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Florida Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: Do I pay medical bills or save the money for taxes after someone dies? We are not in probate.

Adult son. Only owned one vehicle (outright, his name only) and had joint bank account with his Dad. We have received a medical bill related to his death which would wipe out his account. Should I pay it or hold the money until I file his taxes? He owed last year.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Nov 27, 2020

I am very sorry for your loss and the passing of your son, please accept my condolences and sympathy at this difficult time for you and your family. You do not need to pay the medical bill unless there is a probate and there are assets to pay the bill, usually, a joint account goes to the joint... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My father recently passed without leaving a will and very few registered assets with low value. What is our next step?

My father lived in Maryland, was not married, did not own a home, and has no debt nor retirement accounts. His only registered assets are a boat ($5k value), Md commercial fishing license, furniture and older firearms. He leaves behind myself (next of Kin), significant other, and my half brother... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Nov 16, 2020

This is a question for Maryland probate lawyers, not Florida lawyers.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: We are the beneficiaries of my father’s house via a Ladybird Deed. At what point can we sell the contents of the home?

We understand that the contents convey with the home. We are ready to yard sale and clean out the home. Can we sell now or do we have to wait for a judge’s approval? If the latter, how long does that take. We need to sell the home quickly.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Nov 16, 2020

No, strictly speaking ownership of the contents, personal property, is not conveyed by the deed. But as a practical matter you would probably be able to sell the stuff without any problem. To be sure, send any other potential heirs written notice of what you are doing.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: my sister died without a she will was married never divorced she purchased a house before marriage. I need to sale house

husband name never place on the deed of the house. last time I seen husband was 2008. my mom and I took care of my sister. the house is going into foreclose I need to sale the house to pay her bills. can this be done with out husband. the bank is also trying to locate the husband.

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Nov 13, 2020

You need to contact a local real estate and/or probate attorney to help you with this. Some legal actions can proceed by publication when a party is missing and cannot be located.

Good luck!

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: How can I get a cremation certificate from my moms death from the funeral home in Wisconsin that cremated her?

My mother passed away in Feb 2018 in Wisconsin. My sister who was the assigned executor, also passed away in Sept 2019 also in Wisconsin. My mother did not leave a Will. She was a widow. I live in Orlando, Florida and I have my moms ashes. How can I get a copy of the cremation certificate from the... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Nov 11, 2020

Did you ask the funeral home for a "cremation certificate", and why do you need one?

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: i am interested in learning if I have a right to make a claim to my fathers estate.

My father passed away October 29. He was never married to my mother and his name is not on my birth certificate. He did not tell me he was my father until I was in my 20's. We did not have any kind of relationship. He never provided for me in any way while I was growing up (on and off... Read more »

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Nov 9, 2020

The Florida Probate Code states that you would need to have some proof that you were his child. This could be in the form of a written statement by him acknowledging that he is your father or an adjudication of paternity by a court (either in a paternity case or in a child support case). One of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: In Florida, is there any requirement for a successor Trustee of a Living Trust to file with probate or other agency

The original Trustee has just passed away. All Wills and Trust documents are complete according to State law

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Nov 3, 2020

The successor trustee should file a Notice of Trust in the county of residence of the deceased Grantor. This filing involves a filing fee of $41.00. There are also quite a few other administrative responsibilities of a successor trustee for which the guidance of an attorney is highly recommended,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: I have my deceased fathers car and cannot find the title. How do I transfer the title that is missing to my name?

I never met my father and only occasionally spoke with him. He lived and registered the car in North Carolina but was down in Florida when he passed. The detective who found him contacted me, his only living kin, and told me to come get his things. I insured the car, flew down to Florida to pick it... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Oct 28, 2020

You will have to contact the Georgia DMV, I think. Florida DMV wouldn't be in play. If you end up having to retain a lawyer, look in Georgia.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: RE: PROBATE Hi ~ I am currently working with a probate attorney. I retained him on 9.15 and signed docs which hit the

the court's desk on 9.19. There hasn't been any movement. My atty. said it would take about 2 weeks for me to be appointed representative. Nothing has happened yet. I am paying some of my late sister's bills in the meantime. What do you think? Thanks so much.

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld answered on Oct 21, 2020

Since the courts are not fully operational this may be the cause for delay. Also it depends on the county whether the attorney can submit opening orders for the Judge to sign without a hearing. You should consult with your attorney prior to paying any of your sister's bills. Generally... Read more »

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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 »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: What should I do about this situation? Where do I start?
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman answered on Oct 17, 2020

You didn't state a situation. Remember that any lawyer's response is only as good as the relevant facts that you provide.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: What is the waiver of petition and notice of administration?

This is for my uncle who passed away. My aunt asked her friend who is a lawyer to help with this and he sent it to all of us.

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Oct 16, 2020

There are a lot of different waivers for many different things in probate, it is usually to speed up the process and move things along. If you have any doubts about anything you should no doubt have the documents reviewed by a Florida Probate Attorney. One question I would ask, if there is a Will,... 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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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Father died will prob. step mom had lifetime estate died recently how do I take possession of home i was left in will?

I need to take possession of the home in montgomery. There is no mortgage. Taxes and insurance are current. What steps do I take first?

Lauren Nagel Richardson
Lauren Nagel Richardson answered on Oct 13, 2020

If the property is located in Montgomery, Alabama, then you will to post this question in the Alabama probate Justia forum. If the property is located in Florida, and there was previously an estate administration for your father which provided a life estate to your stepmom with remainder to you on... 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 Probate for Florida on
Q: How can I get a copy of my dads will in manatee county
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert answered on Oct 12, 2020

If a probate was or is being opened and a Will existed it would be with the clerk of the court in the county where your father lived upon his passing in order to file a probate. Even if a probate is not opened, anyone in possession of a Will must submit it to the clerk of the court within 10 days... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: inherited home with 4 others are there another ways to buy them out?

I'm currently living in the home pay the property taxes & home insurance including keeping up the maintenance without help from them my uncle owns 50% me & my 2 siblings own 1/3 i would like to solely own the home but dont have the money to buyout are there other ways to solely own the home?

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

Other than what? You would sue them for "partition", but that would require you to pay them for their shares. If you don't have the cash, you could look into getting a mortgage to finance the purchase.

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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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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