TRUSTS: GUARDIANSHIP: CIVIL PROCEDURE: SUMMARY JUDGMENT: ORDERS: RULES OF CONSTRUCTION: AMBIGUOUS ORDER: PAROL EVIDENCE: TRIAL COURT ERRED BY ENTERING SUMMARY JUDGMENT DETERMINING THAT STIPULATION AND GUADIANSHIP ORDER UNAMBIGUOUSLY PREVENTED MAKER FROM AMENDING HER TRUST: ON REMAND, TRIAL COURT SHOULD CONSIDER PAROL EVIDENCE

Whiting v. Whiting, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D539 (Fla. 5th DCA February 27, 2015)

The mother created a trust, which provided for equal distributions to her three sons upon her death. Three years before she died, “concerns about [the mother’s] mental competency arose,” and two of her sons filed competing petitions for appointment as her … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

ESTATES: TRUSTS: CIVIL PROCEDURE: PERSONAL JURISDICTION: WAIVER: DEFENDANTS DID NOT WAIVE THEIR OBJECTION TO PERSONAL JURISDICTION BY FILING A MOTION TO DISMISS BASED UPON THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AND LACHES BECAUSE THE DEFENDANTS AMENDED THEIR MOTION BEFORE IT WAS HEARD TO ASSERT THE DEFENSE OF LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION: DEFENDANTS DID NOT VOLUNTARILY SUBMIT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURT OR SEEK AFFIRMATIVE RELIEF BY FILING NOTICE OF THEIR INTENT TO USE TRUST FUNDS TO PAY ATTORNEY’S FEES OR BY RESPONDING TWICE TO DISCOVERY ON THE MERITS OF THE CASE

Snider v. Metcalfe, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D339 (Fla. 4th DCA February 4, 2015.

The plaintiff was a beneficiary under three trusts created by his deceased father’s will.  He sued the co-trustees for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust.  Initially, the defendants moved to dismiss based upon the statute of limitations and laches.  Two … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

ESTATES: TRUSTS: PROBATE: ATTORNEY’S FEES: CIVIL PROCEDURE: PLEADING: BENEFICIARY WAIVED OBJECTION THAT TRUSTEE’S CLAIM FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES WAS INADEQUATELY PLED BECAUSE PRETRIAL STIPULATION INCLUDED ISSUE WHETHER ANY PARTY WAS ENTITLED TO ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS UNDER DESIGNATED AND APPROPRIATE STATUTES

Vechten v. Anyzeski, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D235 (Fla. 4th DCA January 21, 2015)

The beneficiary filed a petition and an amended petition to revoke the amendment to a trust that reduced his distribution. Although the trustee prevailed, the trial court denied her motion for attorney’s fees because the trustee’s answer pled an entitlement to … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

ESTATES: TRUSTS: RESULTING TRUST; CIVIL PROCEDURE: DEFAULT: RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT: SUCCESSIVE MOTIONS: COURT REVERSES ORDER GRANTING SECOND MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT ON SAME GROUND ASSERTED IN FIRST MOTION: SECOND MOTION WAS NOT AN AMENDMENT OF FIRST MOTION BECAUSE NOT ALL OF THE GROUNDS ASSERTED IN BOTH MOTIONS WERE THE SAME, AND MOVANT NEVER ARGUED THAT THE SECOND MOTION WAS AN AMENDMENT OF THE FIRST MOTION: TRIAL COURT LACKED AUTHORITY TO GRANT SECOND MOTION ON GROUND THAT JUDGMENT WAS VOID BECAUSE COMPLAINT FAILED TO STATE CAUSE OF ACTION: DEFAULT JUDGMENT BASED ON COMPLAINT THAT FAILED TO STATE CAUSE OF ACTION IS VOIDABLE RATHER THAN VOID: CASE JURISDICTION, CONTINUING JURISDICTION, OR PROCEDURAL JURISDICTION IS THE AUTHORITY TO ACT IN A PARTICULAR CASE: RES JUDICATA APPLIES TO SUBSEQUENT ACTIONS RATHER THAN THE SAME ACTION: THE GOAL OF BOTH RES JUDICATA AND FLA. R. CIV. P. 1.540 IS FINALITY OF LITIGATION

Adams v. Henderson, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D236 (Fla. 4th DCA January 21, 2015)

The plaintiff filed an action against the estate for a resulting trust in the decedent’s home. When the estate failed to respond to the complaint, the clerk entered a default, and the trial court entered final judgment imposing a resulting trust. … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...

ESTATES: PROBATE: ADVERSARY PROCEEDINGS: ATTORNEY’S FEES: FLA. R. CIV. P. 1.525 APPLIES TO ADVERSARY PROBATE PROCEEDING IF JUDGMENT WAS ENTERED BEFORE SEPTEMBER 28, 2011, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE AMENDMENT TO FLA. PROB. R. 5.025(d)(2)

Finnegan v. Compton, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D208 (Fla. 4th DCA January 14, 2015)

Fla. Prob. R. 5.025(d)(2) was amended on September 28, 2011. Prior to the amendment, Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.525 applied to adversary probate proceedings; after the amendment, Rule 1.525 no longer applies. In this case, judgment in an adversary probate proceeding … Click To Read Full Case Law Review...