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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Before we got married, my spouse and I disclosed our financial assets

and I am employed and make a very good income and I have a son that is a minor from a previous marriage to whom I would like to transfer my assets for his future and I will rely on my income that I am earning now. I am not planning on getting a divorce, but in case my husband and I will get to... Read more »

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber
answered on Jun 20, 2022

Read the prenuptial agreement carefully. If in fact it says what is yours is yours then you can transfer it whenever you choose to whomever you choose. You may want to speak with a local family lawyer for more specific advice.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Tax Law for Florida on
Q: My husband has inherited a house in Tennessee. We have a question about inheritence tax.

The deed to the house is in just my husband and his step-dads name. However there are 4 more siblings. The step dads will states that the house is to be sold and split 5 ways. Will my husband be soley responsible for any taxes due or fees since he is the only one on the deed?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jun 17, 2022

It appears that you husband and his step-father each have half interest in the property. So what do you mean when you indicate that your husband is the "only one on the deed"; has the step-father died? If the will is admitted to probate, one would expect that the step-father's half... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: is there a way to evict someone out of a house if they own 50/50 but don't actually help pay for the house & other bills

My wife owns 50/50 of a house with her sister because when their mom passed away, she didn't have a will. Is there any way we can legally get her evicted from the house and ownership of it? She doesn't work. doesn't pay the mortgage, electric, water, etc... we pay all the bills while... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jun 14, 2022

The best solution to your wife's unfortunate situation is to her to hire a real estate litigation attorney to file a lawsuit called a "partition action" to force the sale of the house. Your wife and her sister would then split the proceeds. She might be able to convince the court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: How much time does a designated Trustee have to register a benefiary trust?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jun 7, 2022

Florida does not require or have a registration of a Trust. If what you are referencing is a "Notice of Trust", then the rule is upon the death of the person/settlor of the trust. Florida Statute states the following;

736.05055 Notice of trust.—

(1) Upon the death of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Question Involving Inheritance/Personal Possessions

I was wondering, If an individual dies in the State of Florida without any heirs or any living relatives or children whatsoever, does the state collect the items that once belonged to the person? and if so, what exactly happens to those items? Are they sold/auctioned off, or does something else... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Jun 2, 2022

If in fact there are no remote cousins, or other heirs, it is possible that it could be escheated to the state under Chapter 717 of the Florida Statutes.

Normally electronic devices such as smart phones or other computers are password protected. If not, who would object? It probably...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: How is a revocable living trust converted to a irrevocable dynasty trust upon the death of the settlor?

I plan to hire an attorney to draft a revocable living trust that will be converted to a South Dakota irrevocable dynasty trust upon my death. I just want to get more educated on the subject matter before contacting an attorney.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jun 1, 2022

You will want to speak with an attorney in the state where you are domiciled and reside as a resident (where your homestead is and where you spend the majority of your time), I mention this because it will be important related to all of your estate planning with things such as your Will, Living... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: What's needed to claim deceased relatives property?

My great aunt passed away in 2013 and everything went to my great uncle as the will stated. then in 2015 my uncle passed and being the executor his estate and his power of attorney before that I'm wondering what's needed to claim property in my great aunts name that we just found a few... Read more »

Jason E. Neufeld
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Jason E. Neufeld
answered on May 31, 2022

Hi there - given that you uncle passed away about 7 years ago, the first step would be to determine if a probate has been opened. There are many factors that would go into whether or not you have anything to claim:

1. Was there any property left to probate at your uncle's passing?...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Can I appoint my sister Durable Power of Attorney over my wife to manage my estate.

I would like to appoint my sister to manage my estate. My sister is capable and would guide my wife if I become an invalid or die. My wife is a recent naturalized citizen and I worry she would prove incapable of managing things on her own.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on May 26, 2022

Yes, you can pick whomever you would like to be your Florida Durable Power of Attorney and there is no requirement, law of obligation that says a wife/spouse must come first. There are numerous rights that a spouse has related to any estate, these issues and considerations you should weigh and... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Do I need to set up a joint trust?

My mother and I (her son) live together in a house. We are both listed on the deed and mortgage. This is the only real asset that she has. We are reviewing our estate planning documents.

Do I need to bother setting up a joint trust? Without one, since we're both on the deed, I believe... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 22, 2022

No, if title is in both of your names, and not joint title with right of survivorship (or something similar), should she predecease you, the property will not be solely in your name. Her estate would own half. Talk to an estate planning attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Dispute POA

My father lives in Florida. I live in California.

