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Florida Probate, Trust and Estate Blog

The Jose Fernandez Estate: Questions, Uncertainty

Jose Fernandez, a once promising young starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins, was killed when the boat he was aboard crashed into a jetty off the Miami Beach coast. Authorities and initial reports stated that Fernandez was accompanied by two other individuals (Jesus Macias and Eduardo Rivero) at the time of the crash. 

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Bad Faith Claim against Decedent’s Insurer not Subject to Creditor Claim Period

Can a claim for bad faith be maintained against a decedent’s insurance company, where the claimant failed to file a timely creditor claim against the estate?  A new Florida case says yes, the bad faith claim against the insurance company can be maintained.

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Can You Serve a Lawsuit By Facebook?

In the modern age, where communication can be done by way of text, tweet, email, or swipe, the ancient requirement to hand-serve a summons and complaint on a defendant seems quite anachronistic.  Courts and legislatures have been moving over time to reduce the burden of hand-serving new lawsuits.  In a new and somewhat surprising case, a New York court has allowed service by way of Facebook.

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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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