Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog

Florida Probate & Trust Litigation Blog

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

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Category Archives: Power of Attorney Litigation

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3d DCA: Can arguing for the appointment of a court-appointed guardian to handle litigation for an incapacitated adult if she previously executed a valid DPOA get you (and your lawyer) sanctioned?

Posted in Contested Guardianship Proceedings, Power of Attorney Litigation
Albelo v. Southern Oak Ins. Co., — So.3d —-, 2013 WL 440199 (Fla. 3d DCA February 06, 2013) Durable powers of attorney (DPOA’s) empower disabled or incapacitated adults to manage their business and personal affairs privately and without court supervision. This includes handling litigation. That’s the law. If you don’t like it, get the law changed . . . … Continue Reading

2d DCA: Is personal service of process needed to challenge a DPOA?

Posted in Power of Attorney Litigation
Griffith v. Slade, 95 So.3d 982 (Fla. 2d DCA August 22, 2012)  Contesting durable powers of attorney (DPOA’s) is the kind of case that usually ends up on a probate litigator’s desk. Probate matters are all in rem proceedings. Since in rem proceedings aren’t based on personal jurisdiction, probate litigators (like me) get used to litigating … Continue Reading

3d DCA: Florida’s new Power of Attorney statutory regime makes its appellate court debut . . . the reviews are good

Posted in Power of Attorney Litigation
Rosenkrantz v. Feit, — So.3d —-, 2011 WL 6183525 (Fla. 3d DCA Dec 14, 2011) As I reported here, on October 1, 2011 Florida overhauled its power of attorney (POA) statutory regime based in large part on the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. The new statute was supposed to clarify some of the ambiguities inherent to the old … Continue Reading

3d DCA on when you’re entitled to statutory attorney’s fees in power-of-attorney litigation

Posted in Power of Attorney Litigation
Bessard v. Bessard, — So.3d —-, 2010 WL 1875627 (Fla. 3d DCA May 12, 2010) Durable powers of attorney (POAs) are an integral part of modern estate planning. The prevalence of POAs means they come up with some frequency in estate-related litigation [click here]. That’s what happened in the linked-to case. What’s interesting about this case … Continue Reading

AARP Research Report: “Power of Attorney Abuse: What States Can Do About It”

Posted in Power of Attorney Litigation
Texas probate litigator J. Michael Young wrote here on his Texas Probate Litigation Blog about a recently published AARP research piece entitled Power of Attorney Abuse: What States Can Do About It. Here’s an excerpt: The primary goal of this report is to inform state legislators, policymakers, practitioners, and advocates about the [Uniform Power of … Continue Reading

1st DCA: power of attorney authorized execution of binding arbitration agreement

Posted in Power of Attorney Litigation
Five Points Health Care, Ltd. v. Mallory, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 5411834 (Fla. 1st DCA Dec 31, 2008) Under Florida law an attorney-in-fact’s authority is limited solely to actions "specifically enumerated in the durable power of attorney." F.S. 709.08(7)(a). Sounds simple enough. But the question courts have to grapple with is how specific does … Continue Reading

2d DCA: Arbitration agreement upheld based on broad grant of authority in decedent’s power of attorney

Posted in Power of Attorney Litigation
Jaylene, Inc. v. Moots, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 4181140 (Fla. 2d DCA Sep 12, 2008) It’s not uncommon for intermediate-level appellate courts to disagree with each each other, that’s why we have supreme courts.  But here’s something you don’t see every day: the 2d DCA disagreeing with itself by ruling two different ways on the same … Continue Reading

2d DCA: Arbitration agreement fails if power of attorney did not expressly authorize it

Posted in Power of Attorney Litigation
In re Estate of McKibbin, — So.2d —-, 2008 WL 161322 (Fla. 2d DCA Jan 18, 2008) This case is yet another example of the distinction between the agency-law principals governing power-of-attorney disputes, versus the fiduciary-law principals governing trustee and personal-representative disputes.  This distinction is significant and goes a long way towards understanding how Florida’s appellate courts … Continue Reading

3d DCA: Trust agreement trumps power-of-attorney in probate litigation

Posted in Power of Attorney Litigation
Gurfinkel v. Josi, — So.2d —-, 2007 WL 4322156 (Fla. 3d DCA Dec 12, 2007) Probate litigation involving powers of attorney seem to always revolve around whether the attorney in fact acted outside the scope of authority granted by the instrument [click here, here for past examples].  This case is yet another variation on the same theme.  … Continue Reading

Divorce + Life Insurance Payments to Ex’ = Probate Litigation

Posted in Power of Attorney Litigation
Spoerr v. Manhattan Natl. Life Ins. Co., 2007 WL 128815 (S.D.Fla. Jan 12, 2007) I’ve written previously about the probate-litigation issues lurking at the end of many divorces (see here).  Case in point: receipt of life insurance proceeds by ex-spouse.  That’s what the linked-to case is about: ex-husband was the named beneficiary of a life … Continue Reading