Archive | Probate



In light of Halloween….. we bring your attention to the “Slayer Statute”, Section 732.802, Florida Statutes, which provides that any individual who “unlawfully and intentionally kills or participates in procuring the death of the decedent is not entitled to any benefits under the will or under the Florida Probate Code, and the estate of the decedent passes as if the killer had predeceased the decedent.” Continue Reading →

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Facebook: What Happens To My Account When I Pass Away?

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This day and age there are many different types of social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Yahoo, etc. These accounts are often overlooked or ignored upon someone’s passing. The good news is that these accounts can be closed or memorialized, depending on the social media platform requirements. For this month, we will focus on Facebook.

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Top 10 Estate Planning Mistakes… And how to Protect your Family from Them

It’s a terrible tragedy when someone’s lifetime of hard work and success is squandered away in taxes or disputes.  Unfortunately, after 15 years’ work in estate planning, probate, and estate settlement, we’ve found this happens all too often.  Even more unfortunately, this outcome is almost always avoidable by proper planning.
Let Oakstone Law help you protect your family from the top 10 estate planning mistakes. Continue Reading →

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What Assets Are Considered “Probate” Assets In Florida?

Probate AssetsProbate Assets vs. Non-Probate Assets

Are you wondering how to differentiate which assets are considered probate assets? Typically, probate assets consist of property that was owned by the decedent in Florida and was titled in the decedent’s individual name at the time of his or her death. Watch our short video about probate assets by clicking here.

An example of probate assets:

  • bank/brokerage accounts titled in decedent’s sole name
  • automobiles (note that a probate is not always necessary for transferring title to automobiles)
  • life insurance policies, annuity contracts & individual retirement accounts titled in the decedent’s sole name that are payable to the estate
  • non-homestead real property that is either titled:
    • in the decedent’s sole name
    • in the decedent’s individual name and another person as tenants in common (TIC)
  • “pay on death” or “transfer on death” accounts

An example of non-probate assets:

  • bank/brokerage accounts titled in trust or joint with rights of survivorship
  • life insurance policies, annuity contacts & individual retirement accounts titled in the decedent’s sole name or trust but are not payable to the estate (i.e., payable to a child or trust)
  • exempt homestead real property (note that homestead property has its own set of complex rules that apply in certain situations)

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Ancillary Administration: Probate For Non-Florida Residents

Question: My dad died a resident of Ohio and at the time of his death he owned a vacant lot in Florida in his sole name. Can the Ohio probate transfer title of the Florida property to the beneficiaries?Ancillary Probate

Answer: No. The domiciliary court does not have jurisdiction/control over the Florida property.

Do I Have To Open A Probate Proceeding In Florida

Yes, you would need to commence what is called an ancillary administration.

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Oakstone Law
1415 Panther Lane, Suite 439
Naples, Florida 34109
Tel: 239.206.3454