Category: Trust & Probate Litigation

DEPENDENT RELATIVE REVOCATION: THE DOCTRINE OF REVIVING REVOKED WILLS

What happens when a person writes a new will, revokes his or her previous valid will, and the probate court later determines that the new will is invalid?  Usually, the person will be considered to have died intestate, i.e., without a will, and his or her property will be distributed according to the Florida intestate succession statutes.  However, there is a way to “revive” the revoked valid will.  The doctrine of dependent relative revocation (“DRR”) allows a revoked will to be revived when revocation of that will was conditioned upon the validity of the new will.

The DRR doctrine creates a presumption that the decedent would have preferred to revive his earlier will rather than die without a will and let his or her property pass through Florida’s intestate succession statutes.  Essentially, the DRR doctrine is based on two presumptions: (1) the decedent did not intend to die without a will, and (2) the decedent revoked his or her previous will on the condition that the new will is valid.  Courts are more likely to apply these presumptions when the provisions of the revoked valid will and the new invalid will are similar.

In Stewart v. Johnson, 142 Fla. 425, 428 (Fla. 1940), the Florida Supreme Court applied DRR to revive a revoked will.  Lott Johnson had his attorney draft a will in 1937.  One year later, Mr. Johnson revoked his will and made a new one, but he did not have his attorney draft it.  Instead, Mr. Johnson dictated the provisions of his new will to his secretary who then signed the new will as the sole witness.  Both wills made substantial bequests to a woman who lived with Mr. Johnson.  Because Florida law requires that two witnesses sign a will, Mr. Johnsons’ new will was invalid.  The Court found that Mr. Johnson’s revocation of his previous will was conditioned on the validity of the new will.  Applying the DRR doctrine, the Court revived the revoked will.

Wehrheim v. Golden Pond Assisted Living Facility, 905 So. 2d 1002 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005) presents another example of a Florida court applying the DRR doctrine.  Dorothy Wehrheim executed a total of four wills during her lifetime.  None of those wills named her children as beneficiaries.  In 2002, Ms. Wehrheim executed her last will, which again left nothing to her children and expressly revoked all her previous wills.  After she died, Ms. Wehrheim’s children challenged the validity of the 2002 will arguing that it was the product of undue influence.  Ms. Wehrheim’s children, however, faced a problem with their challenge: if the 2002 will was invalid, then the DRR doctrine would revive Ms. Wehrheim’s previous revoked will, which left nothing to her children.  Thus, whether the 2002 will was valid or invalid, Ms. Wehrheim’s children got nothing.  However, Ms. Wehrheim’s children argued that, while most of the 2002 will was invalid, the revocation provision of the 2002 will was not the result of undue influence and was therefore valid.  Consequently, Ms. Wehrheim validly revoked all her previous wills.  Furthermore, because the provisions of the 2002 will and the previous wills were not sufficiently similar, Ms. Wehrheim intended to revoke her previous wills but did not intend that her revocation be conditioned on the validity of the 2002 will.  Ms. Wehrheim’s property must therefore be distributed according to Florida’s intestate succession statutes making her children the sole beneficiaries of her estate.  The district court found that it would be difficult to prove such an argument.  However, the court held that Ms. Wehrheim’s children were nonetheless entitled to try to prove their case.

The DRR doctrine endeavors to preserve the intent of the person who made the will.  Generally, a court will apply the DRR doctrine when (1) the decedent would have preferred to revive a past will rather than have his property pass through Florida’s intestate succession statutes, and (2) the valid will was revoked on the condition that a new invalid will take its place.  It is important to keep in mind, however, that DRR will not make an invalid will valid.  As the above cases illustrate, revoking a will is not something that should be done without consulting an attorney.  To ensure that your intent is preserved, you should contact an attorney before creating or revoking a will.

Florida Probate Attorney Peter T. Mavrick represents clients in probate, trust, and guardianship litigation.  This article is not a substitute for legal advice tailored to a particular situation.  Peter T. Mavrick can be reached at: Website: www.mavricklaw.com; Telephone: 954-564-2246; Address: 1620 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 300, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311; Email: peter@mavricklaw.com.

