Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog

Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog

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

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Monthly Archives: February 2008

Challenging Inter Vivos Transfers Procured by Undue Influence: Factors to Consider

Posted in Trust and Estates Litigation In the News
Miami attorney Patrick J. Lannon just published in interesting article in this month’s Florida Bar Journal entitled Challenging Inter Vivos Transfers Procured by Undue Influence: Factors to Consider.  The article is well researched and good stuff to keep on file.  I thought the following “nuggets” were especially interesting: The Florida Supreme Court determined in Rich v. … Continue Reading

1st & 4th DCAs on managing the vexatious pro se litigant in probate litigation

Posted in Practice & Procedure
Our court system relies in large part on voluntary compliance with the “rules of the game.”  In contested probate/trust proceedings litigants can (and are expected to) vigorously compete with each other, but the system collapses in on itself if it turns into a mud-slinging free for all. There are all sorts of pressures, both formal … Continue Reading

Notice of new probate-related FL opinions: Commentary to follow:

Posted in New Probate & Trust Cases
2d DCA: RBC Ministries v. Tompkins, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 398821 (Fla. 2d DCA Feb 15, 2008) (Undue Influence Claims/ Summary Judgment) 4th DCA: Kravitz v. Levy, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 441403 (Fla. 4th DCA Feb 20, 2008) (Reissued Opinion) 4th DCA: Bernheim v. Broberg, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 441621 (Fla. 4th DCA Feb 20, 2008) (Vexatious pro … Continue Reading

3d DCA: Does secretarial oversight = “excusable neglect” for blowing a deadline date in probate?

Posted in Creditors' Claims
In re Estate of Cummins, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 373414 (Fla. 3d DCA Feb 13, 2008) Florida Probate Rule 5.401(d) requires a party objecting to a personal representative’s petition for discharge or final accounting to serve notice of hearing on the objections within 90 days of the date the objection is filed.  In the linked-to case … Continue Reading

4th DCA: Surviving spouse trapped by life estate she cannot afford

Posted in Homestead Litigation
Schneberger v. Schneberger, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 373243(Fla. 4th DCA Feb 13, 2008) The linked-to case is the latest example of the lopped-sided unfairness resulting from how current Florida law treats life estates in homes.  Ft. Lauderdale attorney Jeffrey A. Baskies published in excellent article in the June 2007 edition of the Florida Bar Journal that … Continue Reading

Notice of new probate-related FL opinions: Commentary to follow:

Posted in New Probate & Trust Cases
3d DCA: In re Estate of Cummins, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 373414 (Fla. 3d DCA Feb 13, 2008) (extending deadline dates in probate) 4th DCA: Schneberger v. Schneberger, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 373243(Fla. 4th DCA Feb 13, 2008) (Homestead/life estate litigation) 4th DCA: Brooks v. AMP Services Ltd., — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 373423(Fla. 4th DCA Feb 13, 2008) … Continue Reading

2d DCA: When can you successfully void a deed on summary judgment?

Posted in Practice & Procedure
McKoy v. DeSilvio, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 343255 (Fla. 2d DCA Feb 08, 2008) Inheritance disputes usually play themselves out in one of three forums: [1] trust litigation, [2] probate litigation and [3] real property litigation.  The linked-to case provides solid guidance on the real-property-litigation front by addressing two frequently-litigated points involving contested deeds: What counts … Continue Reading

Office of Tax Analysis of the Treasury Dept. has published a paper titled “The Federal Gift Tax: History, Law, and Economics.”

Posted in Trust Law Committee
Sarasota attorney Barry F. Spivey, who also chairs the Florida Bar’s Trust Law Committee, circulated the following email and link to the Treasury Department’s recently published white paper on the U.S. gift tax.  If tax planning is a part of your estate planning practice, this paper is probably a must read.  Here’s Barry’s email and a link … Continue Reading

4th DCA: Dealing with pro se litigants in trust litigation: when to say NO to a motion to amend

Posted in Practice & Procedure
Barrett v. Barrett, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 239032 (Fla. 4th DCA Jan 30, 2008) Pro se (self-represented) litigants are not sensitive to the sanctions normally applied to counsel for bringing frivolous actions, and indigent litigants are not sensitive to fee-shifting or fines.  Little wonder then that an out of control pro se litigant can be … Continue Reading

Federal Grand Jury Issues Subpoenas for Criminal Investigation by IRS’ Major Fraud Division Regarding Estate Tax Return

Posted in Trust and Estates Litigation In the News
UPDATE: This is a first, I just received a demand letter from a firm in California requesting that I "remove [this] posting from [my] blog forthwith."  [Click here for copy of demand letter].  Apparently, I "should" have known that the original story was pulled by the Orange County Business Journal.  No, I didn’t know, and am at … Continue Reading