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I have an existing case of contesting a will

by pam
(wesley chapel fl)

My attorney quit. I don't know what to do at this point. Can I subpoena someone to get doctors names and who would I send that to?

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Best help for students
by: Joseph C. Engel

I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post.


Will Contest
by: Staff FALDP

Pam,
You very likely need to find another attorney. Unless the estate is small, and you are using Summary Administration of Estate procedure the court requires you to hire an attorney. Also, you are already in an adversarial position, and the other side most likely already has an attorney. This sounds like one of those cases, where we strongly urge you to seek counsel.

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Is there Legal Aid for Elderly Consumers?

by Anonymous
(Bradenton)

I'm 71 years old and living on social security. I've been renting my garage apartment out to a young couple who were very nice at first, they've been there almost two years. Now I don't know what happened, but they're not paying on time, and there are a lot of people coming and going that I don't know. Frankly, I'm a little scared of even confronting them. I'm not sure what to do, and I don't have the money to pay a lawyer.

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Good morning
by: Connie Allis

According to the Huff?Post 50, there are many free and low cost assistance for National Disability Rights Network: This is a nonprofit membership organization that provides legal assistance to people with disabilities through their Protection and Advocacy System and Client Assistance Program. If you or your husband is disabled, visit ndrn.org to find help in your state.

Other Options
If you can't get help from one of these programs, or find that you aren't eligible, another option is to contact your state or local bar association, which may be able to refer you to a low-fee lawyer. Or, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer for only part of the legal work and doing other parts yourself. This is known as unbundled legal services.

Many bar associations offer public service-oriented lawyer referral services that will interview clients and help identify the problems a lawyer could help them with. If a lawyer can help with your problem, the service will provide you with a referral to a lawyer. If the problem does not require a lawyer, the service will provide information on other organizations in your community that may be able to help. Most of these lawyer referral services conduct their interviews and make referrals over the phone.

To contact your state or local bar association, go to americanbar.org.

And finally, if you are an AARP member, one other discount resource that may be able to help you is AARP's Legal Services Network from Allstate. This service provides members a free legal consultation (up to 45 minutes) with an attorney along with 20 percent discounts on other legal services you may need. To locate a lawyer near you, call 866-330-0753.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of "The Savvy Senior" book.

Connie Allis
407-488-0197

Have You Talked To A Real Estate Property Management Company?
by: Orlando's Notary Charles, Orlando (407) 722-0800

Dear "Senior" Landlord:

Having renters can bring benefits and sometimes it can also bring problems, but then you already know that as you have stated it. Forgive me for being redundant. It's terrible when relationships change from good to bad.

I recently saw a sign on a rental property in my neighborhood advertising that a real estate professional collects rent and coordinates repairs when needed. That sounded like a wonderful thing for property owners. Maybe your your local Yellow Pages phonebook has licensed real-estate professionals listed in your area.

Orlando's Notary Charles (407)722-0800 is located in Waterford Lakes, FL and has notarized many residential rental leases. If you need anything notarized give me a call at 407-722-0800. We provide mobile notary services.

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Successor Custodian

My mother opened a custodial account for the benefit of my daughter. My mother died. There was no successor custodian listed on the account. The financial institution says I must petition the court to be successor custodian. What is the name of the petition? Do parents really have to petition to be the custodian of one of their children's accounts? Am I considered to be my daughter's conservator, since I am the custodian on other accounts for her, or does a conservator also have to be appointed by a court?

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Successor Custodian
by: Brooke

Hi,
The governing statute for that is:

710.121 Renunciation, resignation, death, or removal of custodian; designation of successor custodian.—

(4) If a custodian is ineligible, dies, or becomes incapacitated without having effectively designated a successor and the minor has attained the age of 14 years, the minor may designate as successor custodian, in the manner prescribed in subsection (2), an adult member of the minor’s family, a conservator of the minor, or a trust company. If the minor has not attained the age of 14 years or fails to act within 60 days after the ineligibility, death, or incapacity, the conservator of the minor becomes successor custodian. If the minor has no conservator or the conservator declines to act, the transferor, the legal representative of the transferor or of the custodian, an adult member of the minor’s family, or any other interested person may petition the court to designate a successor custodian.

