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DEMYSTIFYING THE ROLE OF TRUSTS IN A FORMAL ADMINISTRATION

When a settlor (creator) of a trust dies, sometimes it is necessary to probate their estate.  While one of the great things about having a trust is the ability to potentially avoid probate, sometimes it makes sense to open a formal administration to be able to probate the settlor’s estate. It all starts with the… Continue reading DEMYSTIFYING THE ROLE OF TRUSTS IN A FORMAL ADMINISTRATION

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF A CURATOR IN A FLORIDA PROBATE ADMINISTRATION

What is a curator in a probate estate and what is their role?  Florida Statute §733.501 defines what a curator is and why they would be appointed in a probate estate. 733.501 Curators.— (1) When it is necessary, the court may appoint a curator after formal notice to the person apparently entitled to letters of administration. The… Continue reading UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF A CURATOR IN A FLORIDA PROBATE ADMINISTRATION

RIGHTS UNDER THE FLORIDA TRUST CODE: QUALIFIED BENEFICIARIES

In Florida trust law, the term “qualified beneficiaries” is crucial for understanding the dynamics of trust management and the resolution of legal disputes. These beneficiaries either currently receive benefits from a trust or stand to receive them under certain conditions, such as the termination of the trust or the death of current beneficiaries. 736.0103 Definitions.—Unless the… Continue reading RIGHTS UNDER THE FLORIDA TRUST CODE: QUALIFIED BENEFICIARIES

Understanding Property Partition for Florida Homeowners

What is Property Partition? Property partition in Florida is a legal process that divides jointly owned property among its owners, allowing each to hold their portion independently. This is particularly relevant for Florida homeowners who might find themselves in various situations requiring the division of their property.  Common scenarios are when a non-married couple owns… Continue reading Understanding Property Partition for Florida Homeowners

Florida Will Contests: Penalty Clauses and Qualified Renunciations

The Renunciation Rule and Its Implications The renunciation rule stipulates that if a beneficiary decides to contest a will, they must give up any benefits they might receive from it. This requirement is designed to ensure that challenges to the will are made in good faith and not as a strategy to secure a better… Continue reading Florida Will Contests: Penalty Clauses and Qualified Renunciations

UNDERSTANDING HEALTH CARE SURROGATES AND LIVING WILLS IN FLORIDA

A health care surrogate and living will are important pieces of a robust estate planning portfolio.  This article will dive into what these documents are and why they should be a part of your estate planning portfolio.  Florida Statutes Chapter 765, entitled “Health Care Advance Directives” covers the law regarding health care surrogates and living… Continue reading UNDERSTANDING HEALTH CARE SURROGATES AND LIVING WILLS IN FLORIDA

WHAT OBLIGATIONS DOES A TRUSTEE HAVE UNDER FLORIDA LAW?

Trustees have several obligations under the Trust code and also additional obligations as set forth in the Trust Agreement. Some of these obligations can be distilled into general concepts or general obligations of the Trustee to the beneficiaries. Fundamentally understand that the relationship between Trustee and beneficiaries is a fiduciary relationship. That is the highest… Continue reading WHAT OBLIGATIONS DOES A TRUSTEE HAVE UNDER FLORIDA LAW?

HOW TO INTERPRET AMBIGUOUS WILLS – FLORIDA LAW

Creating a will is a crucial step in ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. Ideally, a will should be clear and unambiguous, leaving no room for misinterpretation. However, what happens when a will contains ambiguous terms? In Florida, the law addresses this issue, providing guidelines for interpreting such… Continue reading HOW TO INTERPRET AMBIGUOUS WILLS – FLORIDA LAW

Florida Homestead Property Rights: A Caution for Survivorship Deeds.

Homestead rights are complicated. Typically, a spouse has an inherent right in the homestead property of a spouse, even if not on title, and that is enforced via Probate. That interest is either a life estate or an election to take a ½ interest if the spouse was not on the title and not an… Continue reading Florida Homestead Property Rights: A Caution for Survivorship Deeds.

FLORIDA ELECTIVE SHARE LITIGATION – WHAT IS THE ELECTIVE ESTATE?

The surviving spouse in Florida is entitled to a minimum share of the Estate. That concept is known as the Elective Share. If such an election is made, the Personal Representative must identity in an Elective Estate inventory the assets that are the Elective Estate so that the spouse can make a determination as to… Continue reading FLORIDA ELECTIVE SHARE LITIGATION – WHAT IS THE ELECTIVE ESTATE?