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Oh.hello my name is John Pankowski and.welcome to a Florida estate planning.attorneys guide to a will signing.ceremony this will be a one-hour CLE or.continuing legal education course by me.John Pankowski which will be appropriate.for Florida attorneys who practice in.the area of wills trusts estates and.related areas such as elder law.practices and the preparation of wills.and trusts today we'll be providing you.with a probate litigators perspective on.a will signing ceremony we'll be.speaking for the next hour on the.execution of your estate planning.documents your wills and trusts and.other documents that you prepare for.your clients in your Florida probate.practice so if you're in a state.attorney or probate lawyer in Florida.and you write wills and trusts or draft.or prepare wills and trusts stay with me.for the next hour or so you'll get one.CLE credit a general credit from the.Florida Bar if you're a member of the.Florida Bar and I'll be speaking to you.about this topic for one hour so I'm.going to give you that perspective today.and I'm going to be speaking to you for.the next hour on this topic by way of.background my name is John Pankowski and.I'm with the pinkowski hauser law firm.in downtown West Palm Beach Florida our.law office is located at 415 South Olive.Avenue we just moved into our new.building here which is a block west of.the Intracoastal Waterway and within.walking distance of the probate division.of the 15th Judicial Circuit for Palm.Beach County in West Palm Beach and.we're a few blocks away from the federal.courthouses as well at pinkowski Howser.we limit our practice to probate.litigation disputes trials and appeals.involving wills trusts and estates and.related matters such as real estate and.homestead and some family business.interests.I invite you to attend free of charge.other Florida CLE seminars that.pinkowski Hauser offers I've done a.number of webinars for the non public or.the non lawyer public on different.probate topics and I've also done a.number of free Florida cles for Florida.Bar members and practicing attorneys.mostly for Florida lawyers who have a.have an estate practice or a probate.practice so to learn more about.free cles on probate and estate topics.in Florida you can email Amanda at pH.Florida comm that's Amanda Phillips.amantha at pH Florida comm or you could.dial Amanda at five six one five one.four zero nine hundred Amanda's.extension is 101 you could also go to.our website pH Florida compy like.pinkowski H Lake Hauser florida.com.click on webinars and videos and you'll.get a link and you'll also get the.course identification number so you'll.get credit from the Florida Bar so with.that said why are we here today well as.probate litigators we at our law firm.hope to provide some perspective to you.the state attorney the drafting attorney.the Florida lawyer who has an estate.planning practice you prepare estate.plans you write Florida wills and trusts.we want to try to give you the.perspective on your preparation and.presentation of your wills and trusts to.your estate planning clients right so.we're going to be sharing with you some.of the issues which we as probate.litigators in Florida come across and.what we hope to do is to leave you today.with maybe some best practices maybe.some improvements or some new issues.that you can use in your firm your.probate practice your estate law.practice that will help you improve the.services which you're providing to.clients and also which hopefully will.assist assist you with keeping the.integrity of your documents right.because the reason we're having this.discussion and CLE today is because our.law firm penthouse key Houser is in a.state and probate litigation law firm in.Florida and we handle a lot of will.contests right and probate litigation by.all accounts seems to be rising right.and so whenever we have a will contest.or a trust contest or a petition to.revoke probate that can be a highway to.heart burn for a lot of estate planning.attorneys.cuz your documents are being called into.question and indeed how you practice is.being called into question how you.conductor don't conduct a will signing.ceremony how you have a client and.witnesses executors sign a will or Trust.is being called into question and and.finally how you safeguard or keep or.don't keep the original will may be.called into question so let's talk about.our discussion outline for a minute.then we'll go right into the first topic.we've only got about nine topics today.the first one is an introduction after.the introduction we're going to be.speaking about well why do you even need.a will signing ceremony why is pinkowski.a Florida estate litigation attorney who.has a practice devoted to Florida.inheritance lawsuits why is he talking.about a will signing execution or.ceremony and why is he even calling it a.ceremony will then discuss what a will.signing ceremony is we'll talk about.probably for about a half an