USING A WILL TO FORGIVE DEBT

Florida law allows a decedent to forgive certain debt upon his or her death.  For example, a holder of a promissory note who wishes to forgive the outstanding debt that has not been paid upon his or her death may do so through his will.  Problems arise, however, when the estate is insolvent.

In Lauritsen v. Wallace, 67 So. 3d 285 (Fla. 5th DCA 2011), William Wallace issued a promissory note to his son.  Eleven days before his death, Mr. Wallace signed a will clearly and unambiguously forgiving his son’s debt.  Upon his death, Mr. Wallace’s estate had significant debt and insufficient assets to pay off that debt.  The court found that because Mr. Wallace’s estate was insolvent, he could not forgive his son’s debt.

To understand this outcome, one must first understand a few concepts of Florida law.  First, a promissory note is an asset of the holder.  Thus, when a decedent holds a promissory note that has not been paid, that promissory note will be considered an asset in the decedent’s estate.  Second, when a decedent attempts to forgive a debt in his will, that forgiveness is considered a bequest.  Finally, the estate’s assets must be used to pay the estate’s costs and other expenses before the assets are devised to beneficiaries according to the decedent’s will.

The Lauritsen case applied these concepts to come to its conclusion.  The only asset that Mr. Wallace had upon his death that could pay his estate’s administrative costs, debts, and expenses was Mr. Wallace’s interest in the promissory note issued to his son.  Because, a will’s forgiveness of debt is considered a bequest, such bequest can only be given effect after the estate’s debts are paid off.  Thus, because Mr. Wallace’s estate was insolvent, his will’s attempt to forgive his son’s debt could not be given effect.

Mr. Wallace’s son argued that the debt forgiveness should be given effect because Mr. Wallace’s will was a “signed writing.”  Under Florida law, the holder of a promissory note can lawfully renounce his rights against the debtor in a signed writing.  The court disagreed.  A will depends on the Probate Code for its authority.  A will therefore is not an isolated “signed writing” but must be admitted to probate to be given effect.  Mr. Wallace’s attempt to forgive his son’s debt was a bequest, not an isolated signed writing.  As a bequest, it cannot be given effect until the estate’s debt is paid.

Lauritsen demonstrates the problems that could arise when an estate is insolvent.  If one intends to forgive a debt upon his or her death, the better approach would be to include such wording in the debt instrument itself.  A clause in a promissory note forgiving the debt upon death of the holder might have avoided the issue in Lauritsen.

Probate attorney Peter T. Mavrick represents clients in probate, trust, and guardianship litigation.  This article is not a substitute for legal advice tailored to a particular situation.  Peter T. Mavrick can be reached at: Website: www.mavricklaw.com; Telephone: 954-564-2246; Address: 1620 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 300, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311; Email: peter@mavricklaw.com.

SPENDTHRIFT TRUSTS AND DISCRETIONARY TRUSTS: PROTECTING TRUST ASSETS FROM CREDITORS

A spendthrift trust protects the trust assets against most creditors.  To be valid under Florida law, a spendthrift trust must restrain both voluntary and involuntary transfers of the beneficiary’s interest.  In other words, one cannot validly set up a trust to keep creditors out while simultaneously allowing the beneficiary to freely transfer his interest in the trust.  However, once the trustee makes a payment to the beneficiary of a spendthrift trust, creditors could make a claim on that payment.

Discretionary trusts give the trustee discretion in making payments to the beneficiary.  Under Florida law, a discretionary trustee who refuses to make payments to the beneficiary generally cannot be forced to make those payments by a creditor.  Therefore, when a trust includes a spendthrift clause and a discretionary clause, creditors may be lawfully excluded from ever reaching the trust assets.  However, spendthrift and/or discretionary trust are susceptible to some creditors’ claims, e.g., alimony or child support.

Miller v. Kresser, 34 So. 3d 172 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010), is an example of the protection that Florida law offers to spendthrift trusts.  Elizabeth Miller established a trust naming her son, James Miller, as the beneficiary and naming her other son, Jerry Miller, as trustee.  The trust included a valid spendthrift clause and gave Jerry, as trustee, full discretion to make payments to James.  In 2007, a creditor obtained judgment against James for $1,019,095.82.  The creditor then sought to recover on his judgment from James’ trust.

