Carol Anne Johnson’s Answers

Carol Anne Johnson

Saint Petersburg Estate Planning Attorney.

Contributor Level 19
  1. PROBATE QUESTIONS.

    Answered about 1 month ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Gerald F. O'Brien
    3. Pamela Thea Higer Polani
    4. Sally D. Babbitt
    4 lawyer answers

    To answer you in order, 1) a Health Care Surrogate is someone that you designate to speak for you when you have become incapacitated. They can speak with your doctors and other medical personnel regarding your medical care, 2) a Living Will is what you set up to tell your doctors or hospital what you do and do not want when you are terminally ill - it allows you to decide how many (if any) Herculean measures they can take to keep you alive, 3) this is called a Testamentary Trust and it does...

    11 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. I Have Wills, POA's and Living Wills - prepared in NJ by an Attorney. I now reside in Jupiter , FL. Do I need new docs?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Ruth Elaine McMahon
    2. Carol Anne Johnson
    3. William Grady Nolan
    4. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    5. Robert Jason De Groot
    5 lawyer answers

    Yes, all your documents should be reviewed. All of the docs mentioned have state-specific requirements for validity. While Florida law may recognize a will or POA that is valid in another state, the institutions who need to rely on the document may not be familiar with the NJ requirements and will be hesitant to honor the document here. That doesn't mean that they will all need to be drafted newly, but have them reviewed by an estate planning attorney who can then advise you further.

    11 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. My mom died November of last year. I recently found a will that she wrote and signed.

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Richard Allan Heller
    3. Eileen D. Jacobs
    4. Anastatia Quirk Ellis
    4 lawyer answers

    I'm sorry you lost your Mom. To answer your question - maybe, but probably not. If she handwrote the will and signed it in the presence of two witnesses, who also signed the document, then it was properly executed. Better even if all the signatures were notarized by a FL-licensed notary public. Otherwise, it falls under what FL law terms "holographic" wills and will not be upheld in court. There are ways of proving wills through the courts, but they can be expensive and may not be worth it. As...

    11 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. WE have a estate with real property valued at approximately 1.5 Million. We have will however do we need a living trust?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Francis S Leontitsis
    2. Charles Adam Shultz
    3. Paul Rudolph Miller
    4. Denise Leydon Harvey
    5. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr
    6. ···
    10 lawyer answers

    Who told you that probating a will can take years?? Only if the will is challenged and/or is not validly executed. If you are comfortable doing so, you should speak with the attorney who drafted your wills and make sure that you have the originals where your personal representative can easily find them. Worse than trusting your estate to a will is having your family not be able to locate the original - which MUST be filed with the court. If you put it in a safe deposit box (which is a good idea)...

    11 lawyers agreed with this answer

  5. Can i get sued for starting a lawsuit and then not wanting to go through with it after a couple of years ?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Paul S Vicary
    3. Lawrence Joseph Marraffino
    4. Sagi Shaked
    4 lawyer answers

    Before you walk away from a legal matter that you started, you need to be aware of a couple of things. This is not just a "boy cried wolf" scenario where everyone shakes their heads and wags their fingers at you. Over the past two years since you have filed the lawsuit, the school system has undoubtedly incurred a great deal of legal expense in preparing to defend your suit. That is money that they have to pay their legal team! What your lawyer can or should receive will be based on the...

    11 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. In Florida, is there a minimum percentage of an estate that a spouse should expect or, if less, may challenge the will?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Cindy M Campbell
    3. Will Murphy
    4. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    4 lawyer answers

    No. There is no established minimum. If the decedent is intestate and the situation is as you describe, the distribution will be thus; 50% to the spouse, 50% to be split between the children of the decedent; homestead property can either be split 50-50 between spouse and decedent's children, or the spouse can elect to take a Life Estate and then, upon death, the remainder goes to the children. Florida law DOES allow a spouse that is not provided for in a will an elective share of the estate,...

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  7. My elderly mother's lawyer will not respond to her requests to review her Will.

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Barry A. Stein
    3. Francis S Leontitsis
    3 lawyer answers

    It may be difficult to change lawyers for her, but honestly - if you truly believe "some shady dealings" are afoot, do you really want this lawyer managing her affairs?? If SHE truly wants an estate review, which is entirely up to her, SHE needs to find an elder law attorney in her area that will come to HER. There are quite a few of us out there as we understand how much easier it is on our clients of advancing years to be counseled in the comfort of their own homes, rather than endure the...

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  8. Can a Condo Association put a lien on a property which is main residence/ Homestead?

    Answered about 2 years ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Marshall C Deason Jr.
    3. Barbara Billiot Stage
    3 lawyer answers

    The answer to both your questions is "Yes." While the Florida Constitution protects homesteaded property against most creditors, there are exceptions for back taxes, mortgages, condo and homeowner association fees, and mechanics liens. They can not only put a lien on your property, they can initiate a foreclosure if the lien remains unpaid. Either pay off the association fees or seek the advice of a HOA attorney if you feel the fees imposed are in violation of the CC & Rs.

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  9. I owe a deceased person 10,000 dollars. The children have not opened probate. Who do I pay

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Keith G Langer
    3. Hollyn June Foster
    4. Truman John Costello Jr.
    5. Alan James Brinkmeier
    5 lawyer answers

    You may be in breach of contract but not to the child since you had no contractual relationship with him. You do NOT owe the child the money. You owe it to the deceased person, ergo, their estate. Either make the payments to the deceased person, himself, or to his estate - not to the child.

    10 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  10. Conflicting issues pertaining to the current intestacy laws in FL

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Carol Anne Johnson
    2. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.
    3. Steven M Zelinger
    3 lawyer answers

    How is there an "executor" (actually, "personal representative" in Florida) if probate has not been opened? As mentioned by Attorney Pippen, jointly owned assets titled with right to survivorship now belong solely to the surviving joint owner (usually the spouse). Where there is no will and the spouse (and the couple's mutual children) are the living heirs, the entire estate would go to the surviving spouse. Where there are children of the deceased who are not the offspring of the surviving...

    10 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

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