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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: What is conflict of interest when it comes to wills and lawyers?

My father changed his will six months before he died. In the new will myself and my sibling were all but cut out and his church and two individuals in the church cut in for the bulk of my father’s estate.

My father was in his right mind when he changed his will so my sibling and I did... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 26, 2020

I am not a Florida lawyer and so I am not familiar with Florida’s conflicts of interest rules, but this does have a kind of stench to it. One way you can obtain information is to tell your story to the grievance section of the State Bar of Florida at 866-352-0707 and see what they decide to do... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: What should I do?

I paid an attorney to file my dad’s will and he didn’t. I am now being sued for his debts and I’m not named on the will. I know who the beneficiaries are and they are hiding their copy of the will so that my siblings and I are held responsible even though our dad abandoned us years ago and... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 19, 2020

Why are you being sued for your father's debts; did you co-sign with him? And the beneficiaries named in your father's will are not liable either, except to the extent that they received distributions under the will. And, finally, what did you expect to accomplish by having an attorney... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: I think Im being scammed and so is my elderly 77yr mom. Dad died 6yrs ago my mom and I had 50-60k and a 300k house gone

I just found out all money was cashed out along with MY life ins without my knowing and now after 20yrs I invested 300k in a home Im being told is sold and I must get out with nothing to show? Im being scammed? My money is all gone and now so is my home!

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Oct 14, 2020

If this is related to a divorce you will need to seek out a family law attorney. If this is related to a probate, you will want to get a copy of the property deed as well as the Will/Trust/Probate Documents. You starting point is likely the clerk of the court in the county where this took place... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: During meetings between the beneficiaries of their father's estate, the executor always has her husband present?

During meetings between the beneficiaries of their father's estate, the executor always has her husband present? The executor is also one of the beneficiaries of the estate. Her husband is not a beneficiary. Can the other two beneficiaries legally request that he not be present at their... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Oct 13, 2020

Yes, I suppose any beneficiary can ask another beneficiary or anyone else to not allow any other non-beneficiary in the meetings; however, since there is no law that forces the executor to do it, and since siblings can usually find lots of ways to start unnecessary quarrels between themselves over... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: As a son can I inherit part of the money located in my deceased father joint bank accounts with his surviving wife?

The spouse is not my mother and my father did a Will with specific % distributions including me and my brother as his heirs, along with her.

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on Oct 3, 2020

In Florida, a joint bank account held by a married couple is presumed to be held by tenants by the entireties which would mean that the account would pass directly to the surviving spouse by operation of law outside of probate. The Will typically would not control the disposition of that specific... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Banking, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: All the money in savings and checking bank accounts go to the surviving spouse if they were joint accounts? No will

The deceased had 4 children with a previous spouse and 0 with the surviving spouse. They also bought 2 houses jointly.

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on Oct 2, 2020

In Florida, a joint account owned by married people is presumed to be held as tenants by entireties, and typically will pass to the surviving spouse outside of probate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I have a will done in Georgia I now live in Florida do I need will now?

Professionally done by probate Attys includes notarized affidavit two witnesses

All done legally but all done in GA.

Now Live in Florida. Beneficiaries live in GA and AL. ( Two adult children)

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 1, 2020

No, the Georgia will probably will work in Georgia. But to be sure you might want to confer with a Florida attorney; there might be some aspects of the will that might not be enforceable in Florida.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I have a will done in Georgia I now live in Florida do I need will now?

Professionally done by probate Attys includes notarized affidavit two witnesses

All done legally but all done in GA.

Now Live in Florida. Beneficiaries live in GA and AL. ( Two adult children)

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 1, 2020

If the will done in Georgia meets the requirements of will in Florida it still can be admitted to probate in Florida. As a precaution you should have the will reviewed by an attorney in Florida familiar with preparing wills since probate laws differ from state to state, to make sure the intentions... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: If my dad and I are both on a mortgage what happens if he passes away?

Can the mortgage just go to me or will it have to involve his estate. I don’t want it to as I don’t want my brother to be involved with the mortgage.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Sep 25, 2020

It depends, what does the deed exactly say, what does your dad's will say, is the property homestead, is it in Florida the property, is there a surviving spouse? You will want start by getting a copy of the deed and review it and precisely what it says. It is also probably helpful if you dad... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Is there a reason my relatives wont give my my fathers attorney info?