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Custody of my daughter if I die.

Is there some kind of document, other than a Will, that I can use to state that I want my mother to take custody of my daughter if I die? I'm a single mom and was never married to the father of my child. He abandoned us, and broke my car windshield on his way out. He abuses drugs and is violent and mentally abusive. I'm healthy, but my problem is that he could try to fight my mother for custody if something were to happen to me. What can I do? Can I just type my own letter and have it notarized? I am fearful of him deciding to come here and take her if I died and bringing her out of the state and over to the rest of his family which he openly admits is extremely abusive and dysfunctional and also abuse drugs and alcohol. We have no court agreements or anything. He calls to ask how "we're" doing once in a while and that's about it. He has sent small amounts of money here and there in the past ($50 give or take). My daughter is under a year old as well. He left when she was a month old, came back when she was about 3 months old and stayed for a week and left again. She is now 6 months old. I'm just looking for peace of mind.

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Guardian For Your Daughter
by: FALDP Staff

It seems the best way to make your wishes known is through a will. Since, you do not want your child's father to be her guardian you most likely need assistance from an attorney so that your wishes cannot be challenged. According to an article on www.lawyers.com titled, "Picking the Best Guardian for Your Child" -

"In the United States, if one parent dies, the surviving biological or adoptive parent receives automatic custody and legal guardianship of the child unless the surviving parent has abandoned the child or is otherwise unfit. If you think your child's other parent shouldn't be the guardian in the event of your death, it's important to talk to a lawyer about your legal options."

If you think that your child's father has abandoned your daughter or is unfit, you need to talk to an attorney and/ or research the exact legal definitions of those terms.

We are not attorneys and do not attempt to offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney.

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Legal aid for seniors

Hi,
I'm 67 years old and need some help recovering money that I lent to a friend. Well, not a friend anymore. I guess I have to go to small claims court, the amount he owes me is $2700. But, I don't know what forms or what to do. Also the filing fee is around $200. I'm on social security, is there any help available for seniors like me?

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legal aid for seniors
by: Connie Allis

Hi Senior Citizen,

If you do not qualify for legal aid and you can not afford the fee for a thirty minute consultation try going to the bar association and ask if they have any of the following programs or projects:Your local bar association, which is an organization for lawyers. You can call your local bar association’s lawyer referral service to find a licensed, private lawyer who has experience with your type of legal problem and will meet with you for a reduced fee. The lawyer will meet with you for 30 minutes about your case for a fee of less than $50. It is very important to carefully review the fee agreement before you hire the lawyer to start working on your case. Sometimes there is no fee for medical malpractice, car accident or worker’s compensation cases because the lawyer will only get paid if you win your case.
You can also ask your local bar association if they have any of the following free services for people needing legal help:

a volunteer lawyer project
a pro bono project(another word for volunteer lawyer project)
a free legal workshop
a self-help clinic
To contact the bar association in your area, visit the ABA's site.



Your local law school may have free legal clinics where law students provide free legal help and are supervised by law professors.

Your local Area Agency on Aging helps seniors, 60 years old or over, with many types of problems. Your local Area Agency on Aging may also provide free or low-cost legal help. To find your local Area Agency on Aging, visit the AOA's website.


For More Information

Looking for more information on this topic? Visit LawHelp.org and select your state to find other self-help resources and information about free and low-cost legal aid providers in your area.




To read all of the guides in this series, visit lawhelpny.org or LawHelp.org.




Good Luck.

Connie Allis
407-488-0197
www.clalegaldocuments.com


Legal Aid
by: Judy

Try applying for civil indigent status. If your income is mainly social security, you may qualify. The clerks of court have the forms, and the application is also available on this site. If you qualify for civil indigent status, your filing fees should be waived. As far as free legal help, you could try calling the Florida Bar, and set up a consultation. They have a program where consumers can consult with an attorney for a nominal fee, around $30-$50. for a half hour. Or you could join AARP, it costs $16. for the year, and they may be able to help. AARP has some legal services for members.

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Probate my Mothers Will

by Lora
(Pensacola, Florida, Escambia)

My Mother just passed and the only thing she has is her 1 acre of land and a small trailer that was her homestead. I know I have to record her will at the court house but can I probate the will myself so I can sell the property or do I have to hire a lawyer?