The creditor attempted to pierce the spendthrift trust on the grounds that James, the trust beneficiary, exercised exclusive dominion and control over the trust assets.  The creditor argued that while the spendthrift clause was legally valid in form, Jerry had turned over management and control of the trust to James.  Jerry simply rubber-stamped James’ decisions regarding the trust.  The court found that even though James had, in practice, dominion and control over the trust assets, he did not have express control, i.e., the trust did not provide for his control.  Instead, Jerry had sole discretion to make payments.  The creditor was therefore unable to reach James’ trust assets.  The court also found that because the trust was also a discretionary trust, the creditor could not force Jerry to make a payment to James.  “There is no law in Florida suggesting that a beneficiary’s creditors may reach trust assets in a discretionary trust simply because the trustee allows the beneficiary to exercise significant control over the trust.”  Miller, 34 So. 3d at 176.

More recently, in Zlatkiss v. All American Team Concepts, LLC, 125 So. 3d 953 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013), another Florida district court found that the Florida statute upholding the validity of spendthrift trusts was constitutional.  In Zlatkiss, the beneficiary of a spendthrift trust signed a personal guarantee on a $350,000 loan.  When the beneficiary failed to repay the loan, creditors attempted to reach the trust assets by arguing that Florida’s protection of spendthrift trusts is unconstitutional because it bars creditors’ access to the courts.  The court upheld the constitutionality of spendthrift trusts and found that the Florida Constitution protects a person’s access to the courts, but does not protect the ability to enforce a judgment.

These cases show that Florida law offer spendthrift trusts substantial protection from most creditors.  Even when a trustee abandons his responsibilities to manage and distribute the trust property, Florida law focuses on the terms of the trust and not the actions of the trustee or beneficiary.  The amount of protection offered to a trust therefore depends substantially on proper drafting.  As long as the spendthrift/discretionary trust is properly drafted, most creditors will not be able to reach the trust assets.

Florida Probate Attorney Peter T. Mavrick represents clients in probate, trust, and guardianship litigation.  This article is not a substitute for legal advice tailored to a particular situation.  Peter T. Mavrick can be reached at: Website: www.mavricklaw.com; Telephone: 954-564-2246; Address: 1620 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 300, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311; Email: peter@mavricklaw.com.

PROPERLY DRAFTING A WILL: TRUE INTENT VS. INTENT STATED IN THE WILL

In interpreting a will, Florida law holds that the intention of the testator is the controlling factor in the analysis.  However, Florida law also provides that the testator’s intention should be gleaned from the four corners of the will.  Aldrich v. Basile, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 1027, at *12 (Fla. Mar. 27, 2014) (“The testator’s intention as expressed in the will controls, not that which she may have had in her mind”).  If the will is not valid under Florida law, Florida courts generally will not consider it.

Ann Aldrich wrote her will on an EZ Legal Form that she bought online.  She listed all her possession on the will and handwrote instructions directing that all of her “possessions listed” should go to her sister.  Ms. Aldrich further wrote that if her sister dies before her, “all listed” possessions should go to her brother.  Having listed all her possession on the will and devising them as she wished, Ms. Aldrich signed the will and had two witnesses sign the will in accordance with Florida law.  Had her story ended here, Ms. Aldrich’s intent would have been properly reflected on a valid will.

Three years after Ms. Aldrich wrote her will on the EZ Legal Form, her sister died leaving about $122,000 in cash to Ms. Aldrich as well as land.  Following her sister’s passing, Ms. Aldrich handwrote an additional document.  The handwritten document stated as follows: “This is an addendum to my will .… Since my sister … has passed away, I reiterate that all my worldly possessions pass to my brother.”  Aldrich, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 1027, at *6.  Ms. Aldrich signed the handwritten document and her daughter signed it as the sole witness.  Shortly thereafter, Ms. Aldrich passed away.  Ms. Aldrich’s handwritten document shows that her intent in drafting her will was to pass all her worldly possession to her brother if her sister died before her.  The Florida Supreme Court, however, held that the cash and land that Ms. Aldrich inherited after drafting her will was not disposed of by her will and must pass by intestacy.

