Basic Methods to Avoid Probate in Florida: Enhanced Life Estate or “Lady Bird” Deeds

A common question presented to our office during Estate planning consultations is how to avoid probate in Florida.  Complicated and high value estates may benefit from the creation of a Trust and the management of assets into a trust to avoid the costs and expenses of a probate administration.

Often the only asset or major asset subject to probate will be a home.  A very simple and cost-effective method to avoid the costs associated with a Florida probate proceeding related to a property is accomplished through the implementation of an Enhanced Life Estate Deed or “Lady Bird” Deed.   The deed is executed by the current owner of the property and provides that the owner will retain the ability to use the property and continue to have unrestricted ownership and upon the death of the owner it will pass automatically to the designated person called the remainder. (more…)

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How to Force the Sale of Real Estate in Florida

Often because of an inheritance or a change in circumstances, two unmarried people end up jointly owning real estate.  This can create all sorts of problems for issues like rental income, responsibility for expenses (mortgage, taxes, property insurance etc…).  If you own a property in Florida with someone and you are not getting the fair value of rental income, paying too much for expenses or simply need to liquidate the property a Partition Action may be appropriate for you. 

Florida Statutes 64.011-64.091 codify the right of Partition, which is a division of property among co-owners.  It is an equitable action aimed at restoring the interest of parties to property to arrive at a fair and equitable result.   (more…)

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