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Florida Probate Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: If you're not married, would it be best to name a parent or minor child as a beneficiary to a retirement plan?

I need to put a beneficiary for my 457 and pension plan. My son is only 7. My dad is in his 60's and got remarried a few years ago. I want to know if I should use my son as the beneficiary or my father. I would want my son to have everything of mine, but since he's a minor I want to make... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 31, 2023

I would encourage you to speak with a Florida Estate Planning Attorney and consider possibly creating a Revocable Trust, the options you have mentioned are problematic because of your dad's second marriage and because your son is so young. If anything happened to you it is likely that your... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother passed and in her will it states I am her personal representative giving me full power to sell her home.

I already have a buyer. Do I need to go through probate or can I just go to a title company present the will and sell the home?

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 16, 2023

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your mom, please accept my condolences for you and you family at this sad and difficult time. No, that will not work, you will want and need to get a copy of the deed, if your mom's name alone is on the deed the property will need to be probated,... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: House is in probate; other siblings have signed their share to me, except one...

One sibling verbally states they want nothing to do with the house but refuses to sign anything, has blocked me from messenger and Facebook and hangs the phone up when called by current lawyer. Unable to get answers from current lawyer, house has been in probate since 2018 and was sold 1 year ago.... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 13, 2023

You can try to get them to sign a waiver by mailing it to them, if they are and continue to be unresponsive, then petition the court for discharge and closure of the estate and pursue petitioning the court at the same time or advance to deposit their share into the court registry.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My dad has passed his will mistakenly states that he is a single man but he is married we live in FL is the Will valid.

My dad filled out a Will years ago when he was a single man. The Will states that a gift be given to his closest friend that lived with him for over 20 years in the house she is to continue to live in the house pay all the expenses for the house mortgage/insurance/utilities and upkeep until she... Read more »

Mr. Long H. Duong
Mr. Long H. Duong
answered on Jan 3, 2023

The Will may be valid but his actual spouse may have a stake in his estate as well. You should contact local counsel to present the Will and explore options.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Hi my Dad had a will done in 2009 excluding all heirs, after divorcing I took him to revoke the will. We then went to

the clerks office in 9/2013 and he put his property in my name prior to open heart surgery after he i quit claimed his property back to him in 7/2015. We loaned him 70 k in 4/2013 to buy ex wife out of divorce he took a reverse mortgage on his property to pay us back. he passed away in 2022 now... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Jan 3, 2023

Yes, if they are motivated to try to fight this and make this messy it is possible that they can try to fight this based on claims of undue influence and or similar claims. I am not sure how much luck they will have for a few reasons, there is a divorce which ends the relationship related to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Uncategorized, Banking, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: My father passed away in 2015. 1Dec 2022, I received a letter from a bank stating there is a savings account for him.

The bank says I need a court order to close it. Balance is roughly $3,000. How do I get a court order?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Dec 30, 2022

Actually, a court order might not be necessary. Call the bank's attention to Florida Statute 735.303 and send them an affidavit as set forth in that statute. The statute can be accessed here:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Do i have a legal right to copy of my deceased mother’s will, attorney’s info handling her home sale &purchase agreement

My sister is not providing me with any information about my recently deceased mothers home sale which is supposed to be split between 3 siblings, including myself. She recently asked for money for taxes and insurance so the closing would go through. When i asked her for copy of will, PA agreement,... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Dec 13, 2022

I am very sorry for your loss on the passing of your mother, please accept my condolences for you and your family at this sad and difficult time. A copy of the will should be provided to any beneficiary interested party, if not, Florida Statute requires that it be filed with the clerk of the court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I have a banker that's trying to force us to pay $1,000 to him for an inheritance that's already been approved

The bank is already approved the inheritance but this Banker is trying to extort us for $1,000 before he will transfer the funds

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Dec 12, 2022

The answer to that is no, you need to get the probate court orders and or have the probate attorney or another attorney follow-up with a letter on your behalf, you should not be paying or be obligated to pay anything.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: can my half sister to be entitle for a % of my father state (house); she is not his daughter both parents are disease

my mother pass away this year and my half-sister from mother site wants to sell the house.

the house belongs to my father and mother both of disease.

can she be entitled to the % that belongs to my father?

Pamela J. Fero Esq.
PREMIUM
Pamela J. Fero Esq.
answered on Dec 8, 2022

She is entitled to your father's estate if she is named in the will. Otherwise, Florida's intestacy rules will favor biological children or immediate blood relatives. Speak with a local attorney to learn how to protect your rights and come to an agreement with your stepsister on the matter.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: Gifts were given to my husband and myself on birthday days or holidays. Now I was told that they want them back.

One was a gun a dog various either itemd

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Nov 28, 2022

A Florida attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for four weeks. The short answer is that once an ordinary gift is given, it's generally a done deal and not revocable, unless there were conditions. This is posted under a general Uncategorized heading. Attorneys who practice... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate, Divorce and Family Law for Florida on
Q: What papers do I file for alimony in Florida with the case in Massachusetts. ?