As the Florida Supreme Court noted, Ms. Aldrich’s will was not ambiguous.  To the contrary, the will was very specific.  The will directed that all of Ms. Aldrich’s “possession listed” should go to her brother if her sister dies before Ms. Aldrich.  Because the cash and land were not “listed” in the will, Ms. Aldrich did not properly dispose of those assets in her will.  Had the will included a residuary clause, i.e., a provision regarding the remainder of Ms. Aldrich’s estate, the outcome might have been different.  However, because Ms. Aldrich’s valid will was very specific as to which assets should pass to her brother, the Florida Supreme Court “cannot infer from the four corners of the will, without adding words to the document, that in making provision for the property she owned on that day that she also intended to make provision for any property that she stood to gain in the future.”  Aldrich, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 1027, at *17.  As to Ms. Aldrich’s handwritten addendum, because the document was not properly signed by two attesting witnesses, it had no legal effect as a testamentary instrument.  As Justice Pariente explained in her concurring opinion, “although this is the correct result under Florida’s probate law, this result does not effectuate Ms. Aldrich’s true intent.”  Aldrich, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 1027, at *21 (Pariente, J., concurring).

Aldrich highlights two important aspects of Florida probate law.  First, Florida law requires that the testator’s intent as stated in the will govern the interpretation of a testator’s will.  As Aldrich demonstrates, the testator’s “stated” intent does not always coincide with his or her “true” intent.  Second, as with any legal document, proper drafting is essential.  As Justice Pariente noted, “the ultimate cost of utilizing such a [pre-printed] form to draft one’s will has the potential to far surpass the cost of hiring a lawyer at the outset. … I therefore take this opportunity to highlight a cautionary tale of the potential dangers of utilizing pre-printed forms and drafting a will without legal assistance.  As this case illustrates, that decision can ultimately result in the frustration of the testator’s intent, in addition to the payment of extensive attorney’s fees.”  Aldrich, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 1027, at *22-24 (Pariente, J., concurring).

Probate attorney Peter T. Mavrick represents clients in probate, trust, and guardianship litigation.  This article is not a substitute for legal advice tailored to a particular situation.  Peter T. Mavrick can be reached at: Website: www.mavricklaw.com; Telephone: 954-564-2246; Address: 1620 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 300, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311; Email: peter@mavricklaw.com.

FLORIDA COURT HOLDS THAT THE RENUNCIATION RULE DOES NOT APPLY TO SELF-SETTLED TRUSTS

Under Florida law, if a person wishes to contest the validity of a legal instrument, i.e., a will or trust, he or she cannot simultaneously benefit from that instrument.  The “renunciation rule” requires that an individual challenging the validity of a legal instrument return the payments or benefits that he or she received under that instrument.  The renunciation, however, is qualified, not absolute.  In other words, the party challenging the validity of the legal instrument would be entitled to those payments he or she received should the challenge be unsuccessful and the legal instrument declared valid.  The bottom line is that a person cannot unfairly hold inconsistent positions regarding a legal instrument, i.e., a person cannot accept and keep payments from a will or trust while simultaneously challenging the validity of that will or trust.  Like all rules, however, there are exceptions.  One such exception was recently articulated by a Florida district court in Fintak v. Fintak, 120 So. 3d 177 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013).

Edmund Fintak created a trust for his own benefit that was entirely funded by his own assets (a “self-settled” trust).  The self-settled trust was created to provide regular payment to Mr. Fintak for his health, education, and support.  In addition to the regular payments, the self-settled trust included a provision requiring payment from the trust upon Mr. Fintak’s written demand.  The self-settled trust also provided that upon Mr. Fintak’s death, the trust assets were to be divided into equal parts and distributed to his six children.  Two of Mr. Fintak’s children served as co-trustees.

After executing the trust, Mr. Fintak accepted and kept several payments from the self-settled trust.  However, when the co-trustees refused to pay Mr. Fintak the $30,000 that he demanded, Mr. Fintak filed a complaint challenging the validity of the trust.  The co-trustees argued that under the renunciation rule, Mr. Fintak could not challenge the validity of the trust because he accepted and kept trust payments.  The court disagreed.

