Yulee, FL asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida

Q: My grandmother died recently, and she had several rental properties. A tenant moved out, what do I put on the new lease?

The probate process has not started yet (it's in the works). My father is currently the executor of the trust. Seeing as the property is still technically in her name, what would I put on the lease? I'm hoping to get this property rented out ASAP because I'm paying for it out of pocket right now, because the cash flow has to keep coming in to manage other elements in the estate.

On a side note, will the trust be able to reimburse me for the capital I've spent on it's behalf? Between renovations and rent I've already spent close to 3,000$.

2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In this situation, since the probate process has not yet begun and the property is still technically in your grandmother's name, you should proceed with caution. It's best to consult with your father, the executor of the trust, to determine the appropriate course of action. In the meantime, you may consider drafting a lease agreement with language that acknowledges the pending probate process and specifies that the lease is subject to approval by the executor of the trust once appointed. This can help ensure that the terms of the lease are legally binding and provide clarity for both parties involved. Regarding reimbursement for expenses incurred on behalf of the trust, you should keep detailed records of all expenditures related to the property, including renovations and rent payments. Once the probate process is complete and the trust assets are distributed, you can request reimbursement from the trust for any expenses that were necessary for the maintenance and management of the property.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You should speak with the Trustee of the Trust and review the deed of the property, if the property is already in the Trust, the Trustee should be handling this lease, if the property is outside of the Trust, it should be handled by the Personal Representative (Executor) in the probate, if the deed states some other ownership interest, it should be addressed by the owner of the property via the Deed. Hopefully, you have an excellent relationship with the Trustee of the Trust and or Personal Representative of any probate and this will not be an issue. Any costs you have incurred should be submitted to the Trustee for payment and reimbursement or to the probate court as a claim related to the property with all your receipts via your probate or trust advising attorney. The lease surely should have language in the lease that references the Trust/Trustee and any subsequent Trustee that would take over and or any probate Personal Representative and eventual Trustee that will take over if the property will end up in or is in the Trust, so a lot will depend on the status of the property, the name it will end up in sooner than later per above Probate and or Trust path will determine how it will be handled, either way, you should submit any claims you have as applicable to probate and or the Trust no matter what.

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