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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy, Consumer Law, Estate Planning and Collections for Florida on
Q: 2006 Judgment Still an Issue--New Developments

01/2003 A credit card debt was acquired by Sarasota CCM and they obtained a judgment in in Illinois.

01/2009 I moved to Florida and three years later they registered the judgment in Florida.

09/2000 They garnished a checking account.

No communication from them between... Read more »

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on May 26, 2023

Three options (other than paying in full): 1. Attempt to settle up, such as by offering X cents on the dollar and/or paying in monthly installments over X number of years; 2. File for bankruptcy if eligible (consult a bankruptcy attorney); 3. Determine if you are judgment-proof and can just let... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Good morning. I have a question about adding a child to a will. My mother-in-law is 69 yrs old and creating a will.

We all live in Florida. She is asking my husband for his SSN, birth certificate, and driver's license to add him to her will. When he asked her why she needed it, she replied that the lawyer asked for it. She has a tiny estate. Is personal identifying documentation required from your... Read more »

Ira Markowitz
Ira Markowitz
answered on May 18, 2023

The attorney maybe using a program asking for that information regarding all beneficiaries however the age of the beneficiary if 25 or under would be useful if the bequest should be held in trust or a bank account to be distributed at 25 or even later up to 35

I don’t think it is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: How to get formal notice to someone overseas?

I have completed the entire form for Pinellas county, however the other beneficiary lives in Europe and neither she nor I have been able to figure out how to satisfy this requirement:

"PROOF OF SERVICE OF FORMAL NOTICE

Under penalties of perjury, I swear or affirm that on... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson
answered on May 15, 2023

Hi! Thanks for your question. If the other person is also an heir or other interested party, they can sign a joinder, waiver and consent to the petition. This joinder, waiver and consent form also includes language stating that the person waives notice and hearing. If you can find the joinder,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Enhanced life estate deed

My mom and my aunt on a property together that is zoned as a duplex on the same lot. They wrote up an enhanced life estate deed with a lawyer stating that I would get 50% and my cousin will get 50%. My question is upon their death me and my cousin or the remainders, but does that mean that in the... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson
answered on May 6, 2023

Thanks for your question! An attorney would need to take a look at the deed to confirm my answer, but based on the facts that you have provided, you and your cousin would be remainder beneficiaries as tenants in common (not with survivorship between the two of you). This means that you would each... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: My dad's estate is going through probate without a will in Florida. Can siblings live in the house until it sells?

My sister's were living in the condo with my dad until he died. Are any of all of us allowed to reside here until it sells?

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on May 4, 2023

If the siblings are in agreement, then any one of them may stay in the property pending resolution of the estate. If there is disagreement, any sibling residing in the property to the exclusion of the others may be liable to the estate for a reasonable amount of rent. The Florida probate attorney... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Florida on
Q: My brother inherited my mom's house 4 years ago and basically abandoned it. I live in the home and now he wants it

This is in Florida. I have lived here more than 10 years and he had my mom sign a quit claim deed 2 weeks before she died, however she was heavily medicated and in hospice. Last week he told me he wants my kids and I to move so he and his new family can have the house. He has never invested a... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 29, 2023

Presumably your mother died four years ago. Obviously, you are aware that there is an issue with the quitclaim deed. The statute of limitations for adverse possession is seven years, but all the detail you give about your taking care of the property expenses, your brother rarely visiting the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Florida on
Q: My brother inherited my mom's house 4 years ago and basically abandoned it. I live in the home and now he wants it

This is in Florida. I have lived here more than 10 years and he had my mom sign a quit claim deed 2 weeks before she died, however she was heavily medicated and in hospice. Last week he told me he wants my kids and I to move so he and his new family can have the house. He has never invested a... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Apr 29, 2023

First, you can challenge the quitclaim deed from your mother to your brother under the legal theory that your mother was of unsound mind at the time of the execution of the deed. If you are successful, the property would then pass according to your mother's will if she had one or to her heirs... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Dad died with a will referencing a trust document. Found several drafts on his computer but nothing signed.

The drafts are AB Living Trust. Nothing is titled in the trust name, however a large investment account and a million dollar home are titled in an LLC in which he and Mom are the only members. They have not conducted any true business from that LLC. The drafts say that all joint and separately... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 24, 2023

His share in the LLC would be part of his estate. It isn't clear if the will leaves everything to an apparently non-existent trust, but if so, the will would probably fail, and his estate would be intestate.

No, she can't just put the assets in her name; his share of the LLC...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Dad died with a will referencing a trust document. Found several drafts on his computer but nothing signed.

