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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: DOES SOMEONE WHO MOVED TO FLORIDA BUT ONLY HAS ASSETS IN PUERTO RICO NEED TO ABIDE BY FLORIDA INHERITANCE LAWS OR ONLY P
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Feb 24, 2024

Generally, any assets and real estate in Florida will be handled in accordance with Florida Law and any assets in Puerto Rico will be handled in accordance with Puerto Laws if a probate ever becomes necessary at some point. The main probate will be done in the state where the person is a resident... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: If I have a living revocable trust and my husband passed away and I'm on the warranty deed as as well as a quit claim

I have a warranty deed with my name and my husband's name on it he has passed then I also have a living trust revocable that has a quick claim deed in it to me with me and my husband and on another page of the special directive it says for the step kids that I may live here until I moved or... View More

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Feb 14, 2024

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your husband, please accept my condolences for you and your family at this difficult and sad time. You will need to speak with and consult with a Florida Probate Attorney, based on when the deeds were done and precisely what they say will have some... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I am on the Warranty deed a and a quit claim deed in a revocable trust and the husband passes away do I have sole owner

Even though it says I may live here till I Die, Marry or move then it goes to his children or am I the sole owner because he quit claim deeded the property to me in the trust?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Feb 13, 2024

You would have to have both the Trust and the Deed reviewed by an estate planning/probate attorney. Generally, it sounds like you only have a life estate, that said, unless you signed a pre or post-nuptial agreement, you would have substantial rights related to your Homestead Property no matter... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I am on the Warranty deed a and a quit claim deed in a revocable trust and the husband passes away do I have sole owner

Even though it says I may live here till I Die, Marry or move then it goes to his children or am I the sole owner because he quit claim deeded the property to me in the trust?

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson
answered on Feb 14, 2024

You should definitely consult with an estate planning attorney to review the trust agreement and determine what your rights are and explain it to you. It sounds like you are a trust beneficiary for life, but there will be specific terms in the trust agreement that determine what rights you have as... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: My grandfather had a deed done in his trust's name. Is it too late too record it now that he has passed?

My Mom is the trustee and recipient of the contents of the trust. I am trying to help her get that deed recorded so the property can be put into her name.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Feb 9, 2024

It is not too late to record a deed even after the grantor, in this case, your grandfather, has passed away, especially if the deed was executed (signed and notarized) properly while he was alive. Since your mother is the trustee and beneficiary of the trust, she has the authority to record the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: If someone listed in a Will has passed, does their portion go to their son or split between the remaining beficiaries.

My Grandfather recently passed, my grandmother several years ago. I'm helping my father with this question. My father and his 4 brothers are listed in the Will as splitting everything equally. One of his brothers passed before my grandmother passed but the Will was never updated. Should my... View More

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Feb 5, 2024

I am sorry for your loss on the passing of your grandfather, please accept my condolences. You will have to review the Will in order to determine what happens to the share, it can go either way based on how the Will was drafted. Often, the share goes to the children of the deceased beneficiary... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My question is about will versus trust estate planning. Trust planning is much more expensive than a will.

But trusts do help avoid probate costs. If nearly all my assets (property, bank/retirement accounts) are already set to beneficiaries I chose - except my car, do I really need a costly trust instead of a less costly will? Is a trust really for a person that has assets that are not already secured... View More

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Feb 4, 2024

A Trust and related estate planning allows you to indeed avoid probate and save a substantial amount of time, headaches and money if a probate is eventually needed. Even if you have a Trust and you do not timely draft, execute and update it you may find yourself in probate anyway. In addition, I... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
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... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Feb 2, 2024

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... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
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... View More

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Feb 3, 2024

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... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Is My Mother Responsible for Paying My Deceased Father’s Medical Bills?

My father recently passed away. He was hospitalized for one year, and his health insurance was not able to cover all of the medical costs. Now, my mother is faced with more than $30,000 in medical bills which she is unable to pay. Is mother responsible for paying my deceased father’s medical... View More

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Feb 2, 2024

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your dad, please accept my condolences. The answer to your question is generally "No", you will want to contact and speak with a Florida Probate Attorney as well. As long as your mom did not sign anything and obligate herself to the medical... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can a beneficiary (NOT a court-appointed PR) be reimbursed for estate related expenses?

