The Florida Legislature has made a number of tweaks, some major, mostly minor, to the Florida Probate Code in 2009. My summary of the minor revisions are below. The statute went into effect on July 1, 2009. First, the minor changes.
- In Section 731.201, the term “Incompetent” has been changed to “Incapacitated” (and the definition revised) and the term “Minor” has been added. Additionally, whenever “incompetent” previously appeared in the Code, that term has been changed to incapacitated.
- Section 732.108 had been clarified to provide that Chapter 95 concerning adverse possession and the limitation of the claims of certain heirs in an adverse possession case, is not applicable with regards to determining whether a child born out of wedlock can inherit from its father or father’s relatives.
- Section 735.203 is amended to provide that when filing a Petition for Summary Administration (which is an abbreviated probate process for estates that are worth less than $75,000), if the Trustee of a Trust that is a beneficiary of the estate signs on to the Petition, then each Qualified Beneficiary of the Trust shall be served formal notice of the petition, unless joinder or consent is obtained from the Beneficiary.. This is actually an important provision. Some courts, before issuing an order of summary administration were requiring the consent of all qualified beneficiaries, and some were not. This amendment clarifies that if the Trustee/Petitioner is unable to obtain all of the Qualified Beneficiaries of the Trust, then it may serve them Formal Notice instead.
- Section 736.0802 is amended to impose stricter rules on what type of investments a Trustee may make, and whose consent it must receive before doing so.
But the two major changes to the law involve the elective share and disclaimers, which I shall discuss in my next post.