Property Value

Wills Do Not Avoid Probate. They Steer the Probate

A very common misconception is that if Mom or Dad has a Will, no probate will be needed when they pass away. That is wrong. There are some steps people can take to avoid a probate administration when they die, but signing a Will is not one. That is because the Will is a “roadmap”… 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

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

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

Another change for the Florida chameleon: Homestead

No tears were shed this year when the Florida Legislature finally – after far too many years – revised that portion of the homestead law that competed for the “worst idea” among all Florida laws. That would be sec. 732.401, F.S.., which stated that if the homestead were owned only by the married person who… read more

Read More

Don’t Wait to Sell that House

In ancient days, 25 years ago, many title insurance underwriters believed that an executor (personal representative) needed to get past the creditor period (3 months) before he or she could validly sell real property owned by a decedent. Those days are gone, and for non-homestead property, all an executor needs is either an order approving… read more

Read More

Finally, a book to recommend

People often ask us if we can recommend estate administration or estate planning services, software or books, and we’ve been looking, honestly. Sadly, the answer is usually “no.” Florida law has just enough oddities that anything written for a national audience almost always fails to spot all the places where Florida law differs. But we’re… read more

Read More