hour on.different aspects of the Florida probate.code that are applicable to will.contests trusts lawsuits trying to.revoke probate or overturn a will or.filing a challenge to a will and will.try to give you some perspective on.those aspects of the Florida probate.code that you'll be questioned on if.your documents your Wilier trusts are.attacked right if there's a challenge to.your will or your trust.and the context for all of this the.background is the following you've.prepared a will or a trust for client.and the client has now passed away.the original will of the client has been.filed with the clerk of the county where.the decedent resided at the time of his.or her passing and there's a will.challenge somebody is objecting to the.Florida will somebody has filed a.petition to revoke probate and is.challenging the Florida will and arguing.that it's void or not valid I'll speak a.little bit about anticipating Florida.probate lawsuits and then talk about.seven important factors to consider.regarding a will signing ceremony you're.not going to be thrilled with those.seven factors they're amazingly obvious.but they're things to keep in mind and.after hearing me speak for 40 or 50.minutes by that point hopefully you'll.you'll gain some perspective about why a.will signing ceremony and these seven.factors are important to consider.I'll speak later about videotaping will.signing ceremonies and give you I think.some very very pointed commentary on.that and then finally I'll be talking.about lawyer as witness after the.passing of one of your clients when.there is a will contest or an objection.of prove' or trust lawsuit challenging.the validity of the trust you many times.the drafting lorry become the most.important person in the room you're.often many times the first witness who.gets called or gets called to the stand.and certainly many times you're you're.the one that the probate court judge is.conducting the will contest trial in.Florida wants to hear from okay with.that said let's go into our introduction.why are we here today I'll give you.fifty six trillion reasons why we're.here today.that's the dollar figure that the Boston.College Center on wealth and.philanthropy has estimated is being.passed from the World War two generation.to successive generations right now and.over the next ten or twenty years fifty.six trillion dollars that is being.passed from the World War two generation.to the Millennials Jen's ex Jen's Y and.others and many people are fighting over.it and they're hiring lawyers like.myself and my law partner Robert Hauser.you can see the slide in front of you is.a photograph of Rob and me at our old.law office at 120 South Olive Avenue we.occupied the 7th floor there and you can.see the City Hall Dome in the background.we've since left that office and now.occupy a building we own at 415 South.Olive Avenue.so everyone seems to be fighting over.wealth and inheritances and they're.going to probate court to enforce those.rights and so we do see for good or for.ill probate litigation being a growth.industry also and perhaps a more.personal importance to you the Florida.estate planning lawyer the number of.lawsuits against a state planning.attorney seems to be on the rise right.once originally thought immune now.probate lawyers estate lawyers are not.immune I gave a CLE on malpractice in.the Florida estate context the Florida.will context the probate context back I.think in December of 2016 and I think.that was an hour and a half and you can.get ethics credit for that as well and I.talked all about the issues of.shooing an estate-planning attorney or.reported malpractice and their hurdles.procedural and evidentiary hurdles that.are changing and evolving right the law.in Florida is evolving and I think it's.going to continue to evolve when we talk.about whether they're an heir a.beneficiary of an estate or a deceased.person can sue a decedent's estate.planning lawyer and so you've got all.these probate Wars right you've got all.these different estate lawsuits and.inheritance conflicts and inheritance.fights that are being played out in the.courts of Florida every single day that.is the background or the backdrop of why.we're here today so why a ceremony well.in short because your documents are the.ones that are being questioned and how.you have a client sign a will or not.sign a will is very very important to.the judge and in a will contest or in.any proceeding where you question excuse.me where someone questions your Willie.your trust you're going to be in the.witness stand right you're at least.going to be deposed and you're certainly.going to be called the testify at trial.and either by one side or the other and.you the drafting attorney without.exaggeration often become the most.important witness in the room.right so how you handle the signing of a.will or a trust that you prepare for a.client is very very important what are.your practices and standards do you have.a procedure do you handle it personally.what do you