Probate + Guardianship
The experience of our probate + guardianship attorneys and the breadth of services they provide are extensive. Our practice area has grown significantly over the years based on our fine reputation and referrals. Indeed, probate and guardianship judges in South Florida routinely appoint the lawyers in the MRTH probate + guardianship department to cases. And the senior lawyers in the department are qualified as members of the statutory registry for specialists appointed by the court to represent alleged incapacitated persons.
We are proud to assist our clients with the difficult and personal nature of the matters that they bring to us. There is little that is more trying than a dispute between family members, especially when issues arise concerning one’s competency or health. We also recognize that many of these issues come up unexpectedly. The MRTH probate + guardianship department is equipped to handle matters on an emergency basis. Calls to the office are directed to people instead of voicemail. Attorneys are available with short notice to meet with families in crisis.
Each of the members of this practice area, including all of our lawyers, paralegals, and legal assistants possess an amazing capacity for empathy on one hand, and an understanding of when an issue needs to be litigated. Many members of our experienced staff are Florida certified paralegals and have worked for decades in the Probate and Guardianship Division of the Court before joining MRTH.
Given the numerous court-appointments and the scope of our representations on the whole, we have developed a unique and special place in the legal community, which we use to advance and protect our clients’ interests.
Range of Services
- Probate, Guardianship, Trust, and Estate Administration
- Probate, Guardianship, Trust, and Estate Litigation
- Elder Law
- A bipolar father commits a crime and becomes a fugitive. His adult children locate him in Miami and seek our counsel to help their father. Our office coordinates with criminal defense counsel and works to have the children appointed as their father’s guardian. The father receives mental health treatment through the guardianship case and the father’s rights are restored when he no longer requires the guardian’s help.
- A senior parent resides in South Florida who has adult children living outside of Florida. A neighbor ingratiates herself with the senior parent, resulting in the neighbor receiving confidential financial information. The neighbor slowly limits the senior’s contacts with the children and friends. The concerned children retain our office to cut off the interloper and put in place safeguards for their parent’s finances and health care decisions.
- A special-needs child turns 18. The child’s parents seek our counsel to become guardians so that they can apply for government benefits for their special-needs child.
- A loved one’s life ends. The family, who lives out of state, comes to South Florida for the funeral. The family only has a short time in South Florida. On an expedited basis, our office meets with the family, obtains court authority to enter a safe deposit box to look for a will, and initiates the legal process to transfer the assets to the persons named under a will or to those who are the heirs if there is no will.
- A family member’s mental faculties decline, resulting in poor hygiene, messy home, poor nutrition, medication noncompliance, not following through with doctor’s appointments, and vulnerability to others. Once the family notices the decline, the family meets with our lawyers. Our office gathers the requisite personal information, including any financial improprieties to which the family has access, to analyze whether the loved one can no longer manage his or her daily living activities. The pleadings to open a case are prepared and filed to prove that the loved one needs help. And if the loved one lacks estate planning documents, then the court will be in a position to appoint a guardian.
- A beneficiary of a trust learns that the trustee of the trust is acting inappropriately and is refusing to make reasonable distributions for the beneficiary. The beneficiary retains our office to initiate a case to remove and replace the trustee.
- An inexperienced guardian is subjected to an action to seek possible removal for allegedly failing to meeting requirements of the court. Guardian retains our firm and we assist the guardian to properly administer and account for the guardianship. We also identified and collected additional funds due to the guardianship.
- A local family is dealing with the loss of a child as a result of an unexpected accident. We are retained and assist the family in administering the child’s estate and prosecute an insurance claim valued at $500,000.00.