In Barnett Nat’l Bank v. Murrey, 49 So. 2d 535, 537 (Fla. 1950), the Florida Supreme Court stated three rationales for the renunciation rule: (1) it protects the trustee in the event that the trust is held invalid, (2) it demonstrates sincerity of the person challenging the legal documents and avoid vexatious challenges, and (3) it makes the property readily available for disposition at the outcome of the challenge.

The court in Fintak found that none of the three rationales applied to Mr. Fintak’s case.  First, application of the renunciation rule would not serve to protect the co-trustees if the trust is held invalid because Mr. Fintak was legally entitled to the trust assets regardless of the outcome of the challenge.  Second, the risk that Mr. Fintak’s challenge is insincere or vexatious is mitigated by the fact that Mr. Fintak is challenging the validity of his own prior act rather than the act of another party.  Finally, because Mr. Fintak was lawfully entitled to receive the benefits of the self-settled trust even if the trust never existed, application of the renunciation rule would not work to ensure that the property is available for disposition to the rightful owner at the outcome of the challenge.

Because the rationales behind the renunciation rule did not apply to the case, the court in Fintak refused to mechanically apply the rule, to do so “would be to elevate form over substance.”  Fintak, 120 So. 3d at 184.  Thus, the court held that “the settlor of a self-settled trust funded with his own assets is not required to renounce any benefits received under the trust before he can challenge its validity.”  Fintak, 120 So. 3d at 179.

Florida law will not allow a person to benefit from a trust or will while simultaneously challenging the validity of that trust or will.  The Fintak case demonstrates a small and rarely applicable exception to this rule.  However, if a person wishes to challenge the validity of a trust or will, then that person should keep in mind that he or she must generally renounce any benefit received from that trust or will before raising such a challenge.

Probate attorney Peter T. Mavrick represents clients in probate, trust, and guardianship litigation.  This article is not a substitute for legal advice tailored to a particular situation.  Peter T. Mavrick can be reached at: Website: www.mavricklaw.com; Telephone: 954-564-2246; Address: 1620 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 300, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311; Email: peter@mavricklaw.com.

PROPERLY DRAFTING A WILL TO DEVISE TRUST ASSETS

Before drafting a will, the testator, i.e., the person who owns the assets that will be distributed after his or her death, must fully understand any restriction placed on the alienation of his or her assets.  A testator might erroneously believe he or she has the power to devise an asset as he or she wishes and be left with an unenforceable bequest.  Such was the case of Sally Christiansen.

In Cessac v. Stevens, No. 1D12-5834, 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 18525 (Fla. 1st DCA November 20, 2013), the decedent, Ms. Christiansen, devised the remainder of her estate to Joanne Cessac.  Through her will, Ms. Christiansen essentially disinherited her two children.  When she died, Ms. Christiansen was the beneficiary of three trusts all of which were created by her father.  Normally, the assets in those trusts would be devised to whomever Ms. Christiansen wished in compliance with her will.  In this case, Ms. Christiansen intended that the assets in those trusts be devised to Ms. Cessac.  The district court, however, found that the assets in those trusts must be distributed to Ms. Christiansen’s children, not to Ms. Cessac.

A person creating a trust may place restrictions on the disposition of the trust’s property.  Ms. Christiansen’s father included the following restriction on the trusts:

“Upon the death of my daughter, [Ms. Christiansen], the Trustees shall transfer and deliver the remaining principal of this share of the trust, … as my daughter may, by her will, appoint, making specific reference to the power herein granted.

If [Ms. Christiansen] … dies without exercising the power of appointment granted herein, [her] share of this trust shall be divided into equal shares so that there shall be one share for each child of [Ms. Christiansen]….”  Cessac, 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 18525, at *2.

All three trusts included identical wording.  Ms. Christiansen’s will included only the following provision regarding those trusts:  “Included in my estate assets are the STANTON P. KELLER TRUST . . . and two (2) currently being held at Northern Trust of Florida in Miami, Florida.”  Her will therefore did not make “specific reference to the power” granted by the trusts to devise her share of the trusts through her will.  Because Ms. Christiansen made no reference to the power granted by the trusts to devise the trust assets, the trust assets must be devised as the trusts’ creator originally intended: “divided into equal shares” and distributed to Ms. Christiansen’s children.