say to people who were there.what do you not say she asked people.questions do you keep an execution memo.do you keep a contemporaneous writing.reflecting who is there and what was.done.why is ceremony because you are going to.be examined by someone's lawyer when.your documents are called into question.when somebody alleges in a probate.lawsuit or in a state or an inheritance.case in Florida that the will that you.prepared for a client is void you're.going to be asked about that and how you.manage or don't manage the signing of.that document that you prepared for your.client becomes very very important so.what is a will signing ceremony.well you might argue that a the word.ceremony is a bit too dramatic but I.don't think so to me a will signing.ceremony suggests that there's some.practice or procedure is some.organization to presenting a client with.a will or a trust gathering the.witnesses having that person sign the.will.having the witnesses sign the will and.then having the notary notarize the.signatures on the self-proving affidavit.all very very important and so a will.finding ceremony is how you conduct.yourself and how everyone else conducts.themselves in that room or that place.where that will is signed and so as a.probate litigation attorney who handles.inheritance lawsuits in Florida when I'm.involved in a will contest either.representing the plaintiff or the.petitioner somebody who's objecting to.the will and seeking to set aside the.will or defending the document if maybe.I'm defending you individually the.estate planning lawyer because your.concern maybe your personal.representative of the estate or what.other states call executor of the.probate and maybe you want firepower.maybe you want independent counsel.representing you as PR in the will.contest or maybe you're concerned that.you individually and personally may have.some exposure and you want a lawyer by.your side throughout that entire trial.because you're concerned that whoever.loses make seek redress from you right.then they sue you.so and or maybe I'm my probate law firm.in West Palm Beach was hired to.represent a beneficiary under the will.that's being attacked and they're saying.John I'll pay you out of my own pocket.go in there and fight I'm interested in.the estate I'm a beneficiary under the.will.support the will fort the attack fight.the challenge to that will and maybe.they want to get involved they want me.to get involved in that will contest so.I've got questions right there's things.that I need to know and one of the first.things that I want to know is who the.witnesses who's the notary who's a.drafting attorney then I want to find.out about the will signing ceremony or.the circumstances surrounding the.signing the presentation the execution.the witnessing notarization of that.document and so I'm going to ask.questions like well who was there did.anyone enter or leave the room at any.time who arrived first who arrived last.who signed the document first right in.Florida.ask any Florida estate lawyer and.they'll tell you that one of the.requirements for a valid will in Florida.is that the client sign it in the.presence of two witnesses who sign it in.the presence of the witness and in the.presence of each other and so I want to.know what happened and win.and then execution ceremony who signed.first who signed the next did everybody.watch this was there a procedure or can.no one remember where do they have their.facts wrong and do they contradict each.other who signed first who signed next.who signed last what was said who kept.the original right.the state lawyers seemed to fall into.two camps there are those who always.keep the original because that's their.practice they'd like to do that they put.their will and clients well in their.vault they might give them a receipt and.there are others who say we don't keep.any originals you keep them.we have hurricanes in Florida some.people think it's become harder to.safeguard original documents now.withstanding that their safes and vaults.in blah blah blah but they just don't.like to keep originals in there so they.make sure the client keeps the original.the ever writing to the client.confirming that you have a writing to.the client after the signing of the will.saying oh by the way you kept the.original right do you have something in.your file so that when the client passes.in a maybe years from now somebody comes.knocking it says you have the original.will you can say you know clearly I.don't.or I yes I do and here's why.in addition to confirming things in.writing after the signing of the will.like a letter to the client saying we.signed your will you kept the original.do you ever reduce what transpired at.the execution ceremony in a memo a.contemporaneous memo.executed drafted prepared right after.the signing of the will a so-called.execution memo that while your memory is.fresh and your knowledge of the signing.ceremony is clear you're able to reduce.to writing what occurred having an.execution memo