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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My grandfather charlie cotton owned many properties in Osceola county! In 1934 he opened up the pinky villa, the first

Night club in Osceola county, when he died he made a trust and my father Ronald phillips was executer over the entire estate. When my father passed away three years ago me being the only child with his last name everything was passed down to me, my aunt and uncle manipulated and lied to me to get... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Feb 17, 2022

You will need to get a copy of the Trust and or any other probate/estate documents and the documents that you signed and have them reviewed by a Florida Probate Attorney. Of particular concern is the fact that you have waited 3 years to take any action in order to start to address this matter and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My dad died, no will, older brother took over, claims dad put him and older sister in charge. Don’t share anything.

What can I do? I came from a family of 5 children, 4 still living, my older brother and sister, myself, and a younger sister. My dad deferred a lot to my older brother and now my brother takes over, has access to his banking info., took care of his arrangements, everything. My dad didn’t have... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Feb 16, 2022

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your dad, please accept my condolences and sympathy for you and your family at this difficult time. You are going to likely need to speak with a Florida Probate Attorney where you can provide additional information and details in order to get more... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: Can someone with an "agent" or "attorney-in-fact" be ejected from a property by the court without the agent knowing?

Hi. I was searching court records for my grandfather after my mother (his caretaker) saw an odd credit card charge. He is currently in a suit to be ejected from his girlfriend's property that was filed by his girlfriend's daughter/guardian. The issue is that my father has a POA for my... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 13, 2022

If your grandfather is being sued to be ejected from his girlfriend's property, what difference does it make that he has a POA "for" your grandfather's father? You might want to re-ask this question so that it makes sense.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My sister’s son and I want to purchase a home for my sister. We found a cash deal in a nice manufactured home community.

My nephew and I were going to solely be on the deed but the community wants her name on it as well. How can we avoid being liable for any potential creditors she may incur in the event of her passing (medical bills, credit cards etc) while adding her name to the deed in Fort Myers FL.

Wendy A. Mara
Wendy A. Mara answered on Feb 3, 2022

A manufactured home has a title similar to a vehicle title. If you put your name and your nephew's name on the title, that does not make either of you responsible for creditors of your sister. However, with your names on the title, the community will most likely find you liable for the rent... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I have 4 sons. 1 son is coming to live and care for me I am 80. When I pass I want to be sure that he can continue to

live in the house until he dies or can no longer then house passes to the other 3

Ellen S Deutsch Taylor
Ellen S Deutsch Taylor answered on Jan 28, 2022

You could give the son who is living with you a Live Estate and then have the other sons and him be the remaindermen so they would get the property when you die. This can be done through a deed.

Ellen DeutschTaylor

727 365-3121

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Poa question

My mother has a durable poa from my father. My father has had a stroke but is not fully incapacitated. My mother needs me to take over many of the tasks. Since my mother has poa from my father could she, as his representative, sign a poa in his place given me poa for my father?

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jan 26, 2022

No.

Your mother cannot lawfully transfer her POA or give you a new POA over your father.

At best, she can hire you to perform some of the tasks that she is supposed to perform.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I loaned my mother $43,000 at 7% interest 21 years ago secured by a promissory note.

I loaned my mother $43,000 at 7% interest 21 years ago. It was secured by a promissory note and upon her death I would receive payment. Upon her death in October 2021 I was informed that the house she owned could not be used to satisfy her debt to me as we had planned because of the homestead... Read more »

Wendy A. Mara
Wendy A. Mara answered on Feb 3, 2022

Florida Homestead provisions protect the homestead from creditors except for mortgages, mechanics liens for work done to the homestead, and taxes. Your siblings are not required to pay off the note. If you don't agree to the sale of the homestead, the other owners can force sale of the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: if 4 heirs agree to sign affidavits to give a house to 1 heir can the court make them sell the house at market value?

same question concerning a truck. Initally the estate lawyer said everyone could sign over their portions to 1 heir but now they are saying that even tho everyone is in agreement that the court is saying we have to sell at market value. Is that correct since everyone is in agreement?

Justin  Stivers
Justin Stivers answered on Jan 18, 2022

If I understand you correctly, there are a total of four heirs who are going to receive a home from a probate estate. Three of the heirs want to give the home to one of the heirs. Assuming that is correct, then no, I don't believe a judge would require you to sell the house a fair market... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I am the executor of my deceased mother’s estate and just settled a lawsuit. I was also at fault in a car accident.

Can the other party go after Money paid to the estate?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jan 6, 2022

No, the assets of the estate do not belong to you. Ask your probate attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: I am a low income senior and can't find anyone to notarize the will I created on-line. Who can help me?

I was told there is a new law in Florida stating citizens must use an attorney for notarizing wills. Is this true?

