Q: What does it mean to remove from an estate by petition? Ex: if the homestead is removed from the estate by petition?
Setting up attorney agreement for estate management/settlement in Florida. The house is left directly to someone in the Will, but the attorney agreement states, "If the homestead is removed from the estate by petition, it will still be included in the value of the state for fee calculation."
Looking for clarification if the value of the house should be included in the calculated value of the estate or if it is excluded as it's assigned to someone in the Will?
A: You should speak with other estate planning attorney's as they bill by the hour or flat-fee for both estate planning and or probate if it is needed. This is a garbage fee if I am understanding it correctly. Florida Law specifically states that the Homestead Property shall not be included in fee calculations in probate matters, the fact that they are even trying to circumvent this in any manner is concerning. I would encourage you to find another estate planning/probate attorney as this is not the manner in which probate and homestead is handled. The basic answer to your question is a resounding "NO", find someone else and start over.
A: The issue of the homestead property being devised to someone in the will has nothing to do with whether it is included or not included in the fee calculation. As the other attorney answering this question has addressed, the value of the homestead is not included in the statutory fee calculation. If you sign a fee agreement that states otherwise, however, the fee agreement is a contract between parties and it would control. It would only bind you, however; unless the other heirs sign the fee agreement, they could contest the fees at a fee hearing at the end of the case. There are many attorneys in Florida who are willing to handle estates for a flat fee or for an hourly rate that would be in many cases less than the statutory fee. I also recommend that you shop around for a different attorney.
Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer
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