Florida Arbitration Clauses in Florida Wills and Trusts: Can You Force Arbitration on Heirs and Beneficiaries?

| August 22, 2013

Arbitration of controversies as an alternative to a Florida courthouse trial is happening more and more often, in more and more kinds of disputes. Often, these arbitrations are binding — and more and more often, consumers are discovering that they have no choice but to arbitrate their claim because they have waived their right to […]

Ray Charles Trust Litigation: Beneficiaries Fighting for More, the Lesson of Being Clear in Trust Bequests

| November 8, 2012

Another lesson in trust lawsuits – and for Floridians, on how to plan their estates in advance to avoid these sorts of fights between beneficiaries after death – is happening right now in Los Angeles, California.  It’s a case being heard by the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District […]

Trust Undue Influence: Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina, and Undue Infuence on a Trust Beneficiary

| November 1, 2012

Whitney Houston prepared an estate plan long ago, back when her daughter Bobbi Kristina was born: she executed a Will that contained something called a Testamentary Trust.  She did this because she had numerous assets that she wanted to protect and she wanted to insure the financial future of her daughter.  Because of her planning, […]

Florida Trust Contests: Jenos Pizza Rolls and Michelina Italian Foods Founder Jeno Paulucci’s Death Provides Great Example of Trust Contests in Florida Arising From Deaths Occuring in Other States

| October 25, 2012

Have you ever tried a Jeno’s Pizza Roll? Or maybe had some Chun King canned Chinese food or opted for some frozen Italian Michelina’s fare, with a movie at home with the kids? Well, then, you’ve contributed to the fortune of Jeno Paulucci, the founder of these food product lines.  Minnesotan Jeno Paulucci was an […]

New Florida Law May Void Beneficiary Designations in Divorces: Florida Statute 732.703 and End of Life Planning for Divorced Couples and Those Thinking of Divorcing

| October 23, 2012

There’s a new law here in Florida that people need to know about – especially if they are divorced or in the midst of getting themselves divorced here in Florida and that law is Florida Statute 732.703.  You can read the law as written on the books by the Florida Legislature online here. The important […]

Year End Planning: It’s Important for Florida Baby Boomers to Have End of Life Documents That Are Valid Under Florida Law (New Poll Shows 70% Americans Do Not Have This Done)

| December 6, 2011

It’s that time of year again, when travel plans are made and gifts are bought … and for those handling the family finances, there are those end of the year planning considerations: things like finalizing charitable donations to be made for the 2011 taxable year. Unfortunately, as a recent poll confirmed what many Florida probate lawyers […]

Writing Your Florida Last Will and Testament? 5 Things to Consider Before Using Online Will Services (Like RocketLawyer or LegalZoom) or Store-bought Will Forms

| October 13, 2011

Last Update: 02/10/16 It is true that Florida probate lawyers compete with online will services and companies that publish generic forms for Last Wills and Testaments.  Some of those who will be reading this article will respond with a knee-jerk reaction that any warnings from a Florida probate attorney are biased and self-serving.  However, that’s […]

Florida Living Trust – Trustee’s Duty to Inform Beneficiaries

| August 28, 2009

A Florida revocable trust is an estate plan document where one person, the trustee, holds legal title of specific assets for the benefit of another, the beneficiary, and where the settlor, the person creating the trust, creates the trust for a legal purpose. A trust can only be created for presently existing interests in property […]

How to Protect Assets from Beneficiaries’ Creditors’ Claims

| April 9, 2009

Clients who approach me to write their wills are often concerned with arranging their assets so as to maximize their protection against claims from their intended beneficiaries’ creditors. Luckily, Florida law favors such “asset protection planning.” A client may, for example, set aside money or property for his beneficiary in a “spendthrift trust.” A “trust” […]