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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My father had no will and my brother didn't even contact me to let me know he passed he is trying to take it all
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 13, 2019

Hire a probate attorney near where your father last resided to help you open a probate and petition to have yourself appointed as the personal representative of your father's estate. You can then ask the judge to order your brother to turn over all of your father's assets to be distributed... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Is a person who now owns a mortgaged home via JTWROS now exposed to a lawsuit by the lender if unable to pay payments?

Scenario: In Florida, Person A secures a mortgage and purchases a home and some time later adds Person B as a Joint Tenant w/ Right of Survivorship. Five years into a thirty year mortgage, Person A dies. As the ownership of the property transfers over to Person B, they are unable to cover the... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Nov 12, 2019

Yes the person added to the deed would be named as a Defendant since they have an interest in the property being foreclosed. They would not however be responsible for paying any part of the mortgage obligation since they did not agree to the same. As a general rule this would also affect person... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Ok so over two months ago my fiance and mother of my two children had let a few things out that eventually became known

That she had been living a double standard for almost a year so long story short we had words she packed up her things after trying to get me arrested over false accusations numerous ones at that she then went and placed a injunction against me for no contact with her or my two boy's. So cops came... Read more »

Vanessa Alexandra Vasquez de Lara
Vanessa Alexandra Vasquez de Lara answered on Nov 12, 2019

You need to speak to an attorney immediately. You need to have the injunction against you reviewed and if valid, you must do an eviction/ejectment in order to get any third parties out of your house.

Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: recently connected to biological father. my name was changed at a young age, he wants to add me to his will, how to?

he will not add me using my name, currently use. asked me to change name back to birth name, which I will not do(40 years of current name). would I need my original birth certificate in order to obtain the benefits of his will/estate? both my mother and adoptive father(whose name I took) are... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Nov 6, 2019

Getting a copy of your birth certificate will not help. Unless you are listed in your biological father's current will as a beneficiary, and unless the will is probated, you will not be able to get anything from his estate after he dies.

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: What is statute? If someone has dimentia and it’s medical records can they change poa and will
Jason E. Neufeld
Jason E. Neufeld answered on Nov 6, 2019

Just because someone has dementia does not mean that they, definitively, cannot sign a new POA or Will. The test is whether the person was lucid at the time they signed the document. In other words, did they understand what they are signing when it was signed.

Dementia is a spectrum....
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law, Bankruptcy and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: Hello, my mom and dad are on SS. It is their only income and they live in Florida.

Due to health problems they are having financial difficulty. They have a bank issued credit card with $24,000 in debt. I've read that the bank can't touch their SS but my question is can they come after other assets like their house which they have a mortgage on or their car which is the only car... Read more »

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison answered on Nov 5, 2019

Yes. They can come after their assets such as their house and car, although they would be secondary to the mortgage holder on the house and the note holder on the car.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My elderly parents cannot find their legal papers. The estate lawyer was Mowl. We can't find him. Can you help?

My elderly parents cannot find their legal papers...trust and living will... The Melbourne, FL lawyer who created them over 20 years ago was Mowl. But we can't find a listing for him anywhere. Can you help? Was he in a certain firm that might have retained their papers? Would the papers be filed... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Nov 2, 2019

You should start by contacting the Florida State Bar as they can often help you in this regard, when an attorney leaves the practice of law, they usually should have a new referring attorney for their clients and papers, the Florida Bar would be a good place to start. Any papers he may have had... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I am my parents primary caretaker and I have moved in with them full-time.

I am my parents primary caretaker and I have moved in with them full-time. What rights do I have as a caretaker and living in their home? Are there any legal documents that should be in place to protect me and/or my parent? And what type of law this is fall under, family law or elder law?

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Oct 29, 2019

In whatever state you are living with your parents you need to go see an estate planning attorney. They can help with the documents that you need for yourself and your parents.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: If my roommate decease and I keep living in his house and drive car how to claim

If the deceased gave me the car before dying and I still leave in the house , and nobody claims it, how can I claim it as mine

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 27, 2019

I am sorry to break this to you, but you have a very steep uphill battle ahead. You cannot claim the car or the house unless they were left to you in your roommate’s will. The only exception is if you had a contract with your roommate pursuant to which you were to receive the car and the house... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Insurance Bad Faith, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My brother's life insurance company is asking for a Legal Representative form. Where can I find this document?

My brother passed away he did not leave a will, he has no assets. Unfortunately he died 4 days before the contestable period ended for his life insurance policy. I am his beneficiary. The insurance company is asking for a Legal Representative form from me. How do I obtain this form? The... Read more »

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Oct 21, 2019

You should schedule a consultation with a local estate attorney to look at what documents you have and review your situation.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: I'm one of 3 people as tenants in common on a deed. 1 died 30 years ago , 1 is 96 yrs old. How should I proceed?