If I can is there a certain form number I need to obtain from the Law Library to start this procedure.

I am the only child.

Thank you!

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Summary Administration of Estate
by: FALDP Staff

Dear Lora,

Depending on the value of the estate, you may be able to do it yourself as a Summary Administration of Estate. This is a probate process for small estates. The "small" amount is that the value of the estate is less than $75,000, excluding exempt property. Following is an excerpt of the pertinent Florida Statute:

735.203 Petition for summary administration.—

(1) A petition for summary administration may be filed by any beneficiary or person nominated as personal representative in the decedent’s will offered for probate. The petition must be signed and verified by the surviving spouse

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estate administration

by K
(McNairy county TN)

I want to complain about the administration of an estate (of deceased person), I am a beneficiary.
The personal rep. is not following the rules. (Florida Probate RULE 5.400 DISTRIBUTION AND DISCHARGE
PROBATE CODE: ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES
733.212 Notice of administration; filing of objections.)

Is there a legal document I may file myself?

All I want is for an authority to send the rep. a letter that she must abide by the rules.

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Notice to the Court
by: Judi L.

K,
I'm not an attorney, however I looked at the statute you cited, and it doesn't give any clear procedure to follow. My first suggestion is to send a letter to the Personal Representative requesting that he/she stop doing whatever they're doing wrong. Also file that letter with the clerk of court so that it is in the court file. Copy that letter to the attorney; there should be an attorney if this is a formal administration of estate. If you don't receive results or reaction, then file a formal notice to the court to bring the actions of the Personal Representative to the court's attention.

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Small Estate summary administration

by Diane
(Davenport,FL)

Can I file asmall estate summary administration myself or do I need an attorney? DOD 4/2005 ,I was DPPOA but DEED prepared IN PA and DOES NOT STATE "RIGHT OF SOLE SURVIVORSHIP"

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You can Represent Yourself
by: Gary Tinsley

Florida law does not require that you use an attorney for probate although the courts are sticklers about probate documents being completed and filed correctly so it might be wise to get some assistance with the preparation of the documents. Of course, if you need legal advice you must speak with a licensed Florida attorney. I like many other legal document preparaers have extensive experience preparing probate pleadings. I can be reached at 386-383-4595 or through my website at floridalegaldocs.com. Gary Tinsley

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Aalzheimer's And Durable Power of Attorney

by Hipolito
(Miami, Florida, USA)

My Mother has alzheimer's, and I've been taking care of her for the last 8 months. Can I have her sign a durable power of attorney or is it too late? She knows I'm her son but her short term memory is gone.

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Adjudication of Mental Incapacity
by: Staff

Florida Statute 744.3101 governs the laws and rules surrounding petitioning the court to have someone ruled mentally incompetent. Please continue your research, reading this statute may be a good starting point. I believe that, in general, someone is considered mentally competent until a judge has ruled otherwise. We are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice.

DPA
by: Anonymous

If she has a moment when she is clear minded, have the DPA executed with a witness, you could also video the execution. Michael Wappler, Florida Nonlawyers, Inc. 321-458-1814

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nursing home

by Jean
(Citrus County, FL)

If a home is titled in names of 2 single adults and one must go into a nursing home can the nursing home:
1/ require the home be sold and take 1/2?
2/ can the nursing home put a lien on the home and take 1/2 when sold?

I am aware if single and the home is in that persons name the nursing home can take the home when the person can no longer pay their monthly fee. Bottom line is what can the nursing home do if home is in the name of 2 single people.

Thank you very much for your help.

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Petition for Support
by: Gayle Coffman

The spouse remaining in the home can file a Petition for Support Unconnected with Dissolution of Marriage with No Minor Children. Florida State Form 12.904(b). Once the Court enters an order of support (alimony), that can include the provision that the spouse remains in the home and that it cannot be ordered sold.

FALDP Staff comment - The answer provided pertains to a married couple. The question is about an unmarried couple with joint ownership of real property.