having a confirmatory.letter those are all important facts.from which a trial court a probate court.judge hearing a will contests or will.attack lawsuit in Florida can draw.inferences and and and and make findings.of fact as to whether the will is void.or invalid or not okay let's get into.part for understanding the Florida.probate code we're going to spend a.little bit of time now talking about the.Florida probate code particular sections.of the Florida probate code and we're.also going to talk about a few cases the.carpenter case the Levin case RBC.ministries case a lot of time but a.little bit of time because I think.they're worth our time so um let's talk.about undue influence first right and.undue it why are we talking about undue.with influence because undue influence.is one of those ways that you can set.aside a will right and so a will is.actually void not avoidable but void if.it's the product of undue influence you.can take a look at Florida probate code.seven thirty two point five one six five.right will avoid if the execution is.procured by fraud duress mistake or.undue influence.and mistake is in the mistake that most.is not the mistake that most non lawyers.think is a mistake you know I gave half.of my estate to my son John oh that was.a mistake by dad he really didn't mean.to do me know give them half a mistake.in this context is you know I sign that.will I thought I was signing a power of.attorney I swear to God I didn't know I.was signing the will fraud duress undue.influence those are other ways that a.will can be can be void but remember.with undue influence when you're in a.court of law in the middle of an undue.influence trial in Florida.I knew influences a species of fraud and.whoever files a lawsuit involving undue.influence is required to plead it with.particularity that's the VanMeter case.so keep that in mind.rights a species of fraud and other.courts and other states follow that as.well so when we're speaking about undue.influence we have a number of issues.that always come up and one of the first.cases that comes up is the carpenter.case it's a 1971 Florida Supreme Court.case that's an undue influence case and.the Florida Supreme Court lists a number.of carpenter factors that may or may not.be appropriate for a probate court to.assist it in determining whether a.document was procured by undue influence.now you can read the Levin case le VI n.le VI n 67 third one one one 667 third.1116 it's a 2011 case.is from Florida's 4th District Court of.Appeal and it involves undue influence.and it cites the estate of carpenter.which is 253 southern 2nd to 697 so when.a will is challenged on the grounds of.undue influence what does that mean.right because influence isn't enough to.void a will right you can ask your dad.or your mom to give you a larger.inheritance there's no problem there but.when the influence oh and you can even.put a little bit of pressure on mom or.dad come on mom come on dad you know I.love you you know I need the money can't.you put me in the will give me more.that's not so bad right.but when that influence amounts to over.persuasion duress force coercion or.artful or fraudulent contrivance --is to.such an extent that there's a.destruction of free agency and will will.power that's not good.that's undue influence and that can make.a document void right that is where.things can get very very bad so you can.look at the RBC ministries case 974.southern 2nd five six nine nine seven.four southern 2nd five six nine it's a.2008 case from for two second District.Court of Appeal and the RBC ministries.case talks all about undue influence.it's like the carpenter case and it.presents to us some Maxim's or some.legal concepts that we're very familiar.with in the world of undue influence.and if you ask any probate litigation.law firm attorney in Florida they can.recite these legal Maxim's off the top.of their head so let's run through some.of them now okay a will or any portion.of a will procured by undue influences.void right so that's very important many.times you'll see in a will contest or an.estate lawsuit in Florida that somebody.might be objecting to the whole will or.just the residuary clause or just a.specific device or pecuniary device see.Florida probate Code section seven.thirty two point five one sixty five the.entire will does not have to be the.product necessarily of undue influence.you may be able to set aside or have.declared void a portion of that will a.particular provision so when we're.talking about undue influence we're.talking about such force or coercion.that really hampers the free agency of.the person who's being abused right and.so the document that comes out of that.undue influence really isn't the.expressed intent of the person who.signed it it's the expressed intent of.the person who's unduly influencing the.person the person is putting the.pressure and coercion on the person to.sign the will or how they will make we.know that there are some requirements.for undue influence