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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can the executor who was appointed by the heirs as there was no will for an estate,

Can the executor who was appointed by the heirs as there was no will for an estate, not show bank documents, and use bank funds to fix up a house instead of selling as is if the heirs aren’t in agreement of it? This is in florida

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jun 8, 2024

Here are some key points regarding the duties of a personal representative (the person in charge of handling the estate) and the rights of heirs in such situations:

Duties of the Personal Representative

Fiduciary Duty:

The personal representative has a fiduciary duty to act...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: My father signed a new will several times. We were unable to have it. notarized or witnessed. He is dying. Thank you.

We live in Florida. The previous will was made 40 years ago and he did not read or understand it. The second will is fair to his children. I greatly appreciate your advice.

James Clifton
PREMIUM
James Clifton
answered on May 26, 2024

If the document is not witnessed and notarized, it will not be recognized as a will in Florida. Strict compliance with the law regarding wills is necessary for the document to be enforceable as a will.

Schedule a free consultation to make sure your father's estate plan is formalized...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: My father signed a new will several times. We were unable to have it. notarized or witnessed. He is dying. Thank you.

We live in Florida. The previous will was made 40 years ago and he did not read or understand it. The second will is fair to his children. I greatly appreciate your advice.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on May 27, 2024

I am very sorry for father's illness and his health struggles ongoing. There will be a serious issue with such a Will in Florida, it will not be a valid Will as it does not meet the Florida Statutory requirements of F.S. 732.502 (you can look it up online), what you have described without any... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Can my Aunt put her house in a trust for me even though she has been diagnosed with early on stage dementia?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on May 16, 2024

She should definitely speak with and work close with an estate planning attorney, the answer to your question is maybe/it depends. If your aunt has mental capacity according to her doctor and has times of mental lucidity/comprehension and understanding of what she is doing, then it potentially will... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I need to assist my elderly Aunt in finding a lawyer that can write up a new will for her.

She cannot afford the prices that most seem to charge in her area. $1000.00 up to $8000.00. Any pro bono help or less expensive assistance would be appreciated. She lives in Columbia County, but can travel to Gainesville if need be.

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

Some law offices will work with her based on her circumstances and needs, anyone quoting $8000 for a Will should be crossed off your list for everything forever. Reasonable law offices will try to work with you based on your needs financially and otherwise. I would encourage you to call and or... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I need to assist my elderly Aunt in finding a lawyer that can write up a new will for her.

She cannot afford the prices that most seem to charge in her area. $1000.00 up to $8000.00. Any pro bono help or less expensive assistance would be appreciated. She lives in Columbia County, but can travel to Gainesville if need be.

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

If you think that her income is such that she may qualify for pro bono legal services, you can contact Three Rivers Legal Services to see if she does in fact qualify, and if so, they will find a pro bono attorney who would be willing to prepare a will for her. If not, she can call our office in... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: Both my name and my mother's name are on the deed to her house. Also, her will directs the house to pass to me.

However, her boyfriend lives with her and has made his intentions for the house known to me. Although he pays her rent every month, he does so in cash so no trace exists. What am I looking at here in the future? Will he have a claim to the house because he lives there?

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

Since they are not married and he pays monthly rent to your Mom to rent part of the house as a tenant, it sounds like he is a month to month renter, since he is not married he has no rights, since he is not on the deed he has no rights. The house should pass to you via the deed (this needs to be... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: What do I need to do to make a legal document that in case of death of my husband and myself at same time who inherits

We want to make sure legally that only 2 of my children and 1 of his split everything 3 ways and for it to be legally binding

Marc J. Soss
PREMIUM
Marc J. Soss
answered on Apr 22, 2024

You need to create a Last Will and Testament and/or Revocable Trust to accomplish your goal. If you want to ensure that one child is disinherited I highly recommend that you utilize the services of a legal expert and not an online form. In the alternative, you could title your financial accounts as... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I have an enhanced life estate document that was notarized for my father's house. the notary acknowledgment may incorre

the notary acknowledgment may incorrect. The “forgoing instrument” is missing and it only says the person is known to me and produced a drivers license. Is that ok and is the document valid. I live in Florida.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 16, 2024

In Florida, the notarization of documents, including enhanced life estate deeds, must adhere to certain standards to ensure their validity. A key element of notarization is the acknowledgment section, where the notary confirms the identity of the signer and that the signer understands and willingly... View More

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: My husband of 30yrs died and the bank says I have no right to the money in his bank accounts. We live in Jacksonville.