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Elder Law

by victor
(Alexandria, VA, USA)

How can I get information about asset preservation to be eligible for medicaid in Broward County. I am a cancer sufferer and was on disability ( now social security ) in another state. I am planning to move to Broward next year and am concerned because I will have to sell my house and the cash I get may disqualify me.

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Elder Law help
by: Anonymous

An Irrevocable Trust, also called a "Florida Medicaid Asset Protection Trust" is an asset protection trust may be what you're looking for. We suggest that you seek legal and/or financial advice to make sure this is the right thing for you to do.

According to information we found on www.karplaw.com - "An individual, known as the trustor, creates the trust and names one or more persons, ... to manage the trust. ... He [the trustor] can retain the right to change the trustee if at any time the trustee is not managing the assets to his/her satisfaction, even though the trust remains irrevocable. The trustor is entitled to all of the income, for himself for his lifetime, and if he desires, he may also make the income available for his spouse...."

Please continue researching until you find enough information to make an informed decision; and consult professionals as you see fit. We are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice.

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removal of estate trustee

by Joanne
(Kearny, NJ)

With the death of my mother last year the trustee of the family trust has not distributed the assets. He is using the trust bank account as his personal account through it is still under my mothers name. He has not given a list of all assets or inventory of household items. How do I go about having him removed as trustee and freezing the bank account.? The estate is in Lake County Florida.
We would like to do this pro se as an attorney is very expensive.

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Removal Petition
by: Staff, FALDP

Dear Joanne,

According to LegalZoom the first step is to file a Removal Petition:


Removal Petition

"The grantor, any beneficiary or any co-trustee may petition a court to remove a successor trustee if proper grounds can be established. In some states, such as California, a court may initiate removal proceedings on its own motion. If the trustee refuses to resign, the court convenes a hearing and allows both sides to give testimony and call witnesses before ruling on the removal petition."



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Summary Administration for an intestate decedent. Can I go pro se in this case?

by EJ
(Coral Springs, FL USA)

Summary Administration for an intestate decedent. Can I go pro se in this case in the State of Florida?

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Pro Se - Summary Administration of Estate
by: FALDP Staff

EJ,

Yes, you usually can handle summary administration yourself. Here is the statute:

735.203 Petition for summary administration.—
(1) A petition for summary administration may be filed by any beneficiary or person nominated as personal representative in the decedent’s will offered for probate. The petition must be signed and verified by the surviving spouse, if any, and any beneficiaries except that the joinder in a petition for summary administration is not required of a beneficiary who will receive a full distributive share under the proposed distribution. However, formal notice of the petition must be served on a beneficiary not joining in the petition.

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Probate

by Paula Long
(Milton, Fl Santa Rosa)

My Stepmother refuses to produce my father's will. They had no children and in fact this became an issue only when she refused to speak to any of us. He was a resident of Santa Rosa County, Florida for 10 years and we can get no assistance.
Please HELP!!

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what do I do next? - Wills, Trusts, Probate

by Peggy
(Ormond Beach, Florida)

I just succeeded in having my family Trust and Estate reopened because my brother (the trustee) committed fraud in these cases. Do I just sit back and wait (is it 20 days?)for a response to my claims? If he does not respond, do I then file a default judgment?

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Trust
by: Judy L.

Dear Peggy,
I am not an attorney, so please continue your own research on your own. Consider this as information NOT advice. I believe you are on the right path. As long as he has been properly served, wait 20 days for his answer. Once he answers either party can request a hearing. If he does not answer you can file a Motion for Default and request a hearing anyway. As far as I know when there is a dispute over a living trust the process wends its way through civil court as would any other law suit.

Rules of Civil Procedure:

RULE 1.140 DEFENSES

(a) When Presented.

(1) Unless a different time is prescribed in a statute of Florida, a defendant shall serve an answer within 20 days after service of original process and the initial pleading on the defendant, or not later than the date fixed in a notice by publication. A party served with a pleading stating a crossclaim against that party shall serve an answer to it within 20 days after service on that party. The plaintiff shall serve an answer to a counterclaim within 20 days after service of the counterclaim. If a reply is required, the reply shall be served within 20 days after service of the answer.

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Summary administration form

by Art
(Lee County FL)

Seeking the form to file for summary administration.

