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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can my brother cancle a mortgage my dad made to him with a sign affidavit? My dad was the mortgagee and him mortgagor

My dad passed away and we have started the probate process. The only "asset" my dad had was a mortgage made out to my brother. My brother never made a single payment. Now he says he has an affidavit signed by my dad a year before he died statting that my brother paid the mortgage and releases title... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Feb 13, 2020

It would depend if the affidavit is the equivalent of a satisfaction of mortgage.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I guess my question is regarding probate and inheritance. 10 years ago my dad in the intent of helping my brother to

Buy a house. Lended the money as a form of a mortgage. My dad was the mortgagee and my brother the mortgagor. The mortgage was recorded and it was prepared by an attorney. Unfortunately my brother never made a single payment to my dad. My dad passed away last year. We have started the probate... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 13, 2020

First, there is a 5-year statute of limitations which may be a problem. And the affidavit, if genuine, may also bar recovery by your father's estate.

You indicate that you "have started the probate process". Do you mean you have filed a probate case? Because generally where there are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: In the state of Florida, How can the deeds to a house be transferred to someone if the owner is deceased?

The house is located in Broward county FL. I don't know where the last will and testament is or in whos possession. My uncle tried to transfer the house to his name stating that he was left as the executor of the last will and testament, but he filed a petition in court stating she the deceased... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Feb 12, 2020

If the owner has passed away you will need to open a probate proceeding in Broward County and have the Judge determine who is the owner of the house. The person who is appointed personal representative under the will should hire a probate attorney to assist them to do this. The attorney will also... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My boyfriend has a trust account he can’t touch until he’s 30. His aunt is the trustee.

She hid it from him for 2 years, we think she spent most of the money (her and her husband buy huge houses, expensive trips) and I am now pregnant with his child and she’s now refusing to give him any money. She would give my boyfriend a couple thousand to help when he was struggling with rent.... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Feb 11, 2020

A trustee has a fiduciary obligation to protect the assets of a trust for their intended purpose. Normally the remainder beneficiaries, by statute should have copy of the trust and be provided with an annual accounting. If this has been done you should seek an attorney in your area that does... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I have a will. Do I still need an enhanced life estate deed to leave my home to my sister? I want her to avoid probate.
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Feb 7, 2020

If the property is in your name alone, then it will go through probate, so yes, you need to draft a ladybird deed (enhanced life estate deed) or undertake other estate planning like a Trust.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: If a house is included in the trust, can a trustee sell it because of fear of future possible lawsuits

The trustee fears that he could be personally held liable if someone is injured in the benificiary trust held home if the beneficiary decides to supplement income through air bnb.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 5, 2020

The trust can purchase liability insurance for that.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: If property is deeded but there is a mortgage, who is responsible the deed holder or the estate heirs?

Dad had no will, but deeded property to step daughter. Is estate liable for mortgage and home improvement loan for property not in the estate?

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Feb 5, 2020

When the step daughter "accepted" the deed she accepted responsibility to pay the mortgages associated with the property. In the meantime if no one pays the mortgages eventually there will be a mortgage foreclosure, so if the step daughter is not paying the mortgages the property should probably... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Is a lawyer required to create a cross board trust and if not how does one create it.
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jan 28, 2020

Are you asking whether one has to be a licensed attorney in order to draft such a document? No, I don't believe so unless the person is paid to do so, in which case it may constitute the unauthorized practice of law.

I'm not sure what you mean by a "cross board trust". My best guess...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: If someone is granted guardianship of an incapacitated individual and property would they inherit the property.

The property was my grandmothers and she left a beneficiary trust to my uncle and my mother.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 24, 2020

No, not at all. When the ward dies, his or her estate is distributed according to the terms of the decedent's will or trust or both, depending on what kind of estate planning he or she had done. If in this case your ward placed his or her assets in a trust previously, and the trust provides for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: The declarations of heirs was done in Puerto Rico. My siblings change the locks and refuse to give me copies?

My sibling feels because he’s the oldest it’s what he says

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jan 23, 2020

What does this have to do with Florida? Is the property in Florida? If so, someone would have to be appointed by a Florida court as personal representative. If the "declaration of heirs" constitutes a will according to Florida law (without regard to where it was executed), and the decedent was a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: my dad left property to me and my sons to share i paid the mortgage off and i pay all taxes. they have not paid anything

do they still get a share

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jan 18, 2020

The property would need to go through probate, anything you paid related to the property would be credited to your share, you would be entitled to your share plus all you paid into the property, so if you have records and receipts of all that you paid then your share would be increased by that sum... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother left me her house..all of her personal belongings in the house were part of her trust.