He added my name and my brothers name to the deed of his condo (no mortgage) in 2017.

In 2021 my brother passed away. In March 2022 my brothers widow was given POA over my father and added herself to the Quitclaim deed without my... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on May 11, 2022

And you want to know whether the power of attorney and the deed can be annulled, and you can examine the bank accounts? You need to retain a Florida attorney for the purpose of adjudicating your father incompetent as of the date of the POA.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My cousin passed with no will in place. She did not have children and her spouse passed years before she did.

I was told that next in line are aunts and uncles. Are cousins entitled to their parent share if the parent is deceased? When did the law change? I was told the law changed after my cousin passed.

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

I am sorry for your loss and the passing of your cousin, please accept my condolences for you and your family. You will need to work with and get a probate attorney in the state where they were a resident, if property was owned in another state, you will likely need an attorney there as well. When... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Waiver for discharge, release and receipt that I have been paid but I have not been paid

Requesting my signature stating the pr has paid me full in cash but I have not rcvd any money. Should I sign

Attorney said its normal verbiage

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 27, 2022

Should you sign a receipt for money you didn't receive? Of course not. Tell the attorney (for the PR, I assume) to explain, not simply to tell you that a paper by which you indicate you have received money which you have not received is "normal verbiage".

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Does the Florida Homestead law about surviving spouses supercede a will if the will left the property to the children?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Apr 25, 2022

Yes, as long as no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement was signed or some other waiver of Homestead Rights, then the surviving spouse usually has substantial rights to Homestead (at least a life estate or half 50% interest) amongst many other rights. The Will or any estate planning for that matter... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Collections and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can the courts take my inheritance?

Lake County FL courts have a $100,000 lien against me. I need to know if they can take the money my mother left me when she died.

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Apr 22, 2022

You will want counsel of a competent FL attorney, assuming the legacy is situated in FL. `Exemption Rights will be pertinent here. You may even open up a Trust. This is a public forum and you do not need to talk about this with anyone else but your attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: What are my rights if I am a "issue" of a deceased parent

My grandmother passed in 2011, then my mother passed away 2013. My uncle is trustee of my grandmothers Will. My grandmother had a property and stated in her Will "Upon the sale and liquidation of the property, all net proceeds shall be paid to my children, and if any should not be alive then... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 18, 2022

Yes, you and your siblings (as well as your and your siblings' descendants, if any) are the "issue" of your mother.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My mother died recently and has a living trust. As the trustee, I have some questions about procedure.
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
answered on Apr 18, 2022

Do yourself an enormous favor by NOT seeking help on this public website about something as important as this.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Florida on
Q: If a first name name is printed incorrectly by a notary on a will is it void it says Ronald instead of Robert

None

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

This should definitely be corrected, Ronald is a big difference from Robert and while you can try to claim it is just a typo scrivener error potentially, I would not rely on it and I would get it corrected, updated and changed as soon as reasonably possible. There is no real conceivable way someone... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Do heirs have ownership? House in trust was transferred from grantor to grantee and heirs. Grantee remarried and passed.

The 2011 transfer doc states "Grantor does hereby convey and transfer unto the Grantee, heirs and assigns, the following described property.....". The original trust was created for my father and his decendants. It was controlled by a trustee, as he had many issues. We benefited... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Apr 7, 2022

No, you do not have any interest in the property. If the deed was to "the Grantee, heirs and assigns", it means that the grantee was given "fee simple" title to the property. The wording " heirs and assigns" means the GRANTEE's heirs or whoever the GRANTEE might... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother recently passed, her assets were put in a trust and my sister was made trustee. So far, she has not provided

the beneficiaries (5 siblings including the trustee) with details of the trust nor an accounting of the trust. My understanding from reading FL statutes is that she has 60 days to provide a copy of the trust and an accounting of the trust's assets and liabilities to the beneficiaries. She has... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
answered on Apr 6, 2022

The reason why Florida law allows Trustees at least 60 days to notify beneficiaries is to allow the Trustee sufficient time to locate and examine the decedent's Last Will, search for and gather the decedent's personal property, get copies of deeds to real property, inventory all of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I was left 90,000 more than 20 years ago and cannot locate where it is. A Massachusetts attorney recommended MAINE

That all I know

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Apr 1, 2022

You likely need to start with an attorney in the state where this probate or matter took place. You should start with the deceased person's state of residence/domicile, where their Homestead was located and where their property/estate was probated. If there are monies due, it would be listed... Read more »

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