The drafts are AB Living Trust. Nothing is titled in the trust name, however a large investment account and a million dollar home are titled in an LLC in which he and Mom are the only members. They have not conducted any true business from that LLC. The drafts say that all joint and separately... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Apr 24, 2023

The will may create a testamentary trust by virtue of the language contained in it. It would be best to have an attorney review the will before moving forward. Consultations are free. The trust drafts will not be enforceable unless you can find a copy signed by your father placing the property... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: does florida recognize other state's wills ?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Apr 18, 2023

Generally yes, but if you have moved to and now reside in Florida, you should go speak with a Florida Estate Planning/Probate Attorney because there are a lot of Florida Estate Planning issues that you will want to specifically look at, update and address with respect to Homestead, rights of a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother has passed away and there is a wheelchair van with a loan in her name only.

The loan is only in her name. My name is listed jointly with her on the title/registration. We had a verbal agreement upon her getting this loan that it would used to transport her to and from her doctors appointments and be shared with my handicapped son as well. In return, I would make all of the... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Apr 14, 2023

If you own title jointly, her one-half interest in the van passes to her heirs through either a will or intestacy. Her obligation to pay the loan passes to her heirs as she is obligated on the loan. If her personal representative can prove an agreement between you and your mother that obligates you... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother has passed away and there is a wheelchair van with a loan in her name only.

The loan is only in her name. My name is listed jointly with her on the title/registration. We had a verbal agreement upon her getting this loan that it would used to transport her to and from her doctors appointments and be shared with my handicapped son as well. In return, I would make all of the... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 14, 2023

On the other hand, if no probate petition is filed and no personal representative is appointed (because, for example, she had no other property), you are probably not liable. It would be unlikely that the lender would be able to prove such an agreement between you and your mother.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: In florida deed both mine and bf name he needs consent to sell the property correct ?? Also he wants put it in a trust

Or will he be able to put in a irrevocable trust in his name only we not married ??

James Clifton
PREMIUM
James Clifton
answered on Apr 12, 2023

You each own a one-half interest in the whole property. He will need your consent to sell the property. If he wants to sell it and you do not, he can force the sale through a partition action in court. He and you will need an attorney for that. He can only put his one-half interest in the trust... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: If your both on deed in florida and not married is it correct can not sell house with out both parties consenting ???

Or can one owner put house in irrevocable trust ?? With out consent ?? How does that work ?? Is it possible??

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Apr 12, 2023

You would want and need to have the property deed reviewed to see precisely how the property is held, based on this, will determine what can be done with the property and how it will be handled and held. Generally, if it is a Tenants in Common, that means they own 50% and they can potentially do as... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Mom mistakenly put mobile home and property in Tangible personal items and left to me. Can my brothers sign it over?

My mother lived next door to the property that I own when she died. Since her passing, I have been making the mortgage payments on her property. The property is in Bronson, FL. I have 1 brother in Daytona and 1 in Tennessee who both claim they would like for me to have the property. When Mom filled... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson
answered on Apr 13, 2023

Once the real estate together with the mobile home goes through the probate process and the judge has issued a homestead order giving the land and the mobile home to the heirs according to their shares in the will, your siblings can sign an quitclaim deed to give their shares to you. This would all... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Do I have to waive my rights of notice of adminastration and to challenge the will to receive my inheritance ?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Apr 6, 2023

You should request a copy of any Will and or Trust and you should speak with a probate attorney before signing and waiving anything. If you have concerns (you mention challenge a Will), you should not be signing anything without counsel of your own probate attorney. The estate attorney works for... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Do I have to waive my rights of notice of adminastration and to challenge the will to receive my inheritance ?
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Apr 6, 2023

I agree with attorney Gunther’t but would add that waivers like that are usually meant to streamline the process and speed up administration. That saves the estate money and could mean more money in your pocket compared to no waiver. But only sign a waiver if you trust the person doing the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Hi! My sister received a check from UBS made out to *** <her mother's name> TRUST ***

and then on line 2, the name of her mother's deceased husband as "TTEE" and then my sister's mailing address below that. Can she deposit this check?

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Mar 22, 2023

Any check can be deposited. You just need an account in the name of the trust. If you do not have such an account, then you will need to open one. In order to open one you will need a taxpayer ID number for the trust. You are probably also going to need an updated certification of trust. My best... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: If an item in a will states In the event my spouse predeceases me, I give and bequeath the sum of * to my son per stirpe

What exactly does that mean? Does the son really inherit anything?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Mar 21, 2023

"Per stirpes", as opposed to "per capita", means that an heir takes that portion that his ancestor would take. Thus, if in your example, the spouse and the son both die before the testator (the person who made the will), and the son is survived by one child and two... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: If an item in a will states In the event my spouse predeceases me, I give and bequeath the sum of * to my son per stirpe

What exactly does that mean? Does the son really inherit anything?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Mar 21, 2023

While a review of the estate planning documents/will is needed and necessary, it generally is telling you this; if the spouse dies first then the son can take that designated portion, it is an alternative backup option in the event the spouse dies first. The son only inherits if the spouse is... Read more »

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