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Showing posts from December, 2015

Gossett v. Gossett

Gossett v. Gossett, 182 So.3d 694 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015)
In this decision on the equitable doctrine of "renunciation," the Court held that a trust beneficiary who challenged a trust document did not have to repay distributions made to him from the trust in order to challenge the trust document.  
Prior to the initiation of the litigation, the decedent's wife and trustee of his trust sent the decedent's son distributions under the last version of the trust, and intended that he accept the distributions to prohibit him from challenging the validity of the last version of the trust.  In his lawsuit to set aside the last versions of the trust, he renounced any interest he may have had in those trusts, but alleged that Florida law did not require him to return the money he had already received because he was entitled to an equal or greater amount under the prior versions of the trust.
The trial court held that the son was required to return all prior distributions before challe…

Keul v. Hodges Blvd. Presbyterian Church

Keul v. Hodges Blvd. Presbyterian Church, 180 So.3d 1074 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015)
This decision deals with whether a POD designation can be invalidated for undue influence , as well as the right of a probate court to require a party to return POD funds to an estate instead of entering a money judgment against the party for the amount of the funds.  
The decedent's 2009 will provided that at her death, her entire estate would go to Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church.  A few days before she died, the decedent's neighbor/friend/caregiver/attorney in fact/health care surrogate claimed the decedent asked her to help her get a POD form to change her beneficiary designation to leave all of her assets to the neighbor and her family.  
Following the decedent's death, the church objected to the inventory and sought to remove the neighbor as personal representative, arguing that the neighbor had failed to include the POD account in the inventory.  The trial court ultimately found that the …

Gordin v. Estate of Maisel

Gordin v. Estate of Maisel, 179 So.3d 518 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015), 2015 WL 7566353
This decision centers around whether a probate court can appoint a curator without revoking the prior appointment of personal representatives.  The Court held that it was improper for the probate court to do so.
The probate court admitted the decedent's will to probate, appointing his daughter and grandson as co-personal representatives of the estate.  The decedent's son filed a petition for revocation of the will, claiming that he was entitled to a forced share of the estate because the decedent lived in Puerto Rico when he died, that the decedent lacked testamentary capacity and was subject to undue influence when he executed the will, and that he had three previous wills.  The son also filed a petition for administration seeking to admit one of those previous wills to probate, and a petition to remove the personal representatives and appoint a curator.
Without hearing evidence, the probate court app…