one.if you believe somebody committed undue.influence or unduly influence someone to.sign a will that person the wrongdoer.has to occupy a confidential.relationship with the person who signed.the will right there has to be some type.of confidential relationship and and.this probably goes without saying is the.person you're accusing of undue.influence he or she must be a.substantial beneficiary under the will.and you know look we've all had trials.where one of the issues is hey look I.don't disagree that so-and-so is a.beneficiary but then on a substantial.beneficiary.and so if you have somebody who's a.substantial beneficiary under a will who.is in a confidential or fiduciary.relationship with the person who signed.the will and if they were active in.procuring that will then a presumption.arises that the will is invalid based on.undue influence so you have those three.prongs right the three prong test.substantial beneficiary confidential.relationship active in the procurement.of the will right who hired the lawyer.who paid the lawyer who called the.lawyer who told the lawyer what to put.in the will who coordinated the.witnesses who coordinated the execution.who kept the original all questions your.estate litigation attorney is going to.ask in a will contest case or a petition.to revoke probate trial in Florida and.those are many faxes that you have some.control over.if you're preparing a will right are you.taking a call from a non client who's.giving you instructions on what to put.in a will for a client are you getting.paid by that non client.are you taking instructions from that.client excuse me that non client of when.this document will be signed or how it.should be changed or who it should be.mailed to.are you permitting somebody to procure a.will for somebody else now in RBC.ministries.you can see the whole carpenter laundry.list of non-exclusive factors or.criteria which are relevant to.determining whether a beneficiary has.been active in procuring a will right.those are all listed there right the.presence of the beneficiary at the.execution of the will right that's.something you have control over when you.meet with the client individually you.can kick everybody out of the room where.you can permit anyone you want the room.to come in presence of the beneficiary.on those occasions when the testator the.person made the will express the desire.to make a will right did you speak with.the client alone when the client says I.want to change my will or was somebody.else there.how did you get this job was it a.longtime client was it a new client who.was referred by somebody else or did you.get that client through this substantial.beneficiary did this substantial.beneficiary have knowledge of the.contents of the will prior to it being.signed.and there's other criteria that are.listed in RBC ministries citing.carpenter as well and so this this.rebuttable presumption which you can.read more about it Florida probate Code.section 733 point 107 supports the.state's public policy against abuse of.fiduciary or confidential relationships.let's talk about lack of capacity now.that's another way to have a will.declared invalid or void right why well.read Florida probate code seven thirty.two point five zero one right you can.ask any estate litigation attorney in.Florida who can make a will and they'll.tell you what you've got to be 18 and.you've got to be of sound mind well what.the heck does sound mind me right that.sounds kind of like an archaic term.writer archaic legal term now we talk.about capacity right now we talk about.whether somebody who signed the will.understood what they were doing knew.where their family members were due in a.general way the dispositive nature of.the will that you prepared for them and.knew in a general way their assets and.extend their wealth their properties.right so seven thirty two point five.zero one a very important provision.that's often read once and only once but.you need sound mind to make a will in.the state of Florida and so you as an.estate planning attorney a probate.lawyer who drafted a will your.interaction with your clients very.important right your estate litigation.law firm in Florida when they assign a.lawyer to handle a will contest is going.to ask you where did the decedent say to.you and what did you say to the decedent.when you were discussing preparing a.will or at the execution ceremony at the.signing of the document did they say.anything to you you say anything to them.or any questions asked.with an examination conducted there's.some estate lawyers in Florida who asked.the person the date and who the.president is and they connect a little.mini examination try to get some comfort.that the person is going to sign the.Wills calm.did you speak to the person signing them.well about the date the time the place.the oriented is to time place location.you asking about family members do you.ask him about what the nature and extent.of their wealth or property was what.they were doing