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Probate Litigation Archives

Creditor claims after death may arise during probate

Most of us have a combination of assets, like bank and retirement accounts, and debts, like mortgages and auto loans. This likely will be the situation the rest of our lives. Thus, when we die, there may be creditors who are owed money, or at least believe they are.

Anna Nicole Smith's estate denied once again

How many times does a bankruptcy court decide a probate issue? The answer probably is never…unless it has to do with Anna Nicole Smith. The former Playboy model and reality TV star married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall in 1994. The marriage drew sharp criticism as he was 89 and she was 26. The marriage only lasted 14 months before Marshall passed away. He reportedly left his entire $1.6 billion estate to his son, with nothing left to Smith.

Will Casey Kasem be buried in Norway?

Legendary radio DJ and host Casey Kasem will reportedly be buried in Norway. An NBC News report broke the story after a letter written by his wife Jean explained that Kasem thought that Norway symbolized peace and “looked like heaven.” Because of this, Jean wrote that she would like to respect Kasem’s wishes.

Creditor claims on inheritance may concern Florida beneficiaries

Many Florida residents may wonder what happens to debts after someone dies. Are surviving children responsible for that debt, and can creditor claims be made on any inheritance that is passed on? Unfortunately, there is more than one answer to these questions.

Inherited 401ks subject to creditor claims, thanks to new ruling

It's a pretty fair to say that most people would like to leave something behind for their family members when they die. Even though every financial situation is different, passing on an inheritance to loved ones is a strong desire for many Florida residents. Determining the best way to do that can take some careful planning, particularly when it comes to retirement accounts. Thanks to a new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, inherited retirement accounts may be subject to creditor claims.

Probate litigation can help ensure final wishes are carried out

Planning a final estate, while time-consuming and sometimes difficult, is generally considered a necessity for everyone in Florida or elsewhere. It literally takes a lifetime to build an estate, and deciding what to do with it all in the event of death can be taxing. Even with a carefully considered and organized plan, heirs may choose to dispute the terms of an estate, leading to the need for probate litigation.

Estate planning results in desired outcomes

Florida residents may be wondering whether their spouse is able to steal their Social Security payments. When a person is no longer capable of handling his or her own finances, a representative payee can manage the money, but they must use the funds for the benefit of the recipient. Any other uses may be considered fraud.

Heirs to Michelina's fortune dispute trust document

Heirs to the deceased founder of Michelina's frozen pizzas and several other well-known food brands are involved in a lawsuit in Florida involving his estate. In October of 2011, Jeno Paulucci, 93 years old and nearly blind, was hospitalized in the intensive-care unit of a Minnesota hospital. While there, he signed documents transferring the control of his $150 million estate from his Minnesota attorneys to two individuals in Florida, naming them co-trustees before dying seven weeks later. This has led to extensive probate litigation following Paulucci's death.

Mandatory arbitration provisions may help

In 2007, the state of Florida became the first state to implement the mandatory arbitration clauses in trust litigation contexts. The process of arbitration is often less costly, more private and faster than prolonged court disputes. Mandatory arbitration has been implemented in commercial contracts for many decades. It is now that the same approach is being implemented in the world of trust agreements. The popularity of mandatory arbitration is still in its beginning stages.

Estate planning basics

With more people retiring or relocating to Florida, fewer are taking the necessary steps to ensure their family's future with an estate plan. Though estate planning can be an essential part of setting up loved ones for a stable financial future, it is often difficult and uncomfortable to talk about, and many put it off as a result.

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