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Florida Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Ohio Dad no wife. Brother, his wife, funeral home not inform me (sibling) of my rights to help plan. Liability?
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 7, 2021

No. There is no law in Florida--nor in any other state that I am aware of--that imposes any sort of "liability" on anyone whose immediate family members--of the funeral home--do not notify everyone else in the family when a person dies.

The Good News is that you are not...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Hello my wife was found dead in her room by her mother I was living in Mississippi my wife's son immediately took posses

her

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black answered on Aug 5, 2021

OK I’m very sorry to hear about your loss. You should discuss your case in a private phone consultation with a lawyer here in Florida. If this involves any kind of potential liability for the death of your wife due to the negligence of a tortfeasor, that should be fully investigated. Cases like... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Is airfare reimbursed if you travel to handle estate business, like hiring an Estate lawyer in Florida?

I travel from New York to Ft.Lauderdale to get the probate of deceased relative started.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Aug 3, 2021

Very sorry for your loss and the passing of your relative, please accept my condolences and sympathy for you and your family at this difficult time. It in most instances is not necessary to travel to Florida to hire an attorney, start a probate or really do anything related to the probate initially... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I live in the state of New Jersey my mother lives in the state of Florida all her assets are in the state of Florida.

There is a registered trust with Broward county what do I need to do in the event of her death I do not have access to anything. I am named as executor of her estate.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 29, 2021

It depends upon what assets the trust has, and which assets the estate has. If you are named as personal representative in her will, and if her estate has assets, you need to see a Florida attorney about having the will admitted to probate. If someone else is trustee of the trust, your attorney... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I want to make changes to my will. Do I have to consult with a lawyer for the changes or what needs to be done?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 29, 2021

There is no law that says you MUST hire an attorney to draw up your will or changes to an existing will, but if you want it done right, that is what you should do. Do-it-yourself wills often have terrible errors with tragic consequences.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Is it possible to revoke a lady bird deed in Florida to replace it with a quitclaim deed ?

My grandfather wants to remove my aunt off of his lady bird deed and add my mother on a quitclaim deed instead. What will he need to have done to have the lady bird deed revoked?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jul 28, 2021

You would need and want to have the current/original deed that created this interest reviewed, if it was properly drafted/created/worded, then generally, in order to be able to revoke the existing lady bird deed, all that the current owner would need to to do is validly execute a new deed. This is... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Who gets a house upon the demise in this situation?

My grandfather wants to remove my aunt from his deed. He has listed my mother as his beneficiary in his trust and the house is listed in the trust. My question is, since my aunt is listed on the deed , who will get the house? Does the trust take precedence over the deed? My aunt is not complying... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jul 26, 2021

You need to speak with a Florida Estate Planning and Probate Attorney and get a copy of the current deed and have it reviewed. Based on the type of deed and how the property is held will determine what can or needs to be done. Generally speaking, a valid deed will be enforced above a Will and Trust... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: When the owner of an account is deceased and directs his assets to two beneficiaries, is the Personal Representative

still entitled to the balance of a jointly held convenience account that was set up as a means to manage financial affairs of the deceased or should the balance be conveyed to the estate for distribution to the beneficiaries.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 23, 2021

Probate Law is very complex. No lawyer can answer your question because there is not enough information.

Foe example, if there is a Last Will, it will usually name a personal representative--who may or may not be a beneficiary of the Last Will. In situations where that is no Last Will...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Can I change my Irrevocable trust documents?

At the time of my signing I was under the pressure of a third party law firm. They were suing me for the full value of my S Corporation - a professional medical and surgical facility licensed in the state of Florida. FL 2488. I did not understand the document at that time, as their answers to... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 19, 2021

No, you cannot go back upstream and re-write the irrevocable trust that you have already signed.

And unless you start funding the trust as agreed the other side will probably sue you to enforce the trust contract.

However, since you object to the funding part it is possible for...
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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Person dies with a will. Does executor or Florida probate decide Homestead property?

Will names personal rep. Rep was told property gets split among hiers, as if there was no will?

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Jul 12, 2021

When there is more than one beneficiary to a Will, the personal representative is required by law to be represented by an attorney. The PR needs to retain an attorney asap.