here today well what's.the purpose of today's meeting so you.know ideally right if you want your your.document upheld you you want the person.who's signing the will to describe and.specifically what you're doing there.today and who their family members are.and how their wealth or property is.distributed or not distributed by the.document that they're signing.all these things matter right in light.of the carpenter factors.and so asking yes or no questions.generally isn't that helpful or.informative but asking for detailed.answers or getting detailed answers is.very informative how do you conduct the.signing of a will in light of potential.will and trust contests right how do you.conduct the handling of a will signing.ceremony.so that the integrity of your documents.are upheld and so if your question is a.witness if your document is questioned.or attacked by an estate litigation.lawyer in Florida are the facts such.that your document will be upheld and.insane delusion is another way in which.a will may be declared void right when.there's an insane delusion in regard to.one for example.who is a family memory the object of the.testator's bounty a beneficiary and that.delusion need some cause here right we.need a link we need a link that insane.delusion causes someone to make a will.or to write a will in Florida or.provision that he wouldn't have done or.she wouldn't have done but for that.delusion the net will cannot be.sustained right that's the Miami risk.rescue mission case that's a Florida.third District Court of Appeal probate.appellate decision it's out of Miami you.can also read the Levin case right we.talked about Levin a little while ago.about undue influence it's still.important for purposes of insane.delusion and so you're probably you know.asking yourself what are examples of.insane delusion well in the Levin case.the insane delusion that the appellate.court dealt with in that probate appeal.dealt with whether a mother excuse me.dealt with a mother persisting in a.belief that someone had only visited her.once in like ten years that somebody had.had not been visiting her you know and.had a person who signed will had not.seen somebody in anywhere for like ten.to eleven years and that that's an.example other examples from another case.include a belief that this caretaker was.not taking care of me you know is not.caring for a I come to see me not.attending to me when in truth the.caretaker was your under this this.insane delusion right a repeated.incorrect assumption or delusion and.that delusion is linked it might be.linked to reducing someone's inheritance.or to eliminating someone.inheritance when there's an insane.delusion present that's linked or causes.to affect someone's Florida inheritance.you may be able to have that willow.thrown out now anytime I hear of insane.delusion and you can ask your estate.litigation attorney in Florida about.this insane delusion to me often can be.linked to a reformation action of a will.in Florida you can reform a will which -.you know probate lawyers in Florida.they've known this for a few years now.and I guess it doesn't faze them that.much but to the non lawyer public it.freaks them out because what Reformation.really means is a court can change your.will right and we used to think that.Wills were inviolate you can never.change them after you die changing while.you're living but you now you can change.a will after somebody dies but there are.limited circumstances within two.conditions so if you think you have an.insane delusion you have to wonder about.think about whether they will or.provision in a will was the product of a.mistake and can you reform that mistake.can you reform a mistake of law romantic.mistake of fact under Florida's probate.code and Florida's Reformation law for.Wills.section seven thirty two point six one.five loss to destroyed wills when is an.original not an original I got to tell.you we get lots of calls from wonderful.prospects all over the country not just.Florida who are involved in a Florida.probate or an estate and one of the.things that I always see is they don't.know where the will is.hasn't been filed yet or if it's been.filed.they haven't inspected it yet and I.to tell you a lot of people.misunderstand what original is an.original will has ink signatures that.are discernibly ink.and when you hold up the signal you can.see the ink and you can see the the.internal lines of the ink and the.ballpoint when you hold up the paper the.will the signature page to the light you.can see the indentation in the parchment.paper from where the ballpoint of the.magic marker was when the person signed.original one and only not a copy ink.signature will that's the original I.can't tell you how many people view a.copy as an original.incorrectly right is only one well is.only one original the rest are copies.and.some people lawyers even file copies a.will and so you need to know whether we.have an original will or not because if.you don't have an original will well if.you