Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers

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?

1 Answer | 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")?

Q: Does my sister have to give me my mother's(father died 3 months earlier) probate lawyers name?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Jan 14, 2019
Phillip William Gunthert's answer
Yes, she should, unless she is trying to hide something. A Probate Attorney does not represent the beneficiaries but rather represents the Personal Representative and the Estate of the Deceased, this does not necessarily include the best interest of the beneficiaries. Therefore, you may or may not get many responses or much information from the attorney without your own representation by legal counsel. As a courtesy as well as a real obligation, any attorney doing a probate should keep all...

Q: my aunt had custody but my brother is now 18 and she is trying to steal his inheritance money left from his dad

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Florida on
Answered on Jan 7, 2019
David M. Goldman's answer
He needs to find an attorney to review the facts and see what options there are.

Q: Grandson and his wife did sign mortgage back in 2014 when Father deeded him his house. When he died in

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Dec 29, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
Consult an attorney about foreclosing the mortgage.

Q: Father died in 2015. My brother was executor. He deeded house to grandson before he died. Grandson was to pay

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Dec 28, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
Sounds almost like a mortgage arrangement. Did the grandson sign a mortgage?

Q: who shares in my estate

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Dec 27, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
It depends on the terms of your will. Did your predeceased child leave any issue? If so, you might want to also provide for them. If you are survived by a spouse, he would have an elective share. And, of course, you might choose to provide for other loved ones.

Q: Can a quick claim deed be done if I want to "sell" a house instead of going into probate?

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Dec 10, 2018
Lauren Nagel Richardson's answer
If you are a homeowner and you want to avoid probate of your estate when you die, there are several estate planning techniques you may want to discuss with an estate planning attorney. One option is to create a revocable trust and fund the trust with your real estate. Another option is to execute an enhanced life estate deed where you retain your home for your lifetime with the power to sell, lease, mortgage, or revoke the deed, but if you do not revoke it, then the property passes to the...

Q: If a house is left to three people in a will, does it need to go into probate to be sold?

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Answered on Dec 10, 2018
Christin Coleman Gallardo's answer
Yes, if the house is in the decedent's name alone and she/he left it to three other individuals in a Will, then a probate will have to be opened and the Will admitted to probate in order to transfer title.

You will need to hire an experienced Florida estate administration attorney to assist you with the process. It cannot be done 'pro se.'

Q: My mom dies with a Nevada will with no property

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
No, you don't need to be concerned. It looks like the only property passing under the will was personal effects and probating a will is usually not necessary for that. As far as a will contest from your sister is concerned, it's a matter of "put up or shut up"; when and if she actually sues you, get an attorney.

If there are any mementos which you feel your sister should have, offer to give them to her, but you don't have to.

Q: my house is in a joint tenancy with my brother, can I quick claim deed my part to myself, so I can will to my wife?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Dec 5, 2018
Mark Siegel's answer
Sorry. The deed to yourself will not allow you to leave the property to your wife. First, the survivor of you and your brother will own all the property, which that person can bequeath by will.

Q: Can I contest my mother's will before she passes away?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Nov 30, 2018
Lauren Nagel Richardson's answer
The short answer is "No." A will is not a person's last will until they have passed away. If there are any other financial issues of concern such as elder fraud or abuse, you should contact the department of children and families elder abuse hotline or an elder law attorney.

Q: My stepbrother has control of my mother’s estate,there is an unsigned updated trust before death,options?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Nov 30, 2018
Griffin Klema's answer
You're in a difficult position. Florida law on probate and estates includes strict requirements for enforcement of testamentary documents, like wills and trusts. If the updated trust was not executed by your mother, then you're probably fighting an uphill battle. I suggest you find a lawyer who specializes in trust litigation to evaluate what options you may have. Good luck.

Q: Hello, My mom passed away September 11, 2018 and the estate was put into a living trust, but it was set up as a will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Answered on Nov 2, 2018
Terrence H Thorgaard's answer
If your mother put all of her property into a trust before she died, I don't know what you mean "it was set up as a will". A will would be ineffective to pass any property and a probate case would not need to be filed. And the person named as executor ("personal representative", actually) would not actually become a personal representative in the sense of the person who administers a probate estate. The trustee would administer the trust instead.

Q: I just had a trust restatement&amendment done last week to add my son as co-trustee. Do I need to retitle my condo?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Oct 21, 2018
Mark Siegel's answer
The property is titled in the name of the trust. Since the name of the trust has changed (the date of the new trust is probably not the date of the original one and Bill Doe was added), you should file a simple deed to change the name of the owner to the new trust. It is not expensive for the recording fee or the preparation of a simple deed.

Q: I have a cabin in Maggie Valley and I live in Florida. Do I have to have a will for NC in addition to one for Florida

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Oct 16, 2018
Lauren Nagel Richardson's answer
You only need a will in the state where you are a resident, which would be Florida. You can devise or give all your property in a Florida will including your out of state property to recipients of your choice; however, it is often advisable to consider a revocable living trust when you own real property in more than one state. This is because without a trust that is then funded by deed transfer of these properties in multiple states, it would be required when you die for there not only to be a...

Q: I am having my mother and father's estates probated in Ohio Do I need to probate in Florida for the two properties

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Answered on Oct 15, 2018
Mark Siegel's answer
Yes. It is called Ancillary Administration when there is property owned in another state. A court in Ohio does not have jurisdiction over Florida real estate. To transfer ownership of the properties, you would need to file in the county(ies) where the properties are located.

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