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Summary Administration of Estate
by: Staff FALDP

Art,
There is not just one single form for Summary Administration - it is a set of forms. At minimum there is a Petition for Summary Administration of Estate; and an Order for Summary Administration of Estate. If there is a will there are additional forms required. Please visit this page -
https://www.faldp.org/Summary-Administration.html - on our site for more information about Summary Administration. And please call if you have procedural questions or need assistance.

800-515-0496

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guardianship and visitation

by Chuck Bradley
(hillsborough, Florida)

I need information on how to represent myself in a guardianship case. I also need information on filing for unsupervised visitation with a minor child.

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guardianship and visitation
by: Connie Allis

Good morning Chuck,

I am not sure whether this is for a family member's guardianship of child or for an adult guardianship with mental issues.
Enclosed is the difference between a custody of family child and a guardianship according to legalzoom.com
Parental Rights
Guardianship usually involves a child living with her guardian. Therefore, the guardian has physical custody, and the child's parent does not. However, biological parents maintain their parental rights, even when they don't have physical custody. Their rights are not terminated by the guardianship -- they’re "suspended." In this respect, a guardianship order overrules the custody provisions of a family court order, because the guardian has the right to act on behalf of the child, while the parent's rights to do so are legally on hold.

Guardians’ Rights
Parents are automatically the guardians of their children at birth, unless or until a probate court order names someone else. As a non-parent, guardianship awards rights to a third party caregiver that he would not enjoy otherwise. For example, he can attend parent-teacher conferences in lieu of the parent and make educational decisions. He can authorize medical care for the child. He can sign authorizations permitting school field trips or extracurricular activities. He can and must do everything the child’s parent would do, had the parent’s rights not been suspended.

You can file for temporary custody for a child of a family member and receive the forms through the flcourts.org.

As far as filing for unsupervised visits for a minor child, you can file a modification petition, again using forms from www.flcourts.com

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate on giving me a call.

Connie Allis
407-488-0197

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Change of venue for Florida trust

by Stan
(Ocala, Fl., Marion)

I want to change the current venue of a trust in which my father left me the benif. From Lee County Fl to Marion County, Fl, I live in Marion County and so does my " Trustee"..what form do I file and where can I download it?

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Change venue for trust
by: FALDP Staff

Hi Stan,
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking. Generally, one of the main reasons to create a trust is to keep private financial matters outside of the court system. If you need to update the trust to reflect new addresses, that should only require an amendment. Please read the Florida Bar's consumer pamphlet about living trusts:

http://www.floridabar.org/TFB/TFBResources.nsf/0/6C076B7255D4FED285256D440067F6A6/$FILE/53-%20The%20Revocable%20Trust%20in%20Florida%20-Eng-W.pdf?OpenElement

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to contest a probate matter

by kathy
(california)

I need to know what to file with the probate court to contest the beneficary as I have a living trust from my father naming me as beneficary of his bank account.

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Contest Probate
by: FALDP Staff

Hi Kathy,
It appears your first step is to file an objection. You might start your research with the following statute, which is copied in part below:

733.212 Notice of administration; filing of objections.—
(1) The personal representative shall promptly serve a copy of the notice of administration on the following persons who are known to the personal representative:
(a) The decedent’s surviving spouse;
(b) Beneficiaries;
(c) The trustee of any trust described in s. 733.707(3) and each qualified beneficiary of the trust as defined in s. 736.0103(14), if each trustee is also a personal representative of the estate; and
(d) Persons who may be entitled to exempt property
in the manner provided for service of formal notice, unless served under s. 733.2123. The personal representative may similarly serve a copy of the notice on any devisees under a known prior will or heirs or others who claim or may claim an interest in the estate.

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Florida Guardianship Actions

by Maria
(New York, NY, USA)

Can a Petitioner appear pro se in a Guardianship action in Florida probate court?

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Florida Guardianship
by: FALDP Staff

Maria,
If you are a family member, you may petition the court to request that you be appointed as guardian.