have an original will then we've got.to determine whether it's valid or not.right you leave that to your state.litigation lawyers if you don't have an.original will then the question becomes.did the person die intestate to the laws.of intestacy in florida apply such that.heirs hae IRS Florida heirs inherit the.estate or is somebody going to file a.petition for a lost or destroyed well.right under Florida probate Code section.7 33 point 207 you could establish you.can even probate a will where there is.no original anymore it's been lost or.destroyed.knowing who took the original and where.it is is an important part of your.estate planning practice do you keep the.originals does your client who kept a.particular original on a particular date.having a rule signing ceremony and an.execution memo created contemporaneously.with the signing of the will and the.safeguarding of it which recognizes this.reduces this to writing memorializes it.saves everybody a lot of pain afterwards.remember there is a rebuttable.presumption about lost and destroyed.wills that if will was last seen in the.possession of the testator and it's no.longer found as a presumption that it.was destroyed that's those are issues of.evidence right there evidentiary issues.and procedural issues for your probate.litigation law firm in Florida statutory.formalities.all right that's kind of the boring non.sexy part right the test.or the person who's making will is going.to sign it at the end if they don't sign.it you don't have a will can't tell you.how many times people have called up and.said no we got a well was prepared just.didn't sign it or didn't sign it at the.end you don't have a will where did the.witnesses sign I need two witnesses and.you're probably going to have a.self-proving affidavit in what order did.they sign and one of the requirements.under probate code 730 2.50 to write you.want to read about this signing of wills.and how Florida will should be signed.read Florida probate code 730 2.50 to.write the attesting witnesses must sign.the will in the presence of the testator.and in the presence of each other and.you have these cases where you question.well what is presents mean does it mean.physical presence like geographic.presence like I have to be within 2 feet.or can I be way down the hall but still.see the person side or is way down the.hall too far it's not in the presence of.the testator or what if you're in a.lobby or a room that's next door to.where the person signing it how close do.you have to be and what do you need to.see for witnesses to sign in the.presence of the testator let's move on.to our fifth topic anticipating Florida.probate lawsuits look forget or for ill.more people are apt to question things.than ever before there's certainly more.apt to question a lawyer than ever.before including a probate lawyer the.more apt to question a will or a trust.or a dispositive provision and that.leads to a lot of will contests and will.challenges right it creates a lot of.probate litigation that.you know are that all lead to probate.trials in Florida right that lead to not.only trials but appeals that's a picture.of my law partner Rob Hauser.board-certified in appellate law arguing.before Florida Supreme Court in 2016 so.at your probate trial or your.inheritance lawsuit trial be mindful.that if you win.how can you preserve your appeal if the.losing side appeals and for God's sakes.if if you lose did you preserve all your.issues for appeal right so you as an.estate planning attorney many times you.can anticipate Florida probate lawsuits.because many times you know who the.troublemaker in the family is or you.know who got disinherited and may be.likely to raise an objection so how you.handle a particular estate plan is.important how you handle a particular.client is important.because you probably know better than.anyone other than the immediate family.members who's going to fight whom when.mom or dad die.and what you do or don't do or interact.with those people and family members are.important facts that will affect any.will contest case 7-port important.factors to consider regarding a will.signing ceremony and so now we're on a.fast downward slope here to conclude our.CLE for Florida probate lawyers so.you're you're not going to find any of.this next topic particularly exciting or.new but it's important did you proofread.the will Hannah God just yesterday I.read a trust typos errors nonsensical.gibberish in certain provisions it was.not proof read nonsensical in other.words meaningless provisions did you.proofread it is it accurate remember if.your will is has typos or it has.nonsensical provisions or there's.provisions that are meaningless that.affects your credibility in court when.you're called as a witness right and if.somebody is already attacking your.document and saying dad didn't know what.he was doing when he signed the will or.you know mom was under the undue.influence of somebody when she signed.the will by not proofreading the