Florida probate law ensures that the deceased’s estate (or wealth) is properly distributed according to their will. In probate proceedings, portions of an estate are often left to someone unable to manage their inheritance. These individuals, whether minors or incapacitated adults, must enter into probate guardianship to receive their inheritance. What is Probate Guardianship? Guardianship is the appointment of an individual who can manage someone’s inheritance while they are incapacitated or under the age of 18. Guardians are required by law to use and manage the inheritance in the clear, best interest of the inheritor.  Who Needs Guardianship? A legal settlement or inheritance valued overRead More →

The probate process leans a great deal upon the competence and impartiality of the estate’s personal representative. As such, it is important that if a personal representative is incompetent or clearly biased, they can be replaced with someone who will do a better job. Who is the Personal Representative in Florida Probate? After someone dies, a Florida court appoints a personal representative to oversee debt payments and asset distribution of the decedent’s estate. Typically, the personal representative is named in the decedent’s will or is a surviving spouse. However, there can be circumstances in which the personal representative stands to “endanger” the decedent’s estate duringRead More →

Did someone exercise undue influence upon the individual by drafting a new will?

Undue influence refers to the allegation that someone other than the deceased manipulated the contents of a will. It is one of the more difficult accusations to prove because one key witness, the deceased, is absent. However, there have been numerous cases where a judge ruled in favor of the allegation. The key is being able to demonstrate undue influence with both circumstantial and direct evidence. What is Undue Influence? Undue influence occurs when someone exercises enough control over the deceased to benefit from the contents of the will in a way that does not reflect the true desires of the deceased. Suspicion usually arisesRead More →

Did someone exercise undue influence upon the individual by drafting a new will?

Often during the execution of a will there is the discovery of a new will, which may formally change the significant beneficiaries. For example, a new will may significantly decrease an awarded share of the deceased estate and award that portion to another. In such cases, someone may have exercised undue influence upon the individual by drafting a new will. But setting out to prove undue influence is not a hard science. However, understanding a few basic realities about Florida probate court and undue influence will help you with the next steps. 1. Undue Influence is Proven by Circumstantial Evidence. While forensic evidence would notRead More →

how can I collect my Florida Inheritance?

Florida inheritance law exists to protect your inheritance, whether or not you reside in state. In the event of death for a Florida citizen, probate law (also known as estate law) insures that wills are valid and properly carried out. One’s net worth consists of more than bank accounts. For example, if the deceased owned property (or the house they lived in), estate law must make sure that ownership transfers rightfully. The same is true for retirement accounts and other assets. Each probate process can go a little different. Not every Florida resident has a will, and there are the unfortunate cases where the deceasedRead More →

Surviving Spouse Rights

Probate law can get very technical. In short, the surviving spouse is the most protected individual by Florida probate courts. Navigating difficult circumstances surrounding the death of a loved can leave surviving spouses confused and uninformed of their rights. It is important that surviving spouses understand their rights in the state of Florida.   Terms in Probate as They Relate to Surviving Spouse Rights in Florida  Laws pertaining to wills and inheritance can be quite confusing. We take a look at what the most important terms mean here: Probate: Probate law is the field of law where wills, estate and inheritance fall under. Intestacy: WhenRead More →

What Does a Probate Litigation Attorney Do?

Probate litigation occurs when a Last Will and Testament is challenged or disputed after a person passes. Litigation can also occur when there is no will in place and the family and loved ones cannot agree on an administrator to handle the deceased’s assets. Once a probate litigation case is filed, a probate attorney will work with their client to ensure their rights are represented and the assets are distributed correctly. A probate court will work to identify the assets of the deceased, decide on the payment of taxes and distribute the remaining property to those mentioned in the will. If any of these itemsRead More →