The one who died is my brother

and his wife also died long ago.

They have 4 adult children.

The 96 year old, my sister, lives in the condo in North Carolina.

Should I now explain the situation to my brothers's 4 children and send a copy of the deed? Should they... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 15, 2019

Even though your brother and his wife died along time ago you still may need to have estates for both persons to determine who owned their share as a result of their dying, then you can get deeds from the children of your brother and his wife. At this point you would be able to get a quit claim... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Elder Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: How do I answer summons in TN, when I'm in FL. Civil to force sale of my inheritance, gma's house. No notice of probate.

I'm supposed to appear in Hamilton County Civil court to defend against split of property by sale. Relatives lied to me, never had POA, spent Gma's money. I'm broke. My dad died 9 days before Gma. I got severely depressed, overwhelmed. Tried to get atty's to help, but over the last year 2 agreed,... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Oct 8, 2019

The ONLY way you can do anything to protect yourself is to go to the hearing and tell the judge everything you told us here.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: is a MI REVOCABLE TRUST LEGAL IN FL
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 4, 2019

Florida has requirements that are different than just about every other state. If you are moving to Florida or own Florida property you should consult with a Florida attorney about updates that might be needed.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: In my will it states body to be cremated in FL, my now state of residence. What Happens should I die somewhere else?
Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 1, 2019

Actually your will is not a good place to put this since your will is dealt with long after your remains are dealt with. If the person charged with carrying out decisions regarding your remains is familiar with your will, that person may insist in doing exactly what you directed, which can be a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My boyfriend just found out his mother died January 2019. He is the only surviving child. How does he find out if there

is a will or probabte?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Sep 23, 2019

You will want to look online in the county where she lived on the clerk of the court website, look her up by name and it will show up if a probate was filed by anyone (spouse or anyone else). If there was a Will, then the Will should have been filed with the clerk of the court in the same county... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother tried to transfer money from her Mother (My grandmother) into my account after she died. Her Brother's wife...

Is the co-owner but has taken no legal action. Can I just close my account with no legal repercussions? I'm tired of the lack of action in both parties and I don't want the money. The transfer is frozen and I'm not sure what'll happen to both parties and the money should I close the account. Bear... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Sep 23, 2019

If I correctly understand what you are saying, your mother somehow transferred the money to your account, although your mother was not a co-owner of your grandmother's account. How did your mother manage to do that?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Florida on
Q: My sister died a few weeks ago and she was buying some property and I was living with her helping her pay the payments

She told everyone before she died that it was going to be left to me but the property is in her name how do I go about switching it in my name and make the payments where she left off and how would I go about getting power of attorney to handle her legal paperwork?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Sep 18, 2019

Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your sister, please accept my condolences. You will need to contact a Florida Probate Attorney. There is no power of attorney after death as any power of attorney ends at death. If there is no Will, then the Florida Intestate Statutes (without a will)... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: 5yo Funeral Bill & Fresh Beneficiary Payout

I hadn't spoken to my husband for 8 months when he died 5yrs ago & his sister voluntarily paid his funeral bill w/o asking me for reimbursement tho she asked me to sign consent for cremation as next of kin. No probate was filed; I didn't think he had anything to his name. I recently found out that... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Sep 15, 2019

Yes, there is a statute of limitations; it's four years assuming there is no written agreement. But the sentence "Or my agreement that I repay her?" raises a question; was there such an agreement? If not, you probably would not be obligated on the original claim anyway; you were not legally... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant, Probate and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My father recently sold a home with the promise to split the money among siblings. One of the siblings passed before the

Money was disturbed.the money was split equally among the surving siblings. Does the daughter of the deceased have any right to the cash her father that passed away was getting.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Sep 3, 2019

If the father decided to split the money equally between his surviving children that was his decision to make. And sine the money given to his children was a gift, there is nothing anyone can do about it. However, just in case the father made a mistake I would advise the children of the sibling who... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My husband died before probate completed on his mother's estate. She died Mar '18, he just passed 8/23/19.

He & aunt beneficiaries. No named alternates. Opened estate for my husband but now being told by probate attorney (in MD) that it's in question as to whether his share will go to his estate. Attorney said she'd never seen a will written w/o alternates (really?) so she turned over to another... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 3, 2019

The fact that you mother in law’s estate hadn’t closed by the time your husband died has no bearing. The real question is whether your husband outlived whatever survivorship period applies either by law or in your mother in law’s will. March to August is five months which is far longer than... Read more »

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