Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers

Q: A loan was taken out against home my mother left me. Her name was forged by my stepfather. Can I do anything about it?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Apr 22, 2019
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
I assume the borrower got a judgment against your mother and the judgment was recorded before you inherited the property. Contact a probate attorney and have the attorney look at all the circumstances.

Q: My mom recently past and my sisters are keeping me out of any estate info. How do I protect my inheritance?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Apr 16, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
Very sorry for your loss on the passing of your mother, please accept my condolences.

If a Will exists, it should be submitted to the clerk of the court in the county where your mom lived within 10 days. If your sisters are unwilling or unable to pursue probate, then you may want to step up and get a probate attorney and pursue becoming the named personal representative. While you are correct that an estate should not be handled in the manner that it currently appears to be getting...

Q: Siblings inherit property in CA. 1 signs quitclaim to other. Grantee dies (intestate in CA) before grantor. What now?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Apr 9, 2019
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
No, probably not, although it is a matter of California law, not Florida law. Why didn't you ask this in Justia › Ask a Lawyer › California›?

Q: How do I get money out of my deceased mother's bank account

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Apr 7, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your mother, please accept my condolences and sympathy at this difficult time. Generally, if there is no Will, then the Florida Intestate Statutes (without a Will) are going to apply to her estate and any assets that are in her name alone will likely have to go through some version or probate, the type of probate will be determined based upon the type of assets and their total value, if under $75,000 it would be Summary Administration, if above, not...

Q: My Condo is under the name of my Irrovocable Trust and would like to get it transferred into my name.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Apr 3, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
Your starting point will be to get a copy of the Trust and have it reviewed, based on the Trust, which is now irrevocable and the other beneficiaries, you may or may not be able to pursue getting it changed or revoked, etc. There are various Florida Statutes that may apply and may be helpful, you will need the copy of the trust and you will have to provide substantially more details. As a general starting point, you may want to look at Florida Statutes 736.0412, 736.0103, specifically...

Q: I my mom passes, does my stepfather or his children from another marriage have any rights to her home?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Apr 3, 2019
Lauren Nagel Richardson's answer
Please accept my sincere condolences on your mother's passing. If hers was the only name on the deed and she was married at the time of her passing, then her spouse has an election for which he only has six months to make, otherwise he gets a default of a life estate in the homestead, remainder to you. His other option which requires an election in a certain format which is then recorded in the public records like a deed is to elect to take a 50/50 tenancy in common with you. He would need to...

Q: I'm personal representative of my late bf's estate. Can I sell property he owned with 2 other people? How do I do that?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Mar 29, 2019
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
If the co-owners won't agree to the sale, sue them to partition the property.

Q: Do i have beneficial title for purpose of homestead approval being im only heir to estate?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Mar 23, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
Upon the passing of an individual, any assets in their name alone have to go through probate, if the property referenced was your mom's homestead, there is a petition that is filed with the probate along with the probate called a "Petition to Determine Homestead", this usually addresses the homestead property and passes ownership to the beneficiaries of the estate, if there is no Will, then the Florida Intestate Statutes will determine the ownership of the property. In Florida in order to file...

Q: is a distribution from a revocable grantor trust considered a "gift " and not taxable?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Mar 21, 2019
Lauren Nagel Richardson's answer
If the grantor is still alive and the trust is revocable, the grantor can withdraw some of all of the funds from their own revocable trust and make a gift. If it is under the annual gift tax exclusion amount, then there is nothing to file whatsoever, except that the grantor may wish to write a gift letter to go with the check and keep a copy.

1041 returns are only filed for irrevocable trusts (for example, once a grantor dies and a revocable trust becomes irrevocable) when the...

Q: How to word an affidavit for a release of lien with the Surrogate Court of NY, for which a credit card debt was settled

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Mar 15, 2019
Lauren Nagel Richardson's answer
This is a question to be answered by a NY attorney. If you have a written satisfaction signed by the creditor, ask the NY attorney if you may simply file that or if another document needs to be prepared.