My ex husband owes me court ordered alimony has not paid me in almost 4 yrs he moved to Florida a yr ago built a million dollar home . I have served him a few time never showed up for court the judge has him in contempt here in Massachusetts. I don’t know what I need to do to start a Florida case... Read more »

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
answered on Nov 28, 2022

You would need to hire a family law lawyer here in Florida. He would need to domesticate the foreign Massachusetts Alimony order here in Florida. Once that transfer is made, you can then enforce that via discovery and contempt if need be.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My bf passed in May and his sister has taken over as executor. She has his bank account and vehicle through probate

His car is still in my driveway. I am in Florida. Can I legally have it towed ? Also my HOA says it needs to go bc there’s no insurance and expired out of state tags. She’s causing a ruckus and I just want the car gone.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Nov 25, 2022

Yes, you can have it towed, but I suggest that you first give her a few days written notice.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Mother passed away in Florida - the only asset to be managed is a single check for $7969.64 made out to her estate.

The check is a distribution from my late aunt's trust. We are unable to deposit it because we have no estate account for my mother. There was no probate process initiated for her because my parents' assets were combined/shared 100% -probate was done via my father's summary... Read more »

Jose Ignacio Leon
Jose Ignacio Leon PRO label
answered on Nov 18, 2022

Generally speaking, you're right in thinking your first and best step is to talk to the trustee of the trust.

Depending on the language of the Trust there might be a fair amount of flexibility in how they can issue the distribution checks.

Additionally, in most trusts there is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: Is probate court necessary for an estate under a certain amount, is a lawyer, & guardianship, what's the cheapest?
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
answered on Nov 2, 2022

It the value of the property "does not exceed the sum of the amount of preferred funeral expenses and reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last 60 days of the last illness", disposition without administration may be the way to go. See:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida on
Q: Am I entitled to my my deceased mothers half of a house jointly owned by her and her living husband?

My mother didn't leave a will per se but she did leave a document saying what she wants done with here valuable assets. Her husband is still alive and living in a long term care facility and is on medicade. My step brother is moving quickly to have me removed from the house (I live in the... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Oct 28, 2022

You need to retain an attorney now. This is not something that you should try yourself.

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: As a personal rep in FL am I able to sell a homestead property with a reverse mortgage if one of the heirs lives oversea

And is unable to be found( presumed dead) and the other also lives overseas but refuses to sign any documents?

Sherri B. Simpson
Sherri B. Simpson
answered on Oct 25, 2022

That is certainly not a simple question to answer and without more facts, I would be unable to do so with any certainty. I assume you have filed a probate action? I have handled both probate and guardianship cases and you always need a court order to sell an asset of the estate and if the property... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother is trying to file a petition for administration regarding her husband .She is having trouble finding the docs

He passed last December and she is at a loss. The amount is small so she wants to do it herself. She only gets social security

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Oct 25, 2022

I am sorry for your loss, please accept my condolences. If you check with the clerk of the court in the county where your mom and her husband lived, either online or directly with the clerk, you usually can find the basic forms that you may be able to use to file a basic probate. It is often the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother died in May of 2022 and we're still working on probate the house was appraised at 390,000 a month later.

We're still going through probate and my brother is going to keep the house and pay me half of what it's worth once we're done. But he now says that the house is going down in value now that we're almost in November and that hopefully this gets done fast before it keeps losing... Read more »

Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
answered on Oct 24, 2022

The date that you can or should use is the date of death (DOD) date, but you can go up to 6 months after death, beyond that is usually not an acceptable date based on the IRS rules generally. The appraisal you should set the price at is within 6 months of death, otherwise each month the property... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: Do children have rights to an estate if the parent has surviving spouse?

She passed 4 years ago and my stepfather won't speak to us or let us in the home. We have nothing of our mothers. The home was left to her by a man she took care of for 10 years or more. Her husband was on the house by law but she had me take her to a divorce attorney before we found out she... Read more »

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
answered on Oct 18, 2022

It depends on whether mom had a will and some other things. If my wife died, my son couldn't just come into my house and take things that belonged to my wife (let's say her favorite baseball cap that she wore when he was growing up, and so it had some meaning to him). Bank accounts, cars,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Florida on
Q: My mother recently passed away at the age of 95 in the state of Florida. I am having a problem with one of her annuities

The company is a well known company that handles pension plans and annuities. I was able to access my mother's accounts online there's well over $100,000 of equity in two accounts. I reported this information almost 4 weeks ago I was told I was going to get a packet of information. I... Read more »

Carol Larmond Grant
Carol Larmond Grant
answered on Oct 11, 2022

I would highly suggest that you do not send them the original copy of any documents that you have regarding beneficiary designation. It might be a good idea to hire an attorney to write them and make an official demand for payment according to the beneficiary designation form that you have. All... Read more »

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