The district court recognized that this was a harsh result.  However, the court also noted that such a result was a function of the intent of the original donor, i.e., Ms. Christiansen’s father.  Even though Ms. Christiansen intended that those assets be devised to Ms. Cessac, the intent that matters in this case is that of Ms. Christiansen’s father, who intended that Ms. Christiansen make “specific reference to the [appointment] power” if she were to devise her interest in the trusts by will.  Ms. Christiansen failed to make such reference.  The court further found that compliance with the trusts’ requirements would not have been difficult because “all that was necessary was some reference to powers of appointment in the [Ms. Christiansen]’s will.” Cessac, 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 18525, at *14.

This case serves as a cautionary tale to both attorneys and those in the process of estate planning.  It is important that the person drafting a will understand the nature and intricacies of the testator’s assets and restrictions thereon.  In the case of Ms. Christiansen, because her attorney failed to ensure that her will complied with the trusts’ requirements, Ms. Christiansen’s shares in the trusts were not hers to devise upon her death.  It is therefore important that a testator consult with a thorough probate and trust attorney when drafting his or her will.

Florida Probate Attorney Peter T. Mavrick represents clients in probate, trust, and guardianship litigation.  This article is not a substitute for legal advice tailored to a particular situation.  Peter T. Mavrick can be reached at: Website: www.mavricklaw.com; Telephone: 954-564-2246; Address: 1620 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 300, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311; Email: peter@mavricklaw.com.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS REGARDING HOLOGRAPHIC WILLS UNDER FLORIDA LAW

The right to testamentary disposition of property is a right protected by the Florida Constitution.  To be valid under Florida law, a will must satisfy certain formalities: the will must be (1) in writing, (2) signed by the testator at the end of the will (or at the direction and presence of the testator), and (3) signed by two attesting witnesses in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other.  However, Florida law will generally recognize a foreign will as valid if the will is valid under the laws of the state or country where the will was executed even if it does not strictly conform to the Florida formalities.  One major exception of this general rule is in the case of holographic wills.

A holographic will is a will that is hand-written by the testator and is not signed by witnesses.  Some states recognize holographic wills as valid under certain conditions particular to each state.  For example, Colorado will recognize a holographic will as valid if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator’s handwriting.  Whereas, North Carolina will only recognize a holographic will as valid if the entire will is hand-written by the testator.

However, Florida law will not admit a holographic will into probate if it does not satisfy the required formalities under Florida law even if such will is valid in the state in which it was executed.  Florida law requires two witnesses to a will to assure the will’s authenticity and avoid fraud.  Under Florida law, holographic wills are not as reliable as wills that are executed in the presence of two witnesses.

In a recent case, a Florida district court refused to recognize a holographic will from Colorado that was valid under Colorado law.  Lee v. Estate of Payne, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D 1969 (Fla. 2d DCA Sept. 18, 2013).  In Lee, a testator, Mr. Payne, hand-wrote a will leaving real property located in Florida to his fiancée, Ms. Lee.  The will was executed in Colorado, a state that recognizes holographic wills as valid.  Because Mr. Payne’s will was not signed by two witnesses in the presence of each other, the Florida trial court refused to admit the will into probate.  Thus, Mr. Payne’s property located in Florida had to pass, through intestacy, to his estate’s only beneficiary: his minor daughter.  Ms. Lee challenged the Florida law as unconstitutional.  The district court held that it was bound by legal precedent to uphold the validity of the statute and affirm the trial court’s refusal to admit the will into probate.

The Lee case highlights the pitfalls that one may encounter due to differing state laws.  If a will includes real property located in Florida, or if the testator moves to Florida from another state, the best course of action is to have a Florida probate attorney verify that the will is valid and enforceable under Florida law.

Florida probate attorney Peter T. Mavrick represents clients in probate, trust, and guardianship litigation.  This article is not a substitute for legal advice tailored to a particular situation.  Peter T. Mavrick can be reached at: Website: www.mavricklaw.com; Telephone: 954-564-2246; Address: 1620 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Suite 300, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311; Email: peter@mavricklaw.com.