At the Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton Law Offices of Glenn M. Mednick, P.L., we focus on the following areas of practice:
This area of the law encompasses myriad forms of litigation.
- Will and trust contests: Challenges to the validity of a will and/or trust may be pursued based on grounds provided by statute. Will and trust contests frequently arise when there are questions involving duress, mental capacity of the decedent, fraud or other factors.
- Probate litigation: Even without any will or trust contest, adversarial proceedings may arise during the course of estate administration or trust administration when assets have not been properly reflected or are missing from the inventory, when closure and distribution of the estate or trust is unreasonably delayed, and when challenges are raised regarding the amounts of administrative fees reflected on the accounting distributed to beneficiaries. Independent actions may also be brought by creditors whose claims were objected to in the probate administration, and litigation may follow based upon elective share rights that are invoked by the surviving spouse in the probate estate.
- High-asset probate or trust litigation: High net worth estates and trusts often give rise to significant estate disputes when a family member passes away. The testamentary capacity of the decedent when he or she signed the will or trust agreement may be questioned as well as the intentions and/or motives of the trustee or trustees managing assets in an inter vivos trust prior to death. The Law Offices of Glenn M. Mednick, P.L., has extensive experience pursuing and defending actions involving high net worth trust litigation, will disputes and other estate litigation.
- Guardianship litigation: Guardianship litigation may occur at the inception of such a proceeding regarding whether the individual at issue is incapacitated or over the appointment of a guardian when competing petitions are filed. It may also occur post-appointment when a petition is brought to remove the guardian or to restore the ward's right, in part or in full.
Litigation in the probate, trust and guardianship arenas may pertain to joint account disputes, gifts and virtually anything else that families can fight about when a loved one dies or is declared to be incapacitated and a guardian is appointed.
Taking steps to legally institute a guardianship proceeding is complex and requires the help of an experienced attorney. Guardianship entails litigation from the inception of the proceedings if the petition to determine incapacity or petition to appoint a guardian is contested. If a guardian is appointed, he or she must be represented by an attorney admitted to practice in Florida. Among other responsibilities, the guardian must exercise the rights delegated to him or her, implement the guardianship plan, and care for the person and property of the ward, if those rights are delegated to the guardian. Litigation may be encountered during the course of the guardianship administration for a variety of reasons, including disputes pertaining to property of the ward, objections to an accounting and controversies involving the rights of interested persons.
Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent's debts and distributing the decedent's assets to his or her beneficiaries. In general, the decedent's assets are used first to pay the cost of the probate proceeding, then are used to pay the decedent's creditors, who file claims in the estate, and the remainder is distributed to the decedent's beneficiaries. The Florida Probate Code is found in Chapters 731 through 735 of the Florida Statutes. There are three types of probate administration under Florida law: formal administration, summary administration and disposition of personal property without administration. Formal administration encompasses both testate and intestate estates. Testate estates are those that administer a will. Intestate estates are those not effectively disposed of by a will and pass to the decedent's heirs pursuant to Sections 732.102 and 732.103, Florida Statutes.
Guardianship is a legal proceeding in the circuit courts of Florida in which a guardian is appointed to exercise the legal rights of an incapacitated person. Florida law requires the court to appoint a guardian for minors when parents die or become incapacitated, or if a child receives an inheritance or proceeds of a lawsuit or insurance policy exceeding the amount allowed by statute. Adult guardianship is the process by which the court finds an individual's ability to make decisions so impaired that the court gives the right to make decisions to another person. Guardianship is warranted only when no less restrictive alternative (such as a durable power of attorney, trust, health care surrogate or proxy, or other form of preneed directive) is found by the court to be appropriate and available. Florida law allows both voluntary and involuntary guardianships. Where appropriate, a guardian will be appointed by the court to make either personal or financial decisions for a minor or for an adult with mental or physical disabilities. A voluntary guardianship may also be established for an adult who, though mentally competent, is incapable of managing his or her own estate and who voluntarily petitions for the appointment.
Trust administration encompasses the transfer of assets pursuant to the specific language and instructions contained in the trust agreement. It may also include execution of various tax returns if a personal representative has not been appointed for an individual who established the trust if he or she is now deceased. Trust administration is not limited to post-death administration, as inter vivos trusts routinely provide for distribution of both income and principal during the grantor's lifetime. Where the grantor appoints himself or herself as the initial trustee, it may be necessary for a successor trustee to administer the trust if the grantor is unable to do so.
Our founder has extensive experience handling any type of contract dispute. Commercial transactions and business relationships often go bad and turn into disputes, resulting in costly litigation. As a result of inability to resolve the dispute through negotiations or discussions between the parties, one party may find that litigation is the only way to bring the matter forward to an ultimate resolution. Unfortunately, litigation is often a fact of modern business life. When you are faced with commercial litigation issues, you need the assistance of an experienced commercial litigation attorney. Commercial litigation is a general term that applies to any type of litigation or controversy related to business issues. Examples of areas included under the general heading of commercial litigation include:
- Contract disputes, including breach of contract
- Tortious interference with contracts or business relationships
- Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) disputes
- Shareholder and partnership disputes
- Breach of fiduciary duty cases
- Disputes over corporate management and control
- Business dissolution
- Disputes over non-compete agreements
- Debt collection actions
The above list gives you an idea of the broad scope of commercial litigation. It also provides an idea of how commercial litigation matters can range from relatively simple, uncomplicated matters to highly complex matters that may take several years to resolve.
In the review of business contracts, we review every detail and consult with you on possible problems as revealed in the contract. At the Law Offices of Glenn M. Mednick, P.L., we identify "deal breakers" that require your attention.
In addition, we will review and negotiate leases with a focus on securing the best deal on your behalf. Financial terms may be changed. Personal guarantees may be limited or reduced. In the end, we serve as your aggressive advocate and spokesperson in commercial or real estate transactions, protecting your rights and fighting for the best outcome.
Contact this Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and South Florida Attorney about an Estate, Trust, Guardianship matter and/or Litigation
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced lawyer regarding asset distribution or management involving an estate, misappropriation of funds within a trust, and/or negotiation of a business contract or lease, please contact our law firm. With law offices in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, we serve clients throughout South Florida, including those in Miami, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County.