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.
Rizk v. Rizk, 260 So.3d 467 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018) This decision centers around the ability of a beneficiary to challenge a will executed in another country even if they did not contest that will in the country where it was executed. Here, the will was purportedly executed in Haiti in accordance with Haitian law. The beneficiary tried to challenge the will in Florida, alleging that the decedent was not actually in Haiti on the day the will was purportedly signed, and that the witnesses did not sign the will on that date. F.S. 732.502(2) provides that a nonresident's will will be treated as valid in Florida if the will is valid under the laws of the state or country where the will was executed. Because the beneficiary had not challenged the will's validity in Haiti and was receiving benefits from that will, the Court upheld the trial court's determination that the 2013 will was valid in Haiti.
Goodstein v. Goodstein, 263 So.3d 78 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019)
I started this blog in 2013, and this is the first time I have the opportunity to write about a case that I am actually involved in. This case involves a long-running dispute between the father of the decedent, the personal representative of the estate, and the decedent's children, the beneficiaries of the estate (the personal representative's grandchildren). The personal representative appealed a decision by the trial court which required all estate assets to be placed in a restricted depository.
Restricted depositories have been common-place in Miami-Dade County for quite some time. Recently, South Palm Beach County has instituted as similar requirement. As a matter of course, all estates opened since the introduction of this policy have been required to place all assets in a restricted depository and assets may only be withdrawn with a court order.
Here, the beneficiaries had concerns about their actions as personal …