An estate once worth close to $10 million has now been reduced to around $4 million. The estate in question involves Fontainbleau hotel heir Ben Novacek Jr.
A five-year probate dispute has been ongoing concerning this estate. The deceased man’s wife has been disqualified in collecting on the estate due to the Florida slayer statute (she was convicted of arranging for the killing of her husband). The stepdaughter was designated under the last will to receive $150,000 while much of the remainder of the estate was to go to the stepdaughter’s three sons. (One of the sons has a long medical history and requires heart surgery.)
Many other family members have also made claims upon the estate. Efforts have also been underway in Broward County to revoke the will. While efforts have so far been unsuccessful, attorneys have appealed rulings concerning this matter. At least one individual contesting the 2006 will hopes to revive the 2002 will that would purportedly leave this person the entire estate.
Without question probate matters can be both stressful and sensitive. If the estate is administered correctly, needless disputes can be avoided. The probate process can then be completed smoothly.
Probate attorneys can prepare the will and the various forms that come along with the process. Attorneys can also notify all creditors and authorities concerning the procedure. Finally, they can administer the estate through keeping the assets of the estate intact until the distribution is finalized.
The administration of the estate is one of those items that should not be left up to chance.
Source: Miami Herald, “As family fight continues, Ben Novack Jr. fortunes shrink,” Julie K. Brown, Feb. 25, 2014