My father recently passed away. (August 24th 2020). My sister and i were supposed to inherit his life policy. Now all of a sudden, a different beneficiary on a document recently magically found, determines that we do not inherit that as he intended. When i asked for my fathers attorney information,... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Sep 24, 2020

Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your father, please accept my condolences. You will likely need to contact an attorney in the state where this is taking place (his residence, place of probate), if the state is anything like Florida, you should be able to go online yourself possibly and... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can a new will override a spouse's rights upon the other's death?

My parents are still married but have been separated (not legally, sold their home previously and now live in different counties and own their own homes) but have will's in place from many years ago. My father does not want his estate going to my mother upon his death and wants it distributed... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Sep 23, 2020

Your dad should consult with his own attorney. You should not be involved because any legal advice that you pass along from a lawyer could be construed as you practicing law. If you are not a lawyer, practicing law is a felony. I know you want to help your dad; the best way to help is to review the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Florida personal representative compensation.

In Florida can a personal representative be compensated on the value of real estate if the real estate in question was homesteaded by the Descendant at the time of death? The real estate was sold during probate.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Sep 22, 2020

No, Homestead is not part of the probate estate. I would further state, the probate attorney should be clearly conveying these facts and answering these questions in a timely manner.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Gov & Administrative Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Power of Attorney for Real Estate Property in Puerto Rico to use for Closing due to not traveling Covid-19 related.

I live in Florida, brother here lives in South Carolina. Want to name other sibling in PR to sign off on documents at closing (brother here will buy our parts and he will be putting the house in his name). Does the Power of Attorney need to come from Puerto Rico and does it need to be translated... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Sep 20, 2020

The law of Puerto Rico may not be the same as the law in Florida. That's why you should have asked your question in Justia > Ask a Lawyer > Puerto Rico.

1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI, Estate Planning and Family Law for Florida on
Q: it my birthday in 18 days yeet

it my birthday in 18 days

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Sep 11, 2020

Now you are officially an adult, you can vote and you can be drafted but you still cant have a drink until 21, you can enter into contracts, get a job and pay your own bills and go to college or both, there is a lot to think about and upon the horizon, do not rush into anything too quickly.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: We have been in probate since 2017, its a small estate with no complexities, is that too long
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Sep 8, 2020

3 years seems like a long time, that said, as a probate attorney you often hear that a case is simple, basic, not-complicated, easy, etc., and as we all know and experience with ongoing probate cases it is anything but easy based on later arising facts. Generally, 3 years is a long time for any... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Private paid Nurse was made sole heir and Arbiter of the Will after grandmother's passing. Is this legal?

My grandmother recently passed away, and her paid at home nurse, who was also power of attorney, produced a will that names said nurse as not only Arbiter of the will, but the sole heir to the entire estate.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Sep 6, 2020

You probably should consult with an attorney; the home nurse might very well have exercised undue influence which could invalidate the will.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Grandmother living in PR but has property in FL. Can she write a quitclaim deed to me to transfer the FL property to me?

If she were to pass without having a will would the FL property still be considered part of the estate or would it be exempt as it has been signed over to me with the quickclaim deed? If it is still part of the estate, is there a way for her to sign the FL property over to me before she passes in... Read more »

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero answered on Aug 25, 2020

Generally speaking, property that is not titled in a decedent's name does not go through probate process since it is not part of the decedent's estate. However there are many issues to consider, including tax consequences/reporting, Medicaid lookback periods, challenges of such property... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I am married to a man for 30 yrs, the 3rd wife and we share a paid for home in FL. Will I loose my home if he dies?

We both have a child from prev marriages. I am 69 and have not worked in 7 yrs on SS.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Aug 21, 2020

No, you have a homestead interest in the home; normally that means that it would become yours upon his death.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My Uncle is battling Stage 4 colon cancer. His property deed and mortgage are only in his name. He wants to transfer

title to his wife but wants her to avoid probate upon his passing. Should he use a Quit Claim or Lady Bird Deed to do this? He lives in Pensacola, Florida.

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Aug 7, 2020

I would suggest using a quit claim deed to add the wife to the title from your uncle to your uncle and aunt, his wife. Lady bird deeds can create title issues. This will only change the title. The mortgage company should be contacted so they can be informed that your aunt has permission to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Can an executor coerce beneficiaries into signing a will?
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Aug 5, 2020

The question makes no sense at all. Beneficiaries don't sign a will, the testator does.

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