Malleiro v. Mori , 182 So.3d 5 (Fla. 3d DCA 2015) This case serves as a lesson in rarely used words buried in the Florida Probate Code. The Court was asked to determine whether an unsigned notarial will executed in Argentina was a valid will under the Florida Probate Code. The Court ultimately held that because the Argentine will was unsigned, even though it was a notarial will, it was a noncupative will prohibited by the Florida Probate Code. The testator executed a valid will in New York distributing her real and personal property located in the United States. Four months later, she executed a second will in Argentina. The Argentine will was not executed with the usual formalities of American wills. Instead, the testator orally pronounced her testamentary wishes to a notary who transcribed them in the presence of three witnesses. The testator orally approved the typewritten will in the presence of the witnesses, and the notary signed and stamped the will. The testator
Parker v. Parker , 185 So.3d 616 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016) This decision deals with whether an estate is an indispensable party in a proceeding to recover properties transferred by the decedent prior to his death. The beneficiaries of the estate argued that the estate was an indispensable party pursuant to F.S. 733.607, which provides, generally, that a personal representative has the right to take control of the decedent's property. The Court held that since properties transferred during the decedent's life are no longer the decedent's property, the estate does not need to be joined as a party to a suit to set aside those lifetime transfers.
Demircan v. Mikhaylov , --- So. 3d -- (Fla. 3d DCA 2020) This Third DCA case addresses several elements of Florida trust law, with a focus on the ability to modify an irrevocable trust under the Florida common law. It involved an irrevocable trust established by the settlor for the benefit of his children, which initially appointed an independent trustee and a third party with trustee removal powers. When disagreements arose between the settlor and the beneficiaries against the trustee and the third party, litigation ensued. Prior to the final hearing, the third party had appointed a new trustee to succeed the independent trustee. At the final hearing, the trial court allowed a modification of the trust noting the consent of the settlor and all beneficiaries of the trust. The Court first considered whether the new trustee had standing to appeal the modification of the trust. It found that the new trustee had a sufficient stake in the controversy to seek judicial resolution of