Blog

Death of a Seller versus Death of a Buyer

In most cases there is some lapse of time between the signing of a real estate transaction contract and the actual sale (the “closing”). What happens if, during this period, one of the parties to the contract dies? Surprisingly, the results depend on who dies. If a seller dies, usually the buyer has the right… read more

Read More

Challenging the Assessed Value of Real Property in Florida

If you own real property in Florida, you know that tax bills are due every November. With the recent decline in real estate values around the state, and especially in South Florida, many people are asking this question of their county property appraiser: how is this property possibly worth that much in this depressed market?… read more

Read More

Condo Assessments Can Grab Heirs in Cases of Homestead

It may not be safe for the heirs to just “walk away” from a homestead condo due to the law on condo association assessments. Inheriting a condominium is no longer safe to walk away from. The condo associations in Florida obviously have great lobbyists, because the Florida statute on fees and assessments owed by condo… read more

Read More

No One HAS To Serve as Personal Representative

Sometimes the best advice is “Don’t Do It.” Sometimes the best advice we can give to prospective executors (in Florida called Personal Representatives) is, “Don’t do it.” Just because a Last Will names you as executor, that does not bind you. In some estates the Will (usually not drafted by a lawyer) is so hard… read more

Read More

Uncovering what your relative left, and to whom

When a loved one dies, what can you conclude from their bank or financial account statements? Not much. With increasing frequency, people are setting up bank accounts and investment accounts with a “designation of beneficiary” to transfer on death (TOD). Those stocks or funds do not go through probate. So if the next-of-kin or designated… read more

Read More

E-Filing Settling Down

How is Electronic Filing doing in Florida probate courts? Progress is slow, and in a few cases going backward, but from a statewide perspective we see hope that electronic filing one day will be what the proponents thought it could be. For example, we’re no longer seeing certain judges require the paper filing of all… read more

Read More

Taking Care of a Florida Home During Probate

Many estates involve the decedent’s home, which passes to their children or other relatives who live in different states. It often poses a challenge to the beneficiaries to now have an additional house to take care of, and we want to share some useful tips for the new owners. First, be sure the power is… read more

Read More

Title Insurance: What you need to be protected

Title insurance is important coverage to consider when you purchase or inherit any real estate in Florida Florida law is clear that claims against an estate are barred (prohibited) two years after the date of death. Florida law is also clear that, with limited exceptions, one cannot directly sue the insurance company of another. You… read more

Read More

Practical tips for personal representatives of Florida estates

Here are a few tips for someone who finds themself suddenly faced with the overwhelming task of handling a probate estate in Florida: 1) Have their mail forwarded to your house. You should go through each piece of mail to assist you in identifying all of the creditors and assets of the Florida Estate. Keep… read more

Read More

Why Trustees Open a Florida Probate Administration

One of the big reasons one would consider setting up a Living Trust (technically called “inter vivos trust,” meaning a trust created while you are alive) is to avoid a probate administration after your death. By correctly titling all of your assets (except for personal effects, cash and other assets which are not “titled”) in… read more

Read More