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Florida Probate, Trust and Estate Blog

7 Ways to Disinherit a Spouse

Most states have comprehensive surviving spouse rights.  The most important of these rights is the elective share.


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DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) as a Viable Immigration Option For Undocumented Youth

Since August 2012, young people who are in the United States illegally can apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), as long as they meet certain requirements. 

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How To Reform a Trust

Can a trust be reformed under Florida law?  Yes, in the proper circumstances, a trust, even if not ambiguous, can be reformed to correct a mistake by the settlor. Section 736.0415 of the Florida Trust Code provides as follows:

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Who Has the Power to Authorize an Autopsy Under Florida Law

An autopsy involves post-death dissection of the body in order to determine the cause, seat, or nature of disease or injury.  In certain limited circumstances in Florida, autopsies are mandatory or can be made mandatory at the request of a government official. 

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Can You Leave Someone a Job in a Will?

If you own a business, can you leave someone a job through your will or trust?  A Florida Court of Appeals held that, yes, in some very narrow circumstances you might be able to do so, but in the case before it, like would be expected in most circumstances, the will did not create lifetime employent as claimed by the deceased's son. 

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No Evidence of Active Procurement in Pay On Death Account = No Undue Influence

What evidence is necessary to challenge the pay on death titling of a bank account based on undue influence?  According to this recent appeal, more that an unsigned schedule of accounts.

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Adult Adoptions In Florida - Goodman Not the Last Word

In the infamous case of Goodman v. Goodman, John Goodman, a polo mogul in South Florida, was found to have committed a sham on the Florida court by not providing sufficient notice of the adoption of his adult girlfriend so that she could become a beneficiary of a family trust.

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How to Avoid a Will Contest

As probate attorneys who handle Florida will contests on a regular basis, we are often asked how to avoid a will contest. 

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Simplified Procedure for Adding Personal Representative to Pending Personal Injury Lawsuit

The Florida Supreme Court has greatly simplified the procedure where a plaintiff in a personal injury suit dies and a wrongful death cause of action needs to be added to the pending lawsuit.

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Approval of Settlements for Minors Wards and Guardians

When minors are the victims of a personal injury and seek to recover losses, Florida guardianship rules present the guidelines for approval of a settlement.  Once the amount to be received on behalf of the minor exceed $15,000, Florida guardianship law will require that a guardian be appointed to receive the recovery.  If the total amount of the settlement to be split among multiple parties exceeds $50,000, a guardian ad litem may be required for approval of the settlement. 

Court approval may also be required if the settlement amount exceeds certain thresholds. Likewise, if there are conflicts of interest among the different potential parties to the lawsuit, a guardian ad litem may be required.

 Settlement for Minors, Wards and Guardians Chart

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