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Florida Probate, Trust and Estate Blog

Is an Irrevocable Trust for Wife, Settled by the Husband, Subject to Equitable Distribution

A spouse's interest in an irrevocable trust, normally established by the spouse's parent or other relative, is not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.  But what about an irrevocable trust established by one of the spouses?  A new Florida case holds that an irrevocable trust, established by one spouse for the benefit of the other spouse, is not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.

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Citizenship of Trustees Controls For Federal Diversity Jurisdiction

The citizenship of a traditional trust for purposes of federal court’s diversity requirement is determined by the citizenship of the trust’s trustees. Diversity jurisdiction is a form of subject matter jurisdiction permitting a federal court to hear a particular case.  Complete diversity between the plaintiffs and defendants is required.  That means that none of the plaintiffs may be from the same state as any of the defendants.

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Another Great Review for Probate Lawyer Brian Spiro

From a client: Dear Brian, Your tenacity, patience, intellect and thoughtfulness are truly appreciated. You turned the underdog into top dog!  We both thank you and know that you are at the beginning of a very successful career!  So glad we found you! Sincerely, S & I

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Is An Assisted Living Facility Responsible When Employees Coerce Residents Into Making “Gifts”?

Elderly individuals move to Florida at a higher rate than anywhere else.  As a result, predatory individuals such as caregivers, aids, and others prey on the elderly or infirmed.  The predatory actions frequently result in changes to the elderly individual’s estate plan including procuring lucrative gifts, obtaining deeds to their benefit, beneficiary designation changes on life insurance policies, transfer or pay on death accounts, among others. 

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Are Pre-Death Accountings Available in Breach Action Against Trustee When Trust Was Revocable?

In Hilgendorf v. Estate of Coleman, the Court held that absent any claim of breach of fiduciary duty in carrying out the terms of the trust, there is no duty to account to a contingent beneficiary during the lifetime of the settlor while the trust is revocable.  It stands to reason then that if a contingent beneficiary wished to obtain pre-death accountings during the period when the trust was revocable he or she would have to make a claim for breach. 

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How To Probate A New York City Taxi And Limousine Commission Medallion

There are special provisions for the transfer of a Medallion owned by a Decedent.  In order to transfer a Medallion, one must look to Chapter 58 of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission Rule Book.  The Executor, Personal Representative, or Administrator of Decedent’s estate is required to submit a certified death certificate together with the certified letters of administration, or in the case of non-New York domiciliary, ancillary letters of administration or ancillary letters testamentary.

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Surviving Spouse Rights in Florida

Florida law grants surviving spouses a number of important rights and benefits.  It is imperative that a surviving spouse retain counsel with significant experience in the Florida probate process.

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Forum Non Conveniens in Federal Probate Litigation

The forum non conveniens doctrine allows a court to defer its jurisdiction where principles of justice and convenience favor the action being brought in another forum.  In a recent federal probate dispute involving a billionaire's global assets and the imposition of foreign law, a federal district court dismissed the dispute on forum non conveniens grounds.

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Drafting Attorney's Computer Inspected for Evidence in Will Contest

A Surrogate’s Court in Erie County, New York, ordered the drafting attorney of a will to turn over his computer during discovery in a will contest.

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Do You Have to Probate a Will in Florida

We are often asked whether you have to probate a will in Florida.  The simple answer is that you never have to probate a will. 

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