Velde v. Velde, 867 So.2d 501 (Fla. 4th DCA February 25, 2004) (TRIAL COURT AFFIRMED) At issue in this case was whether simply filing a petition for extension of time to make an elective share election was a “proceeding,” and thus sufficient under old Section 732.212 to toll the then applicable four-month deadline date for making an election. Effective as of October 1, 2001, this statute was substantially revised and renumbered as 2004->Ch0732->Section%202135#0732.2135″>Section 732.2135, which now explicitly states that a “petition for an extension of the time for making the election or for approval to make the election shall toll the time for making the election.” However, because the decedent died on October 9, 2000, the court was required to apply old Section 732.212. Nonetheless, the 4th DCA noted that interpreting the tolling period under old Section 732.212 as only applying to litigation “would not give effect to the legislature’s intent and would yield an absurd result.” Consequently, the court held that the word “proceeding” should be “interpreted broadly enough” to encompass the extension petitions at issue in the case. Although new 2004->Ch0732->Section%202135#0732.2135″>Section 732.2135 does away any future need to interpret the scope of the word “proceedings,” the opinion remains instructive in that it underscores the positive effects of always erring on the side of providing notice to all interested parties. In this case, counsel for the surviving spouse filed three different petitions for extension of time. Not once were the decedent’s children from a prior marriage served with notice of the petitions or with copies of the probate court’s corresponding orders. The dollar amounts at stake were certainly significant. In footnote 2 to its opinion the 4th DCA notes that the amended inventory finally filed in this estate reflected “over one million dollars in additional assets.” Moreover, on appeal all parties conceded that if the children had been provided with notice of the surviving spouses petitions for extension of time to make her election and had objected at that time, “there would be no question that there was a controversy regarding the extent of the estate subject to elective share,” thus clearly falling within the scope of the “proceedings” exception. In other words, if counsel for the surviving spouse had simply notified the decedent’s children every time an extension petition was filed, his or her client would have in all likelihood avoided the delay and expense associated with this appeal.