An Intersection of Litigation and Probate… Do Not Crash!

A recent case indicates how litigation and probate often intersect. If you or your attorney do not understand litigation procedural rules, then you could lose valuable rights. In Sudman v. O’Brien, Theresa Z. Sudman (“Theresa”) lost her right to object to a court order regarding her elective share rights. Theresa…

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Estate Owns a Car? Be Careful!

When an individual passes away, assets held in such individual’s name (and with no named beneficiary) generally become assets of that individual’s estate. Assume the individual owns a car, dies and his child drives the car before someone is appointed as personal representative. Child causes a wreck. Is the estate…

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Are You Entitled to A Trust Accounting?

As a current or contingent beneficiary of a trust are you entitled to an accounting? It depends for what accounting period you request. This issue was addressed in Hilgendorf v. Estate of Coleman. In 2000, Thelma Coleman (“Thelma”) created a revocable trust for her own benefit. She appointed Jennilynn Smith…

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Paternity Action Denied In Probate Case

Section 732.108 of Florida Statutes(2)(b) , provides that the paternity of the father can be established by an adjudication before or after the death of the father. Section 742.011 of the Florida Statutes permits such a paternity action. Prior to 2009, Florida law required that  such an action had to…

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Is Your Claim Filed Against the Estate Timely?

The time period for filing a claim against an estate is set forth in the probate code. and if you miss the deadline that you can be barred forever from filing a claim against an estate. Section 733.2121 of the Florida Statutes requires that the personal representative “promptly” publish a…

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Another Reason to Keep Harmony in the Home :)

Generally under Section 732.802 of the Florida Statutes (the “Slayer Statute”) if someone murders another person, the murderer can NOT inherit from the person they murdered. That makes sense but what happens when the murdered person left assets to the murderer’s children and grandchildren???? In a recent case, Fiel v.…

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