Posts

Showing posts from May, 2018

Webb v. Blue

Webb v. Blue, --- So.3d --- (Fla. 1st DCA 2018)

In this 1st DCA decision, we get another refresher on some aspects of Florida's homestead law. Namely, this decision gets into the issue of how to validly devise homestead property to a non-heir, when the decedent is survived by heirs (but not a spouse or minor children).
The decedent here was survived by no spouse and no minor children. He devised his "entire estate" to a friend, but did not specifically reference his homestead as part of the entire estate. Relatives of the decedent filed a Petition to Determine Homestead Status, asserting that the property was the decedent's homestead and descended to the decedent's heirs since there was no specific intent in the will to pass the homestead property to the friend. The trial court denied the Petition, finding that because the decedent was not survived by a spouse or minor child, he could freely devise his homestead to anyone and the will was clear about his intent.

In re Guardianship of Jones

In re Guardianship of Jones, 243 So.3d 503 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2018)

This decision construes the language in F.S. 744.312 regarding the appointment of an emergency temporary guardian who is a professional guardian as the permanent guardian of a ward. The Court construed the language of the statute and the findings of fact in the trial court order, and found that the requirements had been met for this emergency temporary guardian to stay on as permanent guardian for the ward.
Specifically, F.S. 744.312(4)(b) provides as follows:
"An emergency temporary guardian who is a professional guardian may not be appointed as permanent guardian of a ward unless one of the next of kin of the alleged incapacitated person or the ward requests that the professional guardian be appointed as permanent guardian. The court may waive the limitations of this paragraph if the special requirements of the guardianship demand that the court appoint a guardian because he or she has special talent or specific pri…

Dejesus v. A.M.J.R.K., Corp.

Dejesus v. A.M.J.R.K., Corp., --- So.3d --- (Fla. 2d DCA 2018)
In this 2nd DCA case, the Court considered whether the homestead exemption on real property could be held by a corporation.  It held that the homestead exemption does not inure to a person residing on property, where that property is solely owned by a corporation.
As a refresher, Article X, section 4(a) of the Florida Constitution, provides as follows:
"There shall be exempt from forced sale under process of any court, and no judgment, decree[,] or execution shall be a lien thereon, ... property owned by a natural person." (emphasis added)
The Court held that the plain language of the Florida Constitution requires that the owner of property be a natural person in order to claim the homestead exemption.  The Court disagreed with the trial court's position that homestead status attached to the property because a natural person resided there. The trial court relied on Callava v.  Feinberg, 864 So.2d 429 (Fla. 3d DCA…