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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: If you're not married, would it be best to name a parent or minor child as a beneficiary to a retirement plan?

I need to put a beneficiary for my 457 and pension plan. My son is only 7. My dad is in his 60's and got remarried a few years ago. I want to know if I should use my son as the beneficiary or my father. I would want my son to have everything of mine, but since he's a minor I want to make... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 31, 2023

I would encourage you to speak with a Florida Estate Planning Attorney and consider possibly creating a Revocable Trust, the options you have mentioned are problematic because of your dad's second marriage and because your son is so young. If anything happened to you it is likely that your... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: If a property is left to me in a will, is it probable that property will be used to pay off the outstanding

My grandmother is unsure if she should create a will or a living trust. Her primary concern is ensuring that I inherit the property which is paid off completely however, another concern we are having is, if the home will be used to pay off any outstanding debt, such as credit cards if so, how can... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 18, 2023

If a property is Homestead Property, creditors such as credit card companies and other lenders will not be able to force the sale of the property, the Homestead Property if handled properly is protected. Any debts not directly attached to the home (like for instance mortgage loan, equity line, work... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother passed and in her will it states I am her personal representative giving me full power to sell her home.

I already have a buyer. Do I need to go through probate or can I just go to a title company present the will and sell the home?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 16, 2023

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your mom, please accept my condolences for you and you family at this sad and difficult time. No, that will not work, you will want and need to get a copy of the deed, if your mom's name alone is on the deed the property will need to be probated,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Hi my Dad had a will done in 2009 excluding all heirs, after divorcing I took him to revoke the will. We then went to

the clerks office in 9/2013 and he put his property in my name prior to open heart surgery after he i quit claimed his property back to him in 7/2015. We loaned him 70 k in 4/2013 to buy ex wife out of divorce he took a reverse mortgage on his property to pay us back. he passed away in 2022 now... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 3, 2023

Yes, if they are motivated to try to fight this and make this messy it is possible that they can try to fight this based on claims of undue influence and or similar claims. I am not sure how much luck they will have for a few reasons, there is a divorce which ends the relationship related to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized, Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My father passed away in 2015. 1Dec 2022, I received a letter from a bank stating there is a savings account for him.

The bank says I need a court order to close it. Balance is roughly $3,000. How do I get a court order?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Dec 30, 2022

Actually, a court order might not be necessary. Call the bank's attention to Florida Statute 735.303 and send them an affidavit as set forth in that statute. The statute can be accessed here:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Do i have a legal right to copy of my deceased mother’s will, attorney’s info handling her home sale &purchase agreement

My sister is not providing me with any information about my recently deceased mothers home sale which is supposed to be split between 3 siblings, including myself. She recently asked for money for taxes and insurance so the closing would go through. When i asked her for copy of will, PA agreement,... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Dec 13, 2022

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your mother, please accept my condolences for you and your family at this sad and difficult time. A copy of the will should be provided to any beneficiary interested party, if not, Florida Statute requires that it be filed with the clerk of the court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I have a banker that's trying to force us to pay $1,000 to him for an inheritance that's already been approved

The bank is already approved the inheritance but this Banker is trying to extort us for $1,000 before he will transfer the funds

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Dec 12, 2022

The answer to that is no, you need to get the probate court orders and or have the probate attorney or another attorney follow-up with a letter on your behalf, you should not be paying or be obligated to pay anything.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: if im married can I change my will so when I die my husband doesn't get our marriage assets in state of Florida

everything we own is in both our names .

Carol Larmond Grant
Carol Larmond Grant
answered on Dec 8, 2022

If you are married in Florida your spouse is legally entitled to certain assets such as your Homestead and certain exempt property. Additionally, if you leave less than 30% of your estate to your spouse he can make an election against your estate. You should contact an estate planning attorney for... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law, Estate Planning and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Can my mother execute a quitclaim deed to remove my father from the deed without a divorce?

She lives in Florida and my father has dementia and we are finding out about unpaid loans and she doesn't want anything to compromise her home.

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Dec 5, 2022

No. Only the person named on the title can remove themselves. Your mother needs to consult with a lawyer that practices elder law to see what her options are and if getting a guardian appointed is feasible.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Gifts were given to my husband and myself on birthday days or holidays. Now I was told that they want them back.

One was a gun a dog various either itemd

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Nov 28, 2022

A Florida attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for four weeks. The short answer is that once an ordinary gift is given, it's generally a done deal and not revocable, unless there were conditions. This is posted under a general Uncategorized heading. Attorneys who practice... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My wife and I are both disabled I am on sddi she is on ssi we are considering divorce so she can draw a higher amount

We can't make it on our current income with food and gas prices rising we have no children or property

Michael Ferrin
Michael Ferrin
answered on Nov 26, 2022

I cannot give any insight on what benefits will be available while married or after divorce, but if you are both in agreement to get divorced you can file an uncontested or simplified divorce. You should speak with a professional specializing in social security benefits to assist you before making... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Mother passed away in Florida - the only asset to be managed is a single check for $7969.64 made out to her estate.