will.and correcting any typos or meaningless.gibberish that affects your credibility.you need witnesses in a notary who's.going to get them if you're conducting.the execution ceremony the signing of a.will you should write you shouldn't let.a beneficiary provide the witnesses and.you may or may not have the test data.provide the witnesses but who are those.witnesses are they good solid.intelligent legal professionals who are.capable of concisely remembering.everything and providing competent.testimony.who's your notary with everything.explained clearly and is everyone in the.same room for the ceremony.right I know some lawyers have a good.practice of having whole sets of.standards and procedures and formulas.they maybe here's what we're doing today.John can you tell me why we're here what.are we doing here today this is how.we're going to do this boom boom boom.boom boom he or she is running the.ceremony in charge the general makes.things more organized and more focused.remember that the testator or the client.actually needs to sign the floor too.well and needs to sign it at the end in.the presence of witnesses and you need.to have the witnesses sign the will if.you have one witness doesn't work.although there's case law out there that.says if there's a notary present the.notary may or may not be a witness.and then they should sign the.self-proving affidavit and then who's.going to store or accept the original.will we talked about that a little bit.earlier so be prepared right consider.having an execution memo that you.prepare and save shortly after or.immediately after the will is signed.that tells us all these things who was.present who signed who did this who kept.the original very very important who.kept the original the myths of reality.of videotaping will signing ceremonies.I think lawyers fall into two camps they.either love them or hate them if you're.going to have it videotaped make durm.sure damn sure that your witness plays.well on video if your witness is.hammering and hiring and jibberish Inge.and not speaking coherently and.forgetting things and pausing and.getting off track or not focused the.purpose of the video is probably not.going to be fulfilled and sometimes you.don't want a videotape people signing a.ceremony because the purpose you're.hoping to achieve is not achieved and.the effect of the video is quite the.opposite.is about the script or the questions.that you're going to propose to.the witness the excuse me the person.who's signing the will if you ask him or.her yes or no questions it's not that.helpful if you ask them questions that.permit the person to give detailed.thorough answers that seems to.demonstrate that they're competent right.that seems to.provide or accomplish the purpose of the.video right and the general purpose of.the video is I want to keep a clear.record so this proof that this person.knew what they were signing very very.powerful in the state litigation lawsuit.or an inheritance trial in a Florida.Court but if the video is not done.properly you can really backfire lawyer.is witness you're going to be called to.testify you can be deposed you're going.to have to give up your file why because.our legislature says so there is no.lawyer-client privilege under you know.chapter 90 is our evidence code in.Florida under 90 point 502 for B when.people claim through the same deceased.client you can also read a more recent.attorney-client privilege case in.Florida at a Miami Florida third.District Court of Appeal the Vassallo.the beam case that talked about this.very subject 208 7/3 188 is the Vassallo.the beam case I argued an.attorney-client issue for a drafting.attorney and estate planning attorney.whose file I wanted uh in a will contest.case before the Vassallo v beam case.came out and notwithstanding the plain.language of the evidence code some.people still struggled with that concept.that there's no lawyer-client privilege.when people claim to a deceased client.so.for attending this one our Florida Bar.sponsored excuse me Florida bar approved.or accredited continuing legal education.course sponsored by sponsored by.pinkowski Hauser my name is John.Pankowski I'm the managing member of.pinkowski Hauser in downtown West Palm.Beach Florida.five six one five one four zero nine.hundred my email is john jo hn @ ph.florida comm your reference number for.today's florida bar accredited CLE is.one seven zero one six eight five n is.in Nancy a Florida estate planning.attorneys guide to a will signing.ceremony the certificate of.accreditation is in front of you on the.screen the Florida Bar course number is.in front of you on the screen and I'll.close by thanking you for listening to.us and if I can ever be of any.assistance regarding any Florida probate.litigation or appellate issues please.feel to give me an email or give me a.call my name is John Pankowski of.Pankowski Hauser I'm an estate.litigation attorney in Florida thank you.for listening.

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