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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Unable to close out estate due to deed in one name and mortgage under the deceased name. This is in Florida.

My Aunt passed away over 2 years ago. There was a will and the estate promptly went to probate. The deed to the house was previously put in a family friends name. The mortgage was only under my Aunts name. The estate can’t be closed out because the person on the deed cannot get a mortgage due to... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 14, 2021

It is unclear why the title to the house was conveyed to the "family friend", subject to the pre-existing mortgage. Depending on the purpose of this conveyance, and upon the amount of consideration, if any, the personal representative might want to sue to set the conveyance aside.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Adoption for Florida on
Q: I was adopted by my grandparents my blood mother was always in the picture she died unexpectedly mo will am I entitled
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Oct 11, 2021

I am sorry for your loss on the passing of your mom, please accept my condolences. The answer to your questions is generally yes if you were named in a Will or Trust or if the estate was intestate (without a Will) then you can reference Florida Statute 732.108 (c) Adoption of a child by a close... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: If I received money from escrow and homeowners but also got the house should that amount be taken off my final amount?

My significant other passed away, we were together 17 years. The house was deeded by QC deed to me, I am also to receive half of any remaining money in his accounts. I received money for escrow and homeowners insurance previously, his mother is the personal representative, she is deducting the... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Oct 6, 2021

The term Personal Representative means executor. In some states, the term is executor. in Florida, it's Personal Representative. If you are the beneficiary of your SO's Will, you are entitled to everything that affects your distribution. I believe the law is that if the PR is not the sole... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death for Florida on
Q: My father is in ICU in Orlando FL due to covid. He has been in ICU and on a ventilator since 8/28. He has a DNR, but n

But no living will or advance directive. They took him off sedation 3 days ago, and have called us to tell us he has lesions on his brain and that they “believe” he’s brain dead. But when asked the doctor cannot say for certain he sees brain damage. Today is Sunday 9/26. They want us to agree... Read more »

Linda Liang
Linda Liang answered on Sep 27, 2021

It depends on whether your father designated health care surrogate or proxy. If he did not, the law provides a pecking order of person to make decision on his behalf. The first on the order is court appointed person, followed by the spouse. If you have reason to believe that your step mother is not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My father passed and left no will, and a surprise to us half sibling

My half sister (both adults) and I are the beneficiaries on many accounts, but there are several that had none. He also had a home that I lived (and still live in) with a mortgage. I have been paying for the upkeep of the home since he passed. We found out that we have a minor half brother after he... Read more »

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black answered on Sep 21, 2021

If the terms of the court order required that Proof of an insurance policy is required to be produced by your father, and was not produced, then the Estate may argue that the mother of your minor half brother waived her rights because of her failure to act and her continued failure to act to bring... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Health Care Law and Insurance Defense for Florida on
Q: My father recently passed away after a 3 weeks in the hospital. During that time, the hospital tried to get him approved
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 14, 2021

Approved for what? You should repost your inquiry with more information.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: will it be a problem if my Date of Birth is incorrect on my mother's will?

I used to live with mom. We siblings are not close and I decided to exit the toxic environment back to another toxic environment that I was more comfortable with. That being said, I had taken mom to have a will drawn up because she was displaying a loss in cognitive value. She was later diagnosed... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Aug 16, 2021

Yes, but what's the basis for disputing it? That your date of birth is wrong? That's probably not a material issue to render the Will invalid. But the best advice is to take Mom's new Will to a probate attorney who is licensed to practice in Florida, who may be able to give some... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Ex died leaving a house he received in divorce to his sister. Im still on the mortgage. Who pays and what happens to

mortgage? I can't have late pmts on my credit. She will probably want to sell. Should I try to buy her equity and continue mortgage?

Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
Theodore David Vicknair Sr. answered on Aug 10, 2021

I assume there is no cash in the estate.

Are you and his sister adversarial? If not, then talk to an attorney about working out an agreement that allows you to be recognized as a creditor of the estate, and pursuant to this agreement you would ontinue pay the mortgage, but you would get...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can deceased wife, give living husbands estate to HER children, in her Trust, when HE dies? 401K in his name only.