The check is a distribution from my late aunt's trust. We are unable to deposit it because we have no estate account for my mother. There was no probate process initiated for her because my parents' assets were combined/shared 100% -probate was done via my father's summary... Read more »

Jose Ignacio Leon
Jose Ignacio Leon PRO label
answered on Nov 18, 2022

Generally speaking, you're right in thinking your first and best step is to talk to the trustee of the trust.

Depending on the language of the Trust there might be a fair amount of flexibility in how they can issue the distribution checks.

Additionally, in most trusts there is...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Can a Quit Claim Deed be filed on a home that is still under Mortgage with Lender?

My parents bought a second home which I currently live in, and pay the monthly mortgage on. The loan is entirely in their names and the home is, of course, collateral for the loan. I'm not currently in a position to remortgage the loan in my name. My parents want to complete a Quit Claim... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Nov 14, 2022

It likely would trigger a clause to call the loan to be paid in full. Your parents need to consult with a real estate lawyer to determine the best way to handle this. There are options that could help.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Am I entitled to my my deceased mothers half of a house jointly owned by her and her living husband?

My mother didn't leave a will per se but she did leave a document saying what she wants done with here valuable assets. Her husband is still alive and living in a long term care facility and is on medicade. My step brother is moving quickly to have me removed from the house (I live in the... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Oct 28, 2022

You need to retain an attorney now. This is not something that you should try yourself.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for Florida on
Q: 2bedroom condo bought 1973. G-ma (owner) died in 2000. Court “distributes” to daughters. Default ownership type in FL?

Broward county FL. I see sales papers between grandma and developer 1973. Later in year, I see a deed JTRS between grandma, and then mom&dad, and aunt&uncle. 5 months later in 1973, I see 2 quitclaims from mom&dad to grandma, and another from aunt& uncle to grandma. Did they undo... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
answered on Oct 25, 2022

If this is not an essay question on a college undergraduate or law school exam, it should be.

If it is a (really complicated) real-life situation, get off the Internet and call a probate lawyer in the town where the property is located.

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: As a personal rep in FL am I able to sell a homestead property with a reverse mortgage if one of the heirs lives oversea

And is unable to be found( presumed dead) and the other also lives overseas but refuses to sign any documents?

Sherri B. Simpson
Sherri B. Simpson
answered on Oct 25, 2022

That is certainly not a simple question to answer and without more facts, I would be unable to do so with any certainty. I assume you have filed a probate action? I have handled both probate and guardianship cases and you always need a court order to sell an asset of the estate and if the property... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can parents will/give a house to adult child when there is still a mortgage?

Can the mortgage and all paperwork be left as is until both parents are deceased? At that point, can the mortgage be paid off and everything changed over as long as it is amended to the will to do so?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Oct 8, 2022

Generally, yes, while I would encourage you to speak directly with a Florida Estate Planning Attorney, the property can be left to children and the children in many instances are able to assume the mortgage, this is particularly so if it is the Homestead property of the parents. Remember, a Will... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: Can a quit claim deed be both a joint tenancy with survivorship rights and an enhanced life estate?

My cousin tricked my elderly mom into signing a quit claim deed with survivorship rights. When mom passed my cousin signed a QCD that stated it was joint tenancy with survivorship rights, but in the body of the deed it listed only one person as the grantee, it also has an enhanced life estate.... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage
answered on Oct 5, 2022

You need to take a copy of the deed to a real estate litigator as soon as possible. This is a very complex issue and a lawyer needs to see the actual deed to provide advice.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: How can a judge let my deceased brother wife have everything after my uncle was trustie and now she is and not notify

Any beneficiary of the will. What is the first step I need to do because I don't agree with this and I'm the next hier in will.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Oct 5, 2022

A spouse has substantial rights no matter what a Will or Trust may say in many instances, under Florida Law a Spouse is entitled to minimal sums via spousal share, homestead, exempt property and so forth, no matter what a Will may say, If the Will or Trust left everything to the spouse, she will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Can I evoke a quit claim. I filed it for my home to my partner and we are seperating
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Sep 27, 2022

Likely not, you will want an attorney to review a copy of the deed, unless it was an enhanced life estate deed (ladybird deed), you are likely stuck with your partner as a co-owner of the property, unless they agree to sign a quit claim deed or other deed back to you, you may well be now a co-owner... Read more »

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