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Lefkowitz v. Schwartz

Lefkowitz v. Schwartz, --- So.3d --- (Fla. 5th DCA 2020)


This case revisits the applicability of the "trust exception" to creditors claims in a probate proceeding. Here, the creditor's claim was based upon money lent by the creditor to the decedent, which the decedent promised to repay upon the sale of certain real property. The real property was apparently sold prior to the decedent's death but the money was not repaid. Upon the decedent's death, the creditor filed a creditor's claim and in her independent action, she asked the trial court to find that the sale proceeds were held in a constructive trust for her benefit. On appeal, the Court reversed, holding that the "trust exception" did not apply, and that the creditor's claim was an ordinary creditor's claim and the proceeds of the sale were assets of the estate subject to Florida statutes governing the priority of claims.
The "trust exception" was based on the idea that assets h…

Barrett v. Kapoor

Barrett v. Kapoor, 278 So.3d 876 (Fla 3d DCA 2019)
In this decision, the Court addressed the tension between the vesting of bequests and the settlor's intent. Here, the grantor's trust provided that upon his death, one of his daughters would have one year within which to purchase a piece of property, and upon the sale of the property, provided for the sale proceeds to be distributed to his other two children. It also stated that if one of the children died before receiving his or her share in full, the balance of their share should be distributed per stirpes to that child's then living descendants, or if none, to the grantor's living children.
As these things go, one of the children entitled to receive half of the sale proceeds died after the grantor, but before receiving her share of the trust. She had no children. The deceased daughter's estate argued that her right to the proceeds vested at the grantor's death and should therefore pass to her estate. The Court…