H

Linda Liang
Linda Liang answered on Aug 10, 2021

It can be challenged if the devised assets were not hers when she executes the will and the trust. You should definitely talk to a lawyer about that.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Is one able to transfer a registration, license plate and title to a trust or does it need new plates and registration?
Carol Larmond Grant
Carol Larmond Grant answered on Aug 9, 2021

I would not recommend placing a vehicle into a Trust because of liability reasons. If there is an accident involving the vehicle, the injured party might file a lawsuit against the Trust. Also, an insurance company might not want to insure a vehicle titled in the name of a Trust. In Florida, it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Ohio Dad no wife. Brother, his wife, funeral home not inform me (sibling) of my rights to help plan. Liability?
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 7, 2021

No. There is no law in Florida--nor in any other state that I am aware of--that imposes any sort of "liability" on anyone whose immediate family members--of the funeral home--do not notify everyone else in the family when a person dies.

The Good News is that you are not...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Hello my wife was found dead in her room by her mother I was living in Mississippi my wife's son immediately took posses

her

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black answered on Aug 5, 2021

OK I’m very sorry to hear about your loss. You should discuss your case in a private phone consultation with a lawyer here in Florida. If this involves any kind of potential liability for the death of your wife due to the negligence of a tortfeasor, that should be fully investigated. Cases like... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Is airfare reimbursed if you travel to handle estate business, like hiring an Estate lawyer in Florida?

I travel from New York to Ft.Lauderdale to get the probate of deceased relative started.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Aug 3, 2021

Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your relative, please accept my condolences and sympathy for you and your family at this difficult time. It in most instances is not necessary to travel to Florida to hire an attorney, start a probate or really do anything related to the probate initially... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I live in the state of New Jersey my mother lives in the state of Florida all her assets are in the state of Florida.

There is a registered trust with Broward county what do I need to do in the event of her death I do not have access to anything. I am named as executor of her estate.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 29, 2021

It depends upon what assets the trust has, and which assets the estate has. If you are named as personal representative in her will, and if her estate has assets, you need to see a Florida attorney about having the will admitted to probate. If someone else is trustee of the trust, your attorney... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I want to make changes to my will. Do I have to consult with a lawyer for the changes or what needs to be done?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 29, 2021

There is no law that says you MUST hire an attorney to draw up your will or changes to an existing will, but if you want it done right, that is what you should do. Do-it-yourself wills often have terrible errors with tragic consequences.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Is it possible to revoke a lady bird deed in Florida to replace it with a quitclaim deed ?

My grandfather wants to remove my aunt off of his lady bird deed and add my mother on a quitclaim deed instead. What will he need to have done to have the lady bird deed revoked?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jul 28, 2021

You would need and want to have the current/original deed that created this interest reviewed, if it was properly drafted/created/worded, then generally, in order to be able to revoke the existing lady bird deed, all that the current owner would need to to do is validly execute a new deed. This is... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Who gets a house upon the demise in this situation?

My grandfather wants to remove my aunt from his deed. He has listed my mother as his beneficiary in his trust and the house is listed in the trust. My question is, since my aunt is listed on the deed , who will get the house? Does the trust take precedence over the deed? My aunt is not complying... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jul 26, 2021

You need to speak with a Florida Estate Planning and Probate Attorney and get a copy of the current deed and have it reviewed. Based on the type of deed and how the property is held will determine what can or needs to be done. Generally speaking, a valid deed will be enforced above a Will and Trust... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: When the owner of an account is deceased and directs his assets to two beneficiaries, is the Personal Representative

still entitled to the balance of a jointly held convenience account that was set up as a means to manage financial affairs of the deceased or should the balance be conveyed to the estate for distribution to the beneficiaries.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 23, 2021

Probate Law is very complex. No lawyer can answer your question because there is not enough information.

Foe example, if there is a Last Will, it will usually name a personal representative--who may or may not be a beneficiary of the Last Will. In situations where that is no Last Will...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Can I change my Irrevocable trust documents?

At the time of my signing I was under the pressure of a third party law firm. They were suing me for the full value of my S Corporation - a professional medical and surgical facility licensed in the state of Florida. FL 2488. I did not understand the document at that time, as their answers to... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 19, 2021

No, you cannot go back upstream and re-write the irrevocable trust that you have already signed.

And unless you start funding the trust as agreed the other side will probably sue you to enforce the trust contract.

However, since you object to the funding part it is possible for...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Person dies with a will. Does executor or Florida probate decide Homestead property?

Will names personal rep. Rep was told property gets split among hiers, as if there was no will?

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Jul 12, 2021

When there is more than one beneficiary to a Will, the personal representative is required by law to be represented by an attorney. The PR needs to retain an attorney asap.

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