Ellen S Deutsch Taylor
Ellen S Deutsch Taylor answered on Dec 27, 2021

Wills must be witnessed by two people and notarized if you are using a self proving clause. You should have your will reviewed by an attorney to make sure it complies with Florida law.

Ellen Deutsch Taylor

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: How long does my son’s estate have to be held by a lawyer?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Dec 24, 2021

You will need to provide additional information and details, is this related to a Will and Probate or is it related to a Trust, also, unless the attorney is also the Personal Representative of the probate estate or the Trustee of the Trust, the attorney should not be holding anything for any... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My husband had just set up his trust. He hadn’t done his will yet. He passed away suddenly.

His trust lawyer said I needed to hire an estate lawyer for my 11 year old son (at the time). How long does that lawyer control my son’s money? He is now 15.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Dec 24, 2021

It is not even sure that the attorney controls anything, the Trustee of the Trust controls what happens based on the terms of the Trust document, if the attorney is the Trustee, then he will serve in that role, but he must act in accordance with the terms of the Trust. You will need to get a copy... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Check made out to a person dated before their death, but not cashed before their death.

Florida - My mother had a check made out to her on 12/15/2021. The check was a lump sum payout from a pension benefit plan. She passed away on 12/22/21, prior to getting the check cashed. The back of the check says, "This benefit is payable only to the payee named on the reverse side of... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Dec 23, 2021

No. Contact the pension plan and ask that it be re-issued to your mother's estate.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My father passed a few months ago and only listed my little sister on the policy. I am his first born son. Any help

Can I get help with recovering any of the policy payout.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Dec 17, 2021

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your father, please accept my condolences. The only assets that will go through probate are the ones in your father's name alone. If a probate has not been done and there are any assets of this type, they will be handled at that time via the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Family Law and Banking for Florida on
Q: Hello, My mother who passed away 2 years ago and I opened a bank account in Montreal, Canada 8 years ago.

It is joint with rights of survivorship, we specifically wanted to have access to it regardless if one of us died. Now the bank has frozen the accounts after I innocently mentioned to them of her passing since i thought i was in my right. They are saying that there is no rights of survivorship in... Read more »

Ellen S Deutsch Taylor
Ellen S Deutsch Taylor answered on Dec 15, 2021

You will need to contact a Canadian lawyer but I would definitely not rely on information from a bank employee.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I became a resident of Florida. Will the irrevocable trust, which i had done in NY, be binding in the state of Fl?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Dec 11, 2021

While the answer to your question is generally yes. You will likely want to review the Trust and have it updated for the State of Florida if this is now your state of residence and domicile. Unless there is a particular reason or the majority of your assets in NY, you likely need to update it. If... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Can someone claim adverse possession of a property owned by a deceased person?

My father passed in 2012, one of his daughters has been paying the taxes for his home in vacation home in Florida for the past 7 or so years, but has never asserted any actual ownership (while quietly paying the property taxes). On the revenue departments website the account shows "estate of... Read more »

Jane Kim
Jane Kim answered on Dec 9, 2021

Sounds like she could have a viable claim for adverse possession. A lawyer would have to review the facts in detail. And statute of limitations to probate an estate has passed, which is 2 years. I'd still ask a probate lawyer...

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for Florida on
Q: What can I doto prove to banks that POA can close CD'S in trust and transfer to trust acc. grantor, bank,trust is in FL

Grantor is in assisted living and can't leave. She has CD'S at many banks held in a grantor trust. She wants POAs to close them and deposit to 1 trust account.

Some of banks are wanting proof of incapacitated from DR. Poa specifically says they can do trust accounts and is not... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Dec 1, 2021

1. There is no law or "article" that you can use to "prove them wrong."

2. The banks do NOT have to honor any third-party POA--and especially one being offered under these circumstances.

3. If you will turn this around and look at it from THEIR position you...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: What does it mean to remove from an estate by petition? Ex: if the homestead is removed from the estate by petition?

Setting up attorney agreement for estate management/settlement in Florida. The house is left directly to someone in the Will, but the attorney agreement states, "If the homestead is removed from the estate by petition, it will still be included in the value of the state for fee... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Nov 23, 2021

You should speak with other estate planning attorney's as they bill by the hour or flat-fee for both estate planning and or probate if it is needed. This is a garbage fee if I am understanding it correctly. Florida Law specifically states that the Homestead Property shall not be included in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: My mother is 88 years old and wants to do a power of attorney to allow me to take care of her financial and medical

Do I need to be present? I live in Hawaii and she is in Florida

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 15, 2021

You do not need to be present when your mother signs financial and medical powers of attorney appointing you as her agent. However, you and your mother both should consider whether it is practical for you to serve in those capacities given the large geographic distance. It is not impossible for... Read more »

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