There is a “glitch” in Florida law which creates legal exposure to a Trustee for two years following the settlor’s death if no probate is done.
It is important that the Personal Representative of a Florida estate, or those who inherited the house, contact an insurance agent immediately to discuss their options, and if necessary, obtain coverage for the house in Florida.
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.
Our firm recommends buying title insurance whenever you acquire real estate in Florida, by purchase or from a trust, and you may even need it when you inherit the property, so that you have the peace of mind knowing you have insurance to cure title problems that may surface many years from now.
Most Florida lawyers are, or should be, aware of the fact that you cannot leave your homestead to anyone if you have a spouse or minor child.
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 the mail forwarded to your house; 2) Check the insurance overage if there is a home; and 3) Don't pay creditors right away.
Not only is it expensive and time-consuming if an original Will is lost and the contents must be “proven” to the satisfaction of the Florida Court, but sometimes it’s not possible.
We successfully negotiate settlements with many creditors that do file a claim. So paying your father's $5,000 in medical bills right away could be an overpayment of hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Contact a probate attorney before you pay any creditors of the estate for more guidance on what to pay, when to pay it, and the limitation of your responsibilities as personal representative.
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?
One of the nastiest surprises that families involved with a Florida probate often face is the HUGE increase in property taxes on the homestead after the final owner dies. There is no change when a husband or wife passes away, provided there is a surviving spouse. However, when the survivor dies, and the homestead property passes to the heirs, two changes combine to put a huge bite on the wallet in the next year’s property tax.