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Showing posts from October, 2016

Bernal v. Marin

Bernal v. Marin, 196 So.3d 432 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016)

This decision addresses the validity of a purported trust revocation under F.S. 736.0602.  The Court, interpreting the plain language of F.S. 736.0602 and the legislative history, found that a revocable trust can be revoked without a specific reference to the trust where there is clear and convincing evidence that the settlor intended to revoke the trust.

Here, the decedent executed a trust leaving her estate to charity.  The trust did not provide a method for revocation.  She later executed a will leaving her estate to a friend, which stated that it revoked all other trusts made by her.  The will did not specifically refer to the trust.

F.S. 736.0602 provides that a settlor may amend or revoke a trust:
(a) By substantial compliance with a method provided in the terms of the trust; or (b) If the terms of the trust do not provide a method, by:         1. A later will or codicil that expressly refers to the trust or specifically devises proper…

Steele v. Brown

Steele v. Brown, 197 So.3d 106 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016)
This decision, while dealing mostly with the court's ability to provide relief from a judgment pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540, also addresses whether a trial court has inherent authority to set aside a homestead order as if it were a non-final order.  The Court held that a homestead order is an appealable, final order, since it determines an interest in property and finally determines a right of interested persons.  The Court noted that leaving appealable, final probate orders open to discretionary review and termination by the courts would upset the probate code's goal of quickly and finally accomplishing the settlement of estates.