Probate litigation encompassesall forms of contested matters arising in a probate matter.Some of the contested issues in Florida probate law include the validity of the decedent’s last will and testament; construing the terms of an ambiguous will; spousal share election under the elective share statute; pretermitted spouse and child issues; excessive fiduciary or attorneys’ fees; creditor claims; breach of fiduciary duty by the personal representative; improper accountings; recovery of estate assets and a plethora of other potential issues involving wills and trusts.
Trust Litigation: Many of the same contested issues in a probate estate also exist in trust matters. The main difference is that an independent civil action needs to be filed in order to invoke the jurisdiction of the court and have summonses issued to the Defendants. As Florida trust administration is not court supervised, it is up to the beneficiaries, rather than the probate judge, to make sure the trustee is discharging his duties in accordance with the trust terms and with the law. For the most part the only way a beneficiary can review what the trustee has done is through the annual accounting which the trustee must provide each qualified beneficiary every year. If the accounting is not provided, the trustee has breached his fiduciary duty to keep beneficiaries informed. There are many other fiduciary duties imposed upon a trustee which, if violated, subject the trustee to removal, surcharge or other remedies imposed by the courts. Our lawyers have handled a variety of wills andtrust litigation in the courts of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and throughout Florida.
The estate planning process should always include a thorough examination of not only the tax implications, but also the non-tax ramifications, which might include asset protection, and provisions for long-term healthcare needs.
BaskinFleeceprides itself on its unique ability to handle all aspects of wills and trusts, includingestate planning.Estate planning and private wealth transfer may sometimes involve complex tax planning, requiring the assistance of skilled and knowledgeable legal counsel. Wills, trusts and estate planning for most individuals, however, involves making decisions about who is to receive their property after death. BaskinFleece has the expertise to assist in estate planning for high-wealth individuals as well as for modest estates requiring only simple wills. The estate planning process should always include a thorough examination of not only the tax implications, but also the non-tax ramifications, which might include asset protection, and provisions for long-term healthcare needs. The typical “will conference” includes a discussion of Florida’s new power of attorney laws, which are now very comprehensive and complex, as well as the advance directives for living wills, selection of a pre need guardian, and very importantly, a healthcare surrogate.
Our lawyers have handled a variety of cases involving will and trust litigation in the courts of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and throughout Florida.BaskinFleece handles all aspects of probate and trust administration. For more information click BaskinFleece, or call us at 727.572.4545.