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CS/CS/SB 492 — Estates

by Banking and Insurance Committee; Judiciary Committee; and Senator Hukill

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Judiciary Committee (JU)

The bill makes a number of changes to the Florida Probate Code, which were recommended by the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar. These changes include: 

  • Retroactively eliminating a requirement that an estate file a tax return for an estate tax when no tax is due.
  • Reducing from 5 years to 2 years the time period in which intangible property held in a trust is presumed to be unclaimed property and payable to the Department of Financial Services.
  • Providing that a caveator is not required to serve notice on his or herself when he or she submits a petition for administration of an estate.
  • Making void, with certain exceptions, any gift received by a lawyer, or a relative of the lawyer, from a written instrument that the lawyer prepared.
  • Requiring that a clerk of court, upon receipt of a will, keep the will in its original form for 20 years.
  • Expanding the long-arm jurisdiction of Florida courts to adjudicate trust disputes.
  • Removing conflicts between the Florida Statutes and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure pertaining to forum non conveniens.
  • Requiring that a trustee provide a trust accounting to beneficiaries at least once a year. 

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect October 1, 2013.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 117-0