TYPES OF GUARDIANSHIP
a. There are three broad categories of guardians: family, professional and public.
i. Family Guardians – A preference existing in the law for the appointment of a guardian related to a ward by blood or marriage. Sec.744.312(2), F.S.
ii. A Professional Guardian is any guardian who receives compensation for services to more than two wards, unless the wards are relatives of the
guardian. Sec. 744.102(15), F.S
iii. A public guardian is a person or organization appointed by the Statewide Public Guardianship Office to serve as guardian for indigent, incapacitated persons who have no family or friends available to serve as guardian.
Secs. 744.701 – 744.709, F.S.

Please consult the statutes cited for for further information.

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Probate-Summary Administration

by Joy
(Tampa, FL)

How does a pro se litigant get case progress/status once a file goes over to the judge?

The judge received my file on Oct 29, 2014 and I haven't received any communication since. Is this a customary amount of time to wait for Orders to come back if it's a simple estate: self-proving will, I am named as the sole beneficiary & personal rep, only assets are a house and a car?

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probate summary administration
by: Connie Allis

Good morning Joy,

This answer is only from my own experience. I filed a case in Orange County Fl. I was given a case number, where I was told I could follow the case on the Orange County Clerk of Courts site. Look under the Probate Section. If an order has been given, I would have to go to the court to get a certified copy. All correspondence would be by mail and to expect it to take any wheres two to four weeks to three to four months depending on the case load.

If you do not have access to a computer, call the Probate Division and ask them if the paper work all seems in order

Connie Allis

Timeline for court response
by: Anonymous

It is not an uncommon timeline..especially with three major holidays helping to clog the docket.

You can call the court or stop by to inquire if it gives you peace of mind...they are usually very helpful with pro se cases. remain respectful and accept their timeline...don't push because they are already jammed.

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How do I submit a claim for an unpaid debt, against a deceased person's estate.

by Peter
(Lake Placid, Florida)

What forms will I need?
Will the Clerk of Courts provide the necessary forms?
Will I need help in the use of legal jargon ?

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Creditor's Claim
by: Staff FALDP

Hi Peter,
There is more to know, but the first step is to file a statement of claim:

"The creditor of a deceased debtor must file a Statement of Claim with the probate court in which the debtor’s estate is being probated. The Statement of Claim must include a brief statement of the basis of the claim, including whether or not the claim has matured." (brewerlong.com)

Florida Statute in part:
733.2121 Notice to creditors; filing of claims.—
(1) Unless creditors’ claims are otherwise barred by s. 733.710, the personal representative shall promptly publish a notice to creditors. The notice shall contain the name of the decedent, the file number of the estate, the designation and address of the court in which the proceedings are pending, the name and address of the personal representative, the name and address of the personal representative’s attorney, and the date of first publication. The notice shall state that creditors must file claims against the estate with the court during the time periods set forth in s. 733.702, or be forever barred.

The clerks of court are not likely to help you. They generally do not provide probate forms; and they are not allowed to offer legal advice.

Probate law is very specific, you may need an attorney to proceed. Formal administration requires an attorney, I'm not sure an attorney is required to submit a claim. It also depends on whether you have the time and inclination to educate yourself about the procedures.

If the procedures are summary, a document preparer may be able to help. Contact us 800-515-0496 or staff@faldp.org



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Permanant guardianship of minor child

by Randi
(tampa, fl usa)

What does it mean when at the bottom of the guardianship paperwork "This plan may be amended at any time If all parties are in agreement, or by order of the court"

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Resignation of Guardian of a Minor

by Mary
(Minneapolis, MN USA)

Our adult daughter was appointed our minor son's guardian in 2013. He is now back living with my husband and me. The guardianship in the Circuit Court for Brevard County, FL needs to be terminated.

I have worked in the legal field for 30 years and would like to complete the forms and handle this matter pro se.

What forms need to be completed and what steps need to be taken to accomplish this?

Thank you for your assistance.

Comments for Resignation of Guardian of a Minor

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Termination of Guardianship of a Minor
by: Gayle Coffman, Suncoast Legal Solutions, LLC

Florida Guardianship law can be found in Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes. The guardian could resign, but that does not discharge the guardianship action.

Try filing a Motion for Termination of Guardianship of the minor child based upon the fact that the child has been returned to the natural parents and that it would be in the child's best interests that the guardianship be terminated.

The guardian will be required to file final accountings with the Court.

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