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: Spousal Elective Share Claims

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2d DCA: When can a second wife subpoena confidential business records of a closely-held corporation founded by her deceased husband?

Posted in Spousal Elective Share Claims
McDonald v. Johnson, — So.3d —-, 2012 WL 246468 (Fla. 2d DCA January 27, 2012) What divorce attorneys do and what trusts-and-estates lawyers do overlaps all the time. Often that overlap occurs at the planning stage, when working together on drafting a pre-nuptuial or marital settlement agreement, but not always. Sometimes it happens in the … Continue Reading

Bkrtcy: Can you time an elective share claim to gain an advantage in bankruptcy?

Posted in Spousal Elective Share Claims
In re Miller, — B.R. —-, 2010 WL 5184798 (Bkrtcy.S.D.Fla.2010) Assume Husband "A" and "B" are both recent widowers. Husband "A" inherited $100,000 from his wife. Husband "B" was completely cut out of his wife’s will, but after claiming an elective share of his wife’s estate (30% of the elective estate), he too received $100,000 … Continue Reading

2d DCA: Florida’s spousal elective share statute survives constitutional challenge

Posted in Spousal Elective Share Claims
In re Estate of Magee, — So.2d —-, 2007 WL 2781131 (Fla. 2d DCA Sep 26, 2007) When all else fails, one way to win a probate dispute is to challenge the portion of the probate code at issue on constitutional grounds.  A successful example of this approach was the Florida Supreme Court’s 1990 decision in Shriners … Continue Reading

Lateral thinking = probate litigation success

Posted in Spousal Elective Share Claims
Marlowe v. Brown, 944 So.2d 1036 (Fla. 4th DCA Aug 02, 2006) Being an effective probate litigator often requires lateral thinking — the generation of novel solutions to problems using other than straightforward, step-by-step logic. The point of lateral thinking is that many problems require a different perspective to solve successfully. The linked-to case is … Continue Reading

Can you accidentally create an “Elective Share Trust” under Florida law? Probably NOT

Posted in Spousal Elective Share Claims
Janien v. Janien, 2006 WL 2956304 (Fla. 4th DCA Oct 18, 2006) Under Florida law a surviving widow or widower is entitled to at least 30% of the decedent spouse’s estate.  If done properly, an "elective share trust" allows a person to satisfy his or her surviving spouse’s elective share rights, while still retaining the … Continue Reading

Florida’s Expanded Elective Share Rights Limited to Persons Dying after October 1, 2001

Posted in Spousal Elective Share Claims
Estate of Heid v. Heid, 863 So.2d 1259 (Fla. 5th DCA Jan. 9, 2004) (TRIAL COURT AFFIRMED) Edward J. Heid died on December 18, 1999. Mr. Heid’s surviving wife, Blanche A. Heid, sought to enforce her elective share rights against a trust holding real and personal property that had benefitted her predeceased husband. Circuit Court … Continue Reading