Q: Husband passed. I have checking account joint, but not our savings. What should I do?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Mar 13, 2019
Akin Williams' answer
If any of the bank accounts and properties were located in England & Wales , United Kingdom OR your husband was EITHER domiciled in England and Wales,United Kingdom OR his will stated that it be governed by the Law of England & Wales,the law of England & Wales would be relevant and apply.

In such cases, you would first have to consider the provisions of your husband's will if he left one as any prospective Buyer would require written confirmation from the executor or administrator...

Q: My father passed away in Puerto Rico. I live in Florida. Do I have to go to Puerto Rico make declaration?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Mar 11, 2019
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
It's a matter of Puerto Rican law, not that of Florida. So you should ask this question in Justia › Ask a Lawyer › Puerto Rico ›. For example, as a Florida attorney, I have no idea what "make declaration" even means.

Q: My grandmother passed

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Mar 3, 2019
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
She and her husband adopted the child? The child is legally considered their child for the purposes of the intestacy statutes. Children who did not descend from the surviving spouse collectively inherit half of her intestate estate:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0732/Sections/0732.102.html

Q: I adopted my grandson through DCF His mom voluntarily sign her rights to me. Can I leave her as gaudian in my will?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Florida on
Answered on Mar 1, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
Yes, I would encourage you to set up proper and sufficient estate planning, Will (probably a Trust) for the care of your grandson. Remember, your nomination of a guardian is just that, simply a nomination of who you prefer, the matter would ultimately have to go through court and the judge/court would decide what is in the best interest of the child at that point. Any estate planning that you are able and or willing to do would help take care of your grandson if anything were ever to happen to...

Q: In Florida .What happens with money in bank acct. When act holder dies and beneficiary is also deceased.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Feb 22, 2019
Katherine Schnauss Naugle's answer
You will need to consult with a probate attorney as a small probate will need to be done.

Q: PA. My mother had a will. Has a house she owes 18,000 on, a car that she owes 9,000 on, personal loan she owes 7,000 on

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Feb 14, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your mom, please accept my condolences.

If this is your probate attorney and you hired them to handle the probate you should listen to them and trust them as they have all the information from you and related to the probate, this is especially so if this is a probate in another state.

While more information is needed by any Florida Probate Attorney if this is a Florida Probate, the information that you are providing does not sound...

Q: Is it customary to pay to an estate attorney 70% of his fee's (3% of the estate) based on the appraised value of a home?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Feb 14, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
While the 3% you reference is generally a statutory acceptable sums, see the statute below and read through the statute as this is just a small portion of it here; Florida Statute 733.6171

(3) Compensation for ordinary services of attorneys in formal estate administration is presumed to be reasonable if based on the compensable value of the estate, which is the inventory value of the probate estate assets and the income earned by the estate during the administration as provided in...

Q: My wife has passed away no will she was in the middle of a law suit how do I go about setting up a estate account

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Feb 12, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your wife, please accept my condolences and sympathy at this difficult time.

You will need to contact a Florida Probate Attorney, based on the type of assets and size of the estate will usually determine the type of probate, in this instance, since there is a current or ongoing lawsuit, it is likely you will need to do a Formal Administration, you as the surviving spouse would be the person to apply to become the Personal Representative in a...

Q: In Florida, if one prints POA and will forms from the Internet, has them notarized, are they legal documents?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Feb 4, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
I would encourage you not to do it that way. Power of Attorney went through substantial changes in recent years and many, if not most of the online forms are very generic, meaning they are made in accordance with the old laws, this means that many institutions will not accept them or they are simply not legal and enforceable for all the purposes and needs that you may have related to your precise circumstances. Generally speaking, the forms created online could and likely would be valid to some...

Q: Does a will have more legal authority than ownership?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Answered on Jan 16, 2019
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
If the will is admitted to probate (i.e.: a petition filed with the court), and the property is distributed to you in the probate proceeding, it would be yours (assuming the decedent owned full title at the time of his or her death); and not the relative's. If so the relative couldn't charge you rent, evict you, etc. But your question is ambiguous; is the decedent leaving the home to you or to the other person (the "relative")?

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