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Tuesday, May 26, 2020


A number of measures have cleared the Florida legislature that may be of interest. These are awaiting the signature of the Governor. It is likely that most, if not all of these will be signed into law. This is not an exhaustive list.

  1.  CS/HB 505.
    1. Precious metals, such as bullion or coins, are tangible personal property under the Probate Code.  Fla.Stats. § 731.1065.
    2. "Property" is defined under the Probate Code to include causes of action. Fla.Stats. § 731.201(32).
    3. The service of formal notice in a probate proceeding does not give the court personal jurisdiction over the person served. Fla.Stats. § 731.301(2).
    4. Requires a Notice of Administration in probate to include a warning that under certain circumstances and by failing to contest a will, the recipient of the notice may be waiving his or her right to contest the validity of a trust or other writing incorporated by reference into a will (addressing the Pasquale problem). Fla.Stats. § 733.212(2)(f).
    5. Expands the list of transactions that may be a conflict of interest for a personal representative. Fla.Stats. § 733.610.
    6. Requires a testator to sign a written statement that certain representations were made to the testator, as a prerequisite to an attorney serving as personal representative or a person related to the attorney receiving compensation for serving as a personal representative if the attorney prepared or supervised the execution of the will nominating such person (unless the attorney or person nominated is related to the testator). A form of the statement is included in the statute. Fla.Stats. § 733.617(8).
    7. Similar provisions for an attorney to be compensated for serving as a trustee. Fla.Stats. § 736.0708(4).
  2. CS/HB 886.
    1. Allows for the filing of a curative notice in the public records as a method of correcting a single error in the legal description of property in a deed, and giving legal effect to such notice. Fla.Stats. § 689.041.
  3. CS/HB 1089.
    1. Grants a trustee of a grantor trust discretion to make payment to the taxable grantor of federal, estate, or other income tax liability attributable to the grantor's taxability on trust income and gains (unless the trust provides otherwise). Such reimbursement may not be paid from the cash value of a trust-owned life insurance policy or the proceeds of any loan secured by such a policy, if the taxable grantor is an insured. The provision will apply to existing trusts absent an election out by the trustee after notice to the taxable grantor and all persons who may remove and replace the trustee. There are listed circumstances when the power will be inoperable, and prohibitions on the exercise by certain trustees (i.e., the trustee is the taxable grantor, a trust beneficiary, or a related or subordinate party). Fla.Stats. § 736.08145.
  4. CS/HB 1439.
    1. Authorizes financial institutions to make account disclosures involving the account of a decedent to certain interested persons. Fla.Stats. § 655.059(2)(b).
    2. Authorizes a financial institution to pay the balance of an account of a decedent to family members without probate when the combined funds in such accounts are $1,000 or less. Fla.Stats. § 735.303.
    3. Allows for the disposition of small intestate estates without administration. A small intestate estate is an estate leaving only exempt personal property, personal property exempt from creditor claims under the Florida Constitution, and other personal property which does not exceed the sum of $10,000, preferred funeral expenses, and final medical expenses of the last illness. However, the decedent has to have been deceased for more than 1 year and no administration is pending in the state. Fla.Stats. § 735.304.

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