which is a small... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: How can I put my deceased parents house in my name if the executor and other beneficiaries have no interest ?

My parents passed away 11 years ago and left the house to me an my other two siblings. The last time I seen the executor of my parents estate was back in 2011 when the house went into foreclosure. She signed papers to allow me to pay an save my parents home afterwards I tried contacting her in... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Mar 3, 2020

Even if you are not the executor named in your parents' wills, you can still file a petition to open the estate. You should work with a probate attorney to review all the facts and determine what type of estate to open. In the meantime, keep paying the property taxes.

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Help Im lost on how to proceed with grandma's home left to her 4 kids in 1989, they never finalized the title; now I'm

trying to get legal ownership of the property. 2 Uncles are deceased, 1 Uncle still alive, and now I'm legally owner of the last 1/4 because my mother deeded it over to me. Both deceased Uncles have been gone for over 10 years without a probate process processed on their estates. I've lived in... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Feb 25, 2020

It looks like you will need to hire an attorney to open your grandmother's estate (if the property appraiser still lists the property in your grandmother's name with "heirs" after her name and then you will also have to open the estates of both of your uncles. Then after that, for you to have clear... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: How long does it take to be appointed personal representative (executor) in Florida (Cape Canaveral)?

The will specifies one heir and same person to be personal representative (executor). Assets include a condo, bank accts and investment accts.

When can estate bank accts be created from the deceased's money to pay bills like utility bills, property taxes, condo fees etc?

When can... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Jan 2, 2020

I'm sorry for your loss. Each county varies how long it takes the court to review the initial pleadings and appoint a personal representative. With the personal representative and the beneficiary being one and the same person, there will not be anyone else to give notice to, so once you have hired... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My Grandmother passed away, I was her Durable POA. Now that she is passed I’m aware that the POA is no longer valid.

I’m in WI, she lived in Florida. What is my next step? She does have a will that’s in her safety deposit now, I can’t access since she has now passed. How do I get appointed by FL to handle my grandmothers affairs? Any advice will be much appreciated, I have no idea what to do. I am my... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Dec 30, 2019

I am sorry for your loss, and I am here to answer your questions. The Florida Statutes provides that if a death certificate is provided to the bank where the safe deposit box is located, the bank will open the box and give the will to the person designated as the personal representative. Then you... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: I'm one of 3 people as tenants in common on a deed. 1 died 30 years ago , 1 is 96 yrs old. How should I proceed?

The one who died is my brother

and his wife also died long ago.

They have 4 adult children.

The 96 year old, my sister, lives in the condo in North Carolina.

Should I now explain the situation to my brothers's 4 children and send a copy of the deed? Should they... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Oct 15, 2019

You will need to hire a probate attorney and open probate estates for each of the deceased people for their share to be transferred to their heirs by a court order. Then the heirs will have a court order authorizing them to sell the property. There is no other way to transfer the property from the... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: 2 sisters inherit a house from their father, it goes through probate court and both sisters names are on the deed.

1 sister dies, is the deceased sister family entitled to her half in the house in the state of Florida. There is no will from the deceased sister

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Oct 7, 2019

If both sisters received their shares via a probate order determining homestead status or a PR Deed, they would have each received an undivided one half as tenants in common. This means that their one half passes to their heirs. The sister's next of kin should open an estate to transfer the one... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: Hi,How do I file an objection to a "Consent to appointment of personal representative" in the state of Florida?

My mother passed away two years ago intestate. My father was named as personal representative but unfortunately he passed away, also intestate, before probate was completed. There are five siblings and one has secured an attorney (the one my father already paid) and is trying to be named as the... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Jul 25, 2019

Dear Kim,

If the rest of the siblings want to appoint someone else, one of you is going to have to retain an attorney to represent you to file a counter petition for administration which requests that sibling be appointed personal representative and then have the siblings who support that...
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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: We want to sell my Mom's home in Florida, but don't know where to legally place the funds afterwards. Help please?!?!

I am Mom's POA. She has dementia and we feel skilled nursing is in her near future. Medicaid information is confusing us regarding selling, also, we fear we may lose out on moneys to care for her when she needs it the most. Thank you.

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Jul 24, 2019

You need to contact an experienced elder law attorney who can explain your options to you. If your mom's home is her homestead, and she is now in need of skilled nursing and may qualify for Medicaid, please take the following into consideration:

Homestead is not a countable asset; it is...
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3 Answers | Asked in Elder Law for Florida on
Q: I am successor trustee in my fathers trust. Am I able to sign the title of his car over to a buyer in the state of FL?

The car is paid for and is in his trust.

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Jun 24, 2019

I agree with attorney Thorgaard that if the car is titled to the trust, and you are the successor trustee, then you will be able to transfer/sell the vehicle. You will need to take the death certificate and a copy of the trust agreement to the tag office.

However, I always recommend that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Florida on
Q: Can someone tell me if the deed that I have is a ladybird deed ?

