A Florida Will/estate has yet to be probated, decedent passed away 2012. Will named a personal rep. but no appt. means no letters of admin. exist. 5 days before decedent passed, a DFPOA took all $68K in decedents accts & opened acct. in their own name (at the bank mgrs. suggestion) solely for "the purpose of administering the estate". The DFPOA was also the named PR in the will. The "acting" PR of the estate has since withdrawn all money from the acct. I have copies of the bank stmts. showing this. There was a condo in Az owned solely by decedent, free & clear, that was to be xferred to me, an heir (daughter), via ancillary admin. That was not done. Condo has since, been sold at Sheriffs auction to pay a lien foreclosure judgement for an alleged $9800 in past due hoa assessments. I, not being the owner of condo, was not privy to the acct ledger, monthly stmts, balance, etc. yet I was the ONLY named def. in the lein foreclosure lawsuit, that was served. The decedent's named PR, estate, or Fl. Atty., were never served or given notice. Has the bank erred in allowing a "fake" PR to deplete the accoun? Besides that, what other illegal, egregious acts have been committed?
Consider whether you want to expend considerable resources in both FL and AZ to litigate this in order to recover an undetermined amount of damages. You may have a strong case, but you will need experienced probate and elder law litigation attorneys in both states to maximize your chances of success.
Also, you must consider how likely you can recover damages if you do get a judgment against the PR. Unless you feel the other party will have the resources to pay you, it may not be worth the time and expense of litigating these relatively complex probate and elder law issues.
Ian is the founding partner of Hasegawa Probate & Estate Planning PLC, offering Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Business formation and planning, Probate & related services. This response is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.You should consult directly and privately with an attorney to discuss your particular circumstances in order to receive advice particular to your needs.
This is probate litigation (really not so much elder law) but - as my colleague suggested, this can get expensive.
While our practice is limited to elder law / medicaid planning and personal injury, it is generally impossible to give a complete and thorough answer on a forum such as Avvo. This answer is for general and informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by itself. Every case is different and comes with its unique set of circumstances that need to be thoroughly evaluated and discussed over the phone or in person with an attorney. By answering this question, no attorney-client relationship is established.
Your case involves crossover issues in following areas of law:
Yes. You need help from probate litigation counsel.
Okay, there appear to be several questions that need to be asked you by an attorney to best assess. For example, who is the PR? Are you the only heir? Was real estate owned by your parent in Florida? Also, if the condo was sold and the only outstanding lien was the HOAs fees, then there are likely excess proceeds which is handled via a con-current, two-fold process to obtaining the funds (civil / probate). You do not need to wait for Florida to probate to get to those Arizona excess proceeds. Best to meet with in person an attorney in Arizona.
This post does not create an attorney-client relationship and is for informational purposes only. Licensed to practice in the State of Arizona.
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