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Showing posts from November, 2015

Mathis v. Estate of Mathis

Mathis v. Estate of Mathis, --- So.2d --- (Fla. 3d DCA 2015), No. 3D14-2332
This case deals with the ability of a beneficiary to seek further administration of an estate pursuant to Florida Probate Rule 5.460.  The decedent executed a last will leaving her homestead property to her daughter.  The will also provided that if the property was sold for whatever reason, the proceeds from the sale would be divided and distributed among her daughter, her son, and her other children and grandchildren.
For ten years following the decedent's death, the son continued to live at the property. When a tax deed sale was imminent, the daughter filed a petition for administration and sought the appointment of a curator.  The son paid the outstanding property taxes to avoid the tax deed sale.  The curator filed a petition to determine homestead status and the trial court admitted the will to probate.  Once the trial court entered the order determining homestead status, the curator was discharged.  Th…

In re Estate of Murphy

In Re Estate of Murphy, 184 So.3d 1221 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016)

For anyone looking for a refresher on the doctrine of dependent relative revocation, this decision is a good read.  In this case, after 9 years of litigation, the Court ultimately determined that the probate court's failure to apply the doctrine of dependent relative revocation incorrectly resulted in the distribution of an estate worth $12 million to the decedent's intestate heirs rather than to the beneficiary of one of her prior wills.
The decedent had executed a series of wills prior to her death.  Each of those wills, while slightly varied, left a bequest to the Northwestern University (Go Wildcats!!) medical school, to the decedent's second cousin, to her attorney, to her attorney's assistant, and to her accountant. The decedent's second cousin challenged the decedent's last will (which divided her residuary among the attorney, assistant and accountant, and not her), alleging undue influence on the p…

Legal Aid of Palm Beach County v. Guardianship of Jaffe

Legal Aid Soc'y of Palm Beach Cnty., Inc. v. Guardianship of Jaffe, 178 So.3d 527 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015)
This case involves a dispute under Florida's Public Guardianship law following a trial court's order allowing one guardian to withdraw and appointing Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc. ("Legal Aid") in its place.  
This situation was created by an apparently difficult ward who had at least six court-appointed guardians, the most recent being Ferd and Gladys Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service of Palm Beach County, Inc. ("AJFCS").  Unable to control the ward, AJFCS sought to withdraw as guardian and suggested that the Statewide Public Guardian be appointed its place.  It did not put the Statewide Public Guardian or Legal Aid (the local public guardian) on notice, as required by Florida Probate Rule 5.560(c).  The probate court approved of AJFCS's resignation and appointed Legal Aid as the successor guardian.  
Legal Aid immediate…