I was named the PR/executor in deceased's will. Will was submitted to the court. Formal probate was initiated, but then before I was named PR, it was converted to summary administration (there is no court-appointed PR in summary administration) because the only asset needing probate was the... View More

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson
answered on Feb 1, 2024

I often have this conversation with clients after summary administration. In your situation, your last opportunity for reimbursement of estate related and real estate related expenses is at the time of the real estate closing. You are going to want to provide proof of payment of these expenses to... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My Dad recently passed away, he had a will and I was appointed the executor.

The attorney that drew up the will is no longer in private practice. What do I need to do to get the house, land and vehicles in my name?

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 26, 2024

Based on the assets you described, you will most likely need to file for formal administration in the county where your father resided when he died. You will need to inform the heirs and creditors of the estate, create an inventory, pay any outstanding debts owed, and then request an order for... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My Dad recently passed away, he had a will and I was appointed the executor.

The attorney that drew up the will is no longer in private practice. What do I need to do to get the house, land and vehicles in my name?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 29, 2024

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your dad, please accept my condolences for you and your family at this sad and difficult time. You will need and want to contact a Florida Probate Attorney, based on the type of assets and the overall value will determine the type of probated that... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My uncle has passed away in Florida. He had dementia. How can I find out who his attorney or power of attorney was?

His 'caregiver' went into a 'relationship' with him whilst he had dementia. She has his ashes. There is no death certificate. How can we get his ashes back to his daughter in Australia?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 21, 2024

I'm sorry to hear about your uncle's passing and the complicated situation you're facing. To find out who your uncle's attorney or power of attorney was, you can start by checking any legal documents or records that your uncle may have kept, such as wills, estate planning... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: May I appoint an out of start executer if I am a resident of Florida?
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jan 19, 2024

If you want to appoint a personal representative, which appointment would normally be done by will, that person would have to be, if a non-resident of Florida:

(1) your child;

(2) your parent, grandparent, etc.;

3) your spouse, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Mother died November 2023 without a will. Total cash assets of $2597.65. Do I need a lawyer is settle this estate?

$1436.89 in Checking/Savings account(s)

$1160.76 - 3 insurance refund checks payable to my mother.

$10000.00 possible unclaimed death benefit from my stepfathers passing in 2013, payable to the Estate of my mother.

I believe all debts have been settled or discharged.... View More

Timothy C Martin
Timothy C Martin
answered on Jan 19, 2024

Florida Probate Rules require an attorney to handle probate matters for formal administration (see Probate Rule 5.030(a)). For smaller estates including summary administration or disposition without administration - when there is no personal representative - no attorney is required. However,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: If I paid a lawyer a retainer fee to help me and my nephew with an estate is he the client or am i
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 17, 2024

While you may pay for the attorney, it should be clear in the engagement contract whom they are representing in the probate or applicable matter. Are you or your nephew the estate Personal Representative, the trustee of a Trus, an interested party or beneficiary, also, at what point do your... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I am PR, hired estate atty, been in probate over 2 yrs now as delays continue. Options??

2-3 months at times between responding parties (other 2 parties each with own attys - 3 parties total) communications and status updates. When I inquire ... "I'll let you know when I hear something." 3rd petition for extension has to be filed, again.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 15, 2024

Until and unless another Probate Attorney can review the status of things and what possibly the holdup is after 2 years, it is hard to say. If you are not happy with your attorney, then consideration of a new one would possibly be in order, but that would be extra cost to you for time and review... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Where do I get online access to revocable trust document/information and probate information for a deceased parent in FL
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jan 12, 2024

For probate information, in other words, to see if an application has been filed in court to appoint a personal representative pursuant to a will, or in an intestate (no will), find the website for the clerk of court in the county where the deceased parent resided. You would look under "court... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Where do I get online access to revocable trust document/information and probate information for a deceased parent in FL
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 12, 2024

Any documents that you are seeking related to a Will and or probate commencement you can check online or contact the clerk of the court in the Florida County where they were residents, you can get copies of these documents through the clerk, if you are an interested party, beneficiary, you should... View More

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