Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Florida

Paid on Death - 5 days before death

I was the primary beneficiary named in my uncle's will. My uncle was on A LOT of pain medication. Five days before he died (on 05/2005), the majority of the entire estate was POD to the caretaker who also was the executor of the will. Very little was listed in the estate inventory. The caretaker was easily removed from his executor position due to a significant amount of unethical evidece against him. However the caretaker still refuses to honor the will. I may have to sue the caretaker for undue influence and abuse of an elderly in order to collect the POD assets. I'm concerned that even if I win the case, I may not receive anything if the caretaker has already lost/spent the all the POD assets. Plus I will have incurred thousands in legal fee costs. It seems like the legal process takes forever and a lot of time may pass before the case is settled. Is there anything that can be done to freeze those POD assets to prevent them from disappearing? Should I hire a forensic accountant too? The caretaker is finance savy.

Asked on 8/14/07, 9:17 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

Re: Paid on Death - 5 days before death

A will contest is an expensive, time consuming and proof specific undertaking/ Good luck.

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Answered on 8/14/07, 9:39 pm

Scott R. Jay Law Offices of Scott R. Jay

Re: Paid on Death - 5 days before death

NOTE: This communication is not intended as and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Rather, it is intended solely as a general discussion of legal principles. You should not rely on or take action based on this communication without first presenting ALL relevant details to a competent attorney in your jurisdiction and then receiving the attorney's individualized advice for you. By reading the "Response" to your question or comment, you agree that the opinion expressed is not intended to, nor does it, create any attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. If you do not agree, then stop right here, and do not read any further.

Since you already have an attorney, it would be improper and possibly unethical for any attorney to provide legal advice to you without the consent of your attorney under the rules of the Florida Bar. You should discuss your issues with your attorney and follow his or her advice.

Scott R. Jay, Esq.

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Answered on 8/14/07, 9:49 pm

Re: Paid on Death - 5 days before death

A contest may indeed be lengthy and expensive. But to answer your questions, assets can be "freezed;" if you win, you will have a constructive lien against the person at a minimum; and whether you should hire a forensic accountant depends on the assets and what happened to them. If you decide to hire an attorney and sue, you can discuss the need with your attorney at that time.

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Answered on 8/15/07, 8:37 am

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