I can email the deed on a private message

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Jun 15, 2019

A real estate attorney or an estate planning attorney who prepared these types of deeds would have to review your deed to answer this question for you. There is specific language which must be included for it to be a "ladybird deed" or "enhanced life estate deed."

You are welcome to call...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My stepfather left me his home in his will, was told I will have to sell to pay off debt but I want to keep to live in.

We live in Florida. I have lived and been a caregiver for my stepfather since my moms passing 15 years ago, he raised me but never adopted. He and my mom have a child together, my sibling and I are close and we are both executors. In the will he left me the home so I could continue to live here, he... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on May 29, 2019

The issue here is that you are not an heir at law, and the homestead exemption as the property passes through the estate does not pass to you as a non-heir. Typically, the court still signs a homestead order, but it states that the property is non-exempt homestead and subject to administration.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My brother has been on SSI and Medicaid. He received an inheritance but failed to report it right away.

We moved the inheritance into my account so I can help him manage it. Is there any thing we can do to keep him from losing his benefits? Is it too late to move the inheritance into a special needs trust?

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on May 13, 2019

Your brother can transfer the money to a 1st party special needs trust if he has been determined to be disabled by SSA or Medicaid and is under the age of 65. There is particular language which must be included in the special needs trust for it to meet the requirements for him to keep his benefits,... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Ward is confined to memory care at ALF. Son is guardian, can wards house hold bills be paid through the guardianship?

Wards home is still occupied by wards other son who served as caretaker from 2015 to 2019. House is fully operational. Car insurance, Power, Utilities and maintenance are still required to keep house going. Paralegal (told Guardian not to pay any of the outstanding bills in the wards name.) this... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Apr 14, 2019

You will need an order from the court before the ward's expenses can be paid. There are quite a few options including petitioning the court for the ward's son to be determined to be the ward's dependent. Also with the guardianship court's order, the house could be transferred to a child who has... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: I my mom passes, does my stepfather or his children from another marriage have any rights to her home?

My mom is the only one on the deed. It was paid off 10 years prior to their marriage. Does he or his children have any rights to the property upon her passing? The home is in Fl. I am her only child.

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Apr 3, 2019

Please accept my sincere condolences on your mother's passing. If hers was the only name on the deed and she was married at the time of her passing, then her spouse has an election for which he only has six months to make, otherwise he gets a default of a life estate in the homestead, remainder to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Do i have beneficial title for purpose of homestead approval being im only heir to estate?

Mom passed 12/4/2018. She went into nursing home in 2016 and i moved into home at that time and have been taking care of home and property taxes. But homestead stopped after death, now trying to get homestead for myself. I am only child and deed in her name only, no will. Mom was widowed and deed... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Mar 25, 2019

You will not be able to apply for property tax homestead exemption until the property has been transferred to the heirs with a homestead order in a probate proceeding. You are welcome to call our office for a free phone consultation. We handle homestead only summary administration for a flat fee... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: is a distribution from a revocable grantor trust considered a "gift " and not taxable?

not sure if it is considered a gift or if you would issue a k1 or 1099. And if a 1041 needs to be filed. The grantor put in 15,500 and distributed 12,000 to one person.

the grantor does not want it to be considered a gift.

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Mar 21, 2019

If the grantor is still alive and the trust is revocable, the grantor can withdraw some of all of the funds from their own revocable trust and make a gift. If it is under the annual gift tax exclusion amount, then there is nothing to file whatsoever, except that the grantor may wish to write a gift... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: How to word an affidavit for a release of lien with the Surrogate Court of NY, for which a credit card debt was settled

The estate is intestate as there was no will. The lien was filed by a credit card company, which has since provided myself as the executor with full docs re satisfaction of the debt.

The decedent lived in Manhattan NYC. I live in Port St. Lucie, FL

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Mar 15, 2019

This is a question to be answered by a NY attorney. If you have a written satisfaction signed by the creditor, ask the NY attorney if you may simply file that or if another document needs to be prepared.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Hello i have property in florida that was passed down from my mother to myself and my siblings ,which are all deceaced,i

i'm the only one alive on the deed .i let my nieces live on the property ,to kep up the land and taxes which they are behind in both ,.how can i do a quick deed transfer to my daughter who will pay the taxes ,or what is the correct way to handle this property ,to sell half and pass the rest to the... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Mar 4, 2019

Thank you for your question. You should consult with a probate attorney to look at the facts of your family situation regarding this land to determine if one or more estates need to be opened with the probate court to transfer this property from your mother's name to her heirs. Once estates have... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My mom died in Florida, no will. She had a home in Florida which was only under her name, my father has other kids.

My mother moved to FL a month before passing away, before that she lived in PR. My mother had a company in PR which I was told that cannot be inherited. My father took over that and aold everything, even trucks that were left under my aunts name to protect againat him and his other kids. Now he... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Mar 2, 2019

You need to consult with a probate attorney to help determine whether the property in Florida is your mother's homestead for probate purposes. This will help determine the heirs. In general, however, unless your mother signed a deed that transferred the property to her husband, there will need to... Read more »

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