My brother refuses to

Come and get his 50% of the belongings out of the house. It has been 5 months. I am taking the house bills out of my mother's trust checking account until he allows me to remove the belongings from the house. Is this OK for me to do?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jan 15, 2020

I assume you and your brother are co-trustees. If you don't understand whether the trust allows you to pay the "house bills", you had better consult with an attorney; because it would depend upon the terms of the trust.

2 Answers | Asked in Banking and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My FIL is going to an assist living in Fr.Myers, they are asking for all financials & stocks is this ok. & should move $

Should we move his money to another Acct and do we have to give stocks information.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 13, 2020

It sounds like the ALF wants the financial information either to confirm that he is able to pay privately or to determine whether he will be eligible for Medicaid. Either way, you should schedule a consultation with an elder law attorney in your area to discuss Medicaid planning. The folks at the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: Should I move money from our joint account to protect it?

My grandfather is in his 90 he recently had a bad fall went to the hospital where he stayed for a couple of weeks. He then is sent to a nursing home where he will stay for 21 days with the possiblity of being there indefinitely. My grandfather a couple of years ago put me and his account at his... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 7, 2020

Medicaid pre-planning is a legitimate technique for protecting assets for the next generation. However, whether your brother can actually do this on behalf of your grandfather depends on the terms of the power of attorney (POA). Some POAs authorize this, and some do not. So that is the first... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Need help in finding value of asset.

My Father passed away in Florida. Most of the items were placed in a trust in which I am a trustee of. One of the items that we found in the Trust name was a 35% share in an active Florida LLC. We have no idea what this asset is worth. We have tried to contact the registered agent and the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 4, 2020

Attorneys are not qualified to give opinions of value but an attorney might be able to help you pursue a claim for your mother’s interest in the LLC. You might need to hire an attorney to sue the LLC for an accounting and to subpoena records that might help a business appraiser determine value.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: How long does it take to be appointed personal representative (executor) in Florida (Cape Canaveral)?

The will specifies one heir and same person to be personal representative (executor). Assets include a condo, bank accts and investment accts.

When can estate bank accts be created from the deceased's money to pay bills like utility bills, property taxes, condo fees etc?

When can... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Jan 2, 2020

I'm sorry for your loss. Each county varies how long it takes the court to review the initial pleadings and appoint a personal representative. With the personal representative and the beneficiary being one and the same person, there will not be anyone else to give notice to, so once you have hired... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Need some clarification on procedures in Florida. Mother died 15 months ago. Older sibling was POA.

I was told by care facility Mother was declared incompetent and could not make decisions. I received a copy of her will January last year, but not copy of Trust instrument. Contents of Mother's house was disbursed, and to date, older sibling has not provided any accounting of bank statements,... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Jan 2, 2020

POA died with your mother. Nothing should have been distributed if no estate has been opened. You can check website of your court clerk to see whether an estate has been opened by your sibling. If an estate has been opened your attorney should have received all the documentation you have been... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Immigration Law for Florida on
Q: How do I go about getting some pro Bono help with an illegal executor fraud And the omitting of a will

Their surplus funds $33,000 vehicles $28000 and a $25000 inheritance to be accounted for. I've been in the dark and told that I was not allowed to find out anything and so probate was over and we have never talked to this guy nobody knows him in now we're homeless because the house got foreclosed... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Dec 31, 2019

After the fact is the wrong time to start this. First, at least in Florida a non relative cannot be a personal representative if they live outside the state. Second a probate proceeding is a court proceeding and any irregularities should have been brought to the Judge's attention that is why the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My Grandmother passed away, I was her Durable POA. Now that she is passed I’m aware that the POA is no longer valid.

I’m in WI, she lived in Florida. What is my next step? She does have a will that’s in her safety deposit now, I can’t access since she has now passed. How do I get appointed by FL to handle my grandmothers affairs? Any advice will be much appreciated, I have no idea what to do. I am my... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Dec 29, 2019

Assuming that she left significant property that needs to pass pursuant to the will, you will need to hire an attorney and apply to the court in Florida to probate the will and appoint a personal representative. There are procedures to get access to the will.

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