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My father passed in 2016. I have not talked to my stepmother since. What are state laws for inheritance?
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jul 4, 2021

You need to speak with a Florida Probate Attorney in order to provide additional details and specifics of the circumstances. It has now been 5 years, someone should have contacted you long ago if there was a probate and you were named in the Will/Trust/Deeds or on any other accounts and or assets.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Can a felon be executor of a trust?
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jun 23, 2021

The Florida Trust Code can be found here:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0736/0736ContentsIndex.html&StatuteYear=2020&Title=%2D%3E2020%2D%3EChapter%20736

I see nothing in it prohibiting a felon from being a trustee of a Florida trust.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Could I access a trust as the beneficiary without permission of the guardian or releasing guardianship?

Hello, I received a trust fund as I turned 18 but, I am having issues gaining access to it. The reason is, my mother wants me to pay large guardian fee and has refused to release the funds or give me information if I do not pay it to her. The only papers that have been written up to release the... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Jun 23, 2021

Without reading the documents you mention, no lawyer can advise you. Hire your own lawyer who can give you a legal opinion after he or she has reviewed the documents.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: I'm a single woman, no children, all my siblings live out of state. Should I appoint a Florida lawyer as a trustee/exec

of my estate? I have completed a FL Revocable Living Trust, a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, a FL Durable Power of Attorney appointing my brother as trustee. Brother is on all bank accounts. My house is in a Revocable Living Trust. Just don't want to burden my out-of-state brother.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Jun 9, 2021

Your brother is already listed on all or almost all of your accounts as well as your other estate planning documents, at minimal he could easily serve as the Trustee related to your Revocable Trust and it should not be that demanding or difficult, worst case scenario he can decline to serve at the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I need help with probate estate question.

My mother passed. She left no will. We are going through probate for the property (3 siblings). Now one of the siblings wants to buy the house, but I don’t trust him, don’t like him, and after this is over, do not want anything todo with this sibling. What would be best the way to walk away... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Jun 5, 2021

As in most things legal, you need an attorney to help you. Hire one.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Am I required to give 50% of my homes value to my husband's son?

My husband recently passed and our home was in his name only. He has a son from a prior marriage, which is already looking for his half of our estate. I put down $10,000 from MY pension on our home and still owe over half of the mortgage. Am I required to give 50% of my home to my husband's... Read more »

Randy Bryan Ligh
Randy Bryan Ligh answered on Jun 1, 2021

Since this sounds contentious, you should consult with a few estate /probate attorneys in your area, discuss your specific case with them, and then hire the one with whom you are most comfortable. You need to do this so that you become aware of the options available to you.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Probate requirements

Spouse passed and I am not on the title. The house has lien holder. What steps do I take for the Lien holder to add my name to the mobile home title?

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on May 26, 2021

Step 1: talk to the lienholder and determine the requirements.

Step 2: meet the lienholder's requirements.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: MY aunt died in Florida. I have heard I am in the will, but I have not heard from her attorney. She died 25 days ago.

While my aunt was alive, she asked me if I would take her pets when she died. She told me she was leaving me money as well as leaving money for the care of the pets. She told my husband, cousin and her boyfriend this. When my two cousins went to the reading of the will, one of whom is supposed to... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on May 26, 2021

In the world of probate 25 days is a very short period of time and no time at all really. Depending on the type of probate that is required, you could possibly be waiting months. Words and promises do not matter at all as it relates to a Will, only what was actually written into and put into the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Can the French government sue an American citizen living in the USA.

I am an unnamed heir in a French estate. I don’t want to be a heir. Can I just ignore their communications?

Thank you,

Paul

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 24, 2021

Probably. But without seeing the paperwork it's hard to say for sure.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: can primary beneficiary refuse on retirement annuity and pass to secondary?how?

in florida-One of my daughter's retirement accounts has an ex-boyfriend as primary and her sister is secondary. He wants to be removed and let her sister who is secondary get the retirement annuity. How do we do this? in probate?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on May 24, 2021

No, simply give the financial institution where the account is deposited written instructions to that effect, signed by your daughter and her ex. Ask the financial institution if they have a form they require.

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