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Showing posts from September, 2020

Demircan v. Mikhaylov

Demircan v. Mikhaylov, --- So. 3d -- (Fla. 3d DCA 2020)
This Third DCA case addresses several elements of Florida trust law, with a focus on the ability to modify an irrevocable trust under the Florida common law. It involved an irrevocable trust established by the settlor for the benefit of his children, which initially appointed an independent trustee and a third party with trustee removal powers. When disagreements arose between the settlor and the beneficiaries against the trustee and the third party, litigation ensued. Prior to the final hearing, the third party had appointed a new trustee to succeed the independent trustee. At the final hearing, the trial court allowed a modification of the trust noting the consent of the settlor and all beneficiaries of the trust.
The Court first considered whether the new trustee had standing to appeal the modification of the trust.  It found that the new trustee had a sufficient stake in the controversy to seek judicial resolution of the contro…

Lopez v. Hernandez

Lopez v. Hernandez, 291 So.3d 1007This decision deals with the ability of the probate court to impose personal liability for attorney’s fees and costs. Here, the court entered an order addressing fees and costs sought by the attorney for one of two feuding brothers. The attorney represented one of the brothers as personal representative of their father’s estate. The probate court found that the brother had engaged in frivolous litigation on the estate’s behalf, awarded his attorney fees and costs, divided responsibility for those fees between the estate and the brother, personally, and imposed a charging lien on the brother’s portion of the estate.The Court considered whether the probate court erred in charging the attorney’s fees against the brother’s portion of the estate and imposing the charging lien. It held that while F.S. 733.106(4) allows probate courts to direct the payment of attorney’s fees out of a beneficiary’s portion of an estate, it does not allow the probate court to …