Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog

Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog

By Juan C. Antúnez of Stokes McMillan Antúnez P.A.

Monthly Archives: April 2007

Florida attorney Roy Black represents Dr. Atkins’ widow in lawsuit against trustees of her $400 million marital trust

Posted in Trust and Estates Litigation In the News
As reported in When the Rich Die, Lawsuits Sometimes Fly by WSJ columnist Robert Frank, the widow of famed nutritionist Dr. Robert Atkins is suing the trustees of her $400 million marital trust.  Ms. Atkins’ lawsuit is also summarized in greater detail in a press release (interesting litigation tactic?).  And there’s a Florida connection: as reported here, Ms. Atkins’… Continue Reading

Majority of American Adults Remain Without Wills, New lawyers.comSM Survey Finds

Posted in Trust and Estates Litigation In the News
According to this recently published survey, probate litigators can be assured of much gainful employment for years to come.  Here are a few excerpts from the linked-to press release: You can’t take it with you, according to the adage, but many Americans seem to be planning to do just that. That’s because over half (55… Continue Reading

North Carolina tax attorney cleared of all tax-fraud charges related to off shore trust scheme

Posted in Ethics & Malpractice Claims
In a blog post entitled Offshore trust scheme leads to former U.S. Attorney pleading guilty to tax fraud, I wrote about two North Carolina attorneys who had been charged with conspiring to commit tax fraud in connection with a tax evasion scheme revolving around the use of off-shore trusts. One attorney, Samuel T. Currin, a former… Continue Reading

Order appointing successor trustee is NOT a final order subject to appeal

Posted in Appellate Practice in Probate
Fach v. Brown Bros. Harriman Trust Co. of Florida, 949 So.2d 260 (Fla. 4th DCA Feb 07, 2007) The issue explicitly addressed by the linked-to opinion is relatively simple: is an order appointing a successor trustee a final appealable order?  The 4th DCA held it is not: In this consolidated appeal, Barbara A. Fach and her daughter Lauren… Continue Reading

When do probate proceedings bar a claim for intentional interference with an expectancy of inheritance?

Posted in Will and Trust Contests
Schilling v. Herrera, — So.2d —-, 2007 WL 981627 (Fla. 3d DCA Apr 04, 2007) Anna Nicole Smith’s U.S. Supreme Court case revolved around whether federal courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate state-law tortious interference claims.  Since she won (see here) the expectation has been that more tortious interference claims would be litigated in federal court (see… Continue Reading

Probate court gets reversed for failing to appoint the statutorily preferred personal representative

Posted in Removal of Personal Representatives and Surcharge
Garcia v. Morrow, — So.2d —-, 2007 WL 983053 (Fla. 3d DCA Apr 04, 2007) I’ve written recently about probate courts being reversed for failing to appoint the personal representative named in a decedent’s will (see here and here).  This opinion picks up on the themes outlined in those cases . . . but in… Continue Reading