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Showing posts from November, 2013

Cody v. Cody

Cody v.  Cody, 2013 WL 6171299
In this case, the Appellate Court was forced to overrule a strange and confusing trial court decision regarding the distribution of property from an estate.  In 2007, a husband and wife executed wills.  The wife died shortly thereafter.  The husband's will specifically named his wife's three sons (his step-sons) as his children, and named one of those sons as his PR. 
The will also made a devise of real property as follows:
"(b) I devise the house and 12.5 acres located at 2800 Myree Lane, Pace, FL 32571, to my husband, Earlier T. Martin, Jr.  Should Earler T. Martin predecease me, then I devise the house and acreage in my son, Buford Cody, to divide between my heirs, as he sees fit and proper."
The Court noted that it was clear that this devise included a typographical error copied over from the wife's will, and should have said the house and property were distributable to the wife if she survived him.  The will left the balance of his…

Cessac v. Stevens

Cessac v. Stevens, 2013 WL 6097315 (Fla. 1st DCA 1013)
We don't often see cases regarding the exercise of a power of appointment but the First DCA recently addressed the validity of such an exercise in this case.  The will at issue included a provision that stated:
"Included in my estate assets are the STANTON P. KETTLER TRUST, FBO, SALLY CHRISTIANSEN, under will dated July 30, 1970, currently held at the Morgan Stanley Trust offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, and two (2) currently being held at Northern Trust of Florida in Miami, Florida."
Other than the quoted language, the will did not mention the trusts or mention any powers of appointment. The trusts described contained powers of appointment which authorized the decedent to direct who would receive the trusts assets upon her death.  The trusts required her to make specific reference to the power in order to exercise it.     
The trial court entered a judgment declaring the trusts' assets were not the property of the de…

West v. West

West v. West., 2013 WL 5989234 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013)
This case involved a family dispute among two sons of the decedent- one was named personal representative of the father's estate, and filed two claims in his father's estate, and the other objected to the claims.  To resolve the dispute, the personal representative/son filed a "Petition to Enforce a Claim" in the probate deivision.  The other son moved to dismiss or strike, since the Petition did not constitute an "independent action" as required by F.S. 733.705.  The trial court dismissed the claims.
The Appellate Court noted that in 2008, the chief judge of the Fifteenth Circuit in Administrative Order 6.102-9/08 declared that "independent actions" must be filed in the civil division.  Here, since the personal representative filed his claims in the wrong division, and he was barred from re-filing because the thirty day statutory period had expired, his only option was to either have his claim tran…