My husband was sick in Jacksonville so I came back from Colombia where I was visiting my family. He just died. But I'm not the Beneficiary on his bank account or any accounts. The bank says I cannot access any of the money in our account since my name isn't on. It. What rights do I have?... View More

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
answered on Apr 17, 2024

You should make a list of all assets that your husband owned at death. If your husband had a will then property would pass under that will. If he did not have a will, then the assets would pass under the intestate laws of Florida. As a spouse, if a will exists, you either can take under the will or... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: My husband of 30yrs died and the bank says I have no right to the money in his bank accounts. We live in Jacksonville.

My husband was sick in Jacksonville so I came back from Colombia where I was visiting my family. He just died. But I'm not the Beneficiary on his bank account or any accounts. The bank says I cannot access any of the money in our account since my name isn't on. It. What rights do I have?... View More

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Apr 16, 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 a Florida Probate Attorney, based on the type of assets and their value will determine the type of probate that is needed,... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: My husband of 30yrs died and the bank says I have no right to the money in his bank accounts. We live in Jacksonville.

My husband was sick in Jacksonville so I came back from Colombia where I was visiting my family. He just died. But I'm not the Beneficiary on his bank account or any accounts. The bank says I cannot access any of the money in our account since my name isn't on. It. What rights do I have?... View More

Jamy Barreau
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answered on Apr 16, 2024

Please accept my condolences for your loss. Because the bank account was in your husband's name alone, you will have to go through the probate process to gain access. As his wife, you have a right to inherit from him, but you will just have to go through the courts to have that taken care of... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Social Security for Florida on
Q: My son is 45 and on disability ss. I would like to be able to leave a small amount of money in a trust for him.

Can I do that without affecting his ss and even though he lives in florida can the person handling the trust live in New york?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 11, 2024

Yes, you can set up a special needs trust for your son without affecting his eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits. A special needs trust, also known as a supplemental needs trust, is designed to provide financial support for a person with a disability while... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: How can I obtain an affidavit that states the estate is not indebted. I have a will leaving everything to me.

I need it to get the car title put into my name

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Apr 9, 2024

It depends on the type of assets that will be part of the estate and what their overall value is which will determine the type of probate, if any, is needed and applicable. The Will may need to be probated and in order to do a probate you likely will need a probate attorney based on the type of... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: estate

My boyfriends will is in his family possesion. I believe its on his phone. He commited suicide this month and the family wont share the will with me. Is there anything i can do?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Mar 22, 2024

It's almost impossible that such a document, on a cell phone, would stand up in court. A will has a number of requirements, including the requirement that it be signed by the testator, signed by witnesses, and be notarized. So, it is very doubtful that you can inherit anything unless a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: How easy/ quick is it to ADD a beneficiary to a WILL & TRUST?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Mar 18, 2024

You will need to have a Florida Estate Planning Attorney look at and review the Will and or Trust and see what can be done and under what circumstances. Hopefully the grantors of any Trust or any other estate planning documents are alive and have proper mental capacity, in addition, they will need... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Father passes wife alive with 3 adult children but one passed away leaving 2 adult children & husband. Division? No will

PR LAW... Each child was granted property while father was alive now 3 rental properties remain. Heard there is a new law. Can you say what percentage to each?

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

I am very sorry for your loss and please accept my condolences for you and your family. When there is no Will, then the Florida Intestate Statutes (without a Will) will apply. If all the children are from this marriage, then the surviving spouse inherits everything. You will need to speak with a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: If mother died, no will but was married but husband had abandoned the estate after selling everything,

Can the children get the land put in their names , bypass the husband if he's with another and left county, destroy everything on land before leaving, one kid still stays on land and kept it from being condemned for everything the husband done prior to abandoning a junk yard, and sold... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 1, 2024

In cases where a spouse dies without a will, known as dying "intestate," the distribution of the estate is subject to state laws. Generally, the surviving spouse is entitled to a portion of the estate, with the remainder distributed among the deceased's children. However, if the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Is my husband entitled to any money from father’s house bought in 1981 w/ step-mom?

They had no kids 2gether. She had a couple from previous marriage & he had my husband.

FIL just passed, Step-mom wants to see & move closer to kids near Bradenton. Does my husband get half of house now or after she passes say 20 yrs from now? If she doesn’t volunteer the money, my... View More

Rand Scott Lieber
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answered on Feb 27, 2024

This answer is based on Florida law. It sounds like you are asking about an inheritance. The first thing to do is read the documents (perhaps a will) that states what is supposed to happen with the property. If step mother brings papers to sign either read them carefully or tell her that you want... View More

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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