2016 Florida Statutes
Costs and attorney fees.
Costs and attorney fees.
733.106 Costs and attorney fees.—
(1) In all probate proceedings, costs may be awarded as in chancery actions.
(2) A person nominated as personal representative, or any proponent of a will if the person so nominated does not act within a reasonable time, if in good faith justified in offering the will in due form for probate, shall receive costs and attorney fees from the estate even though probate is denied or revoked.
(3) Any attorney who has rendered services to an estate may be awarded reasonable compensation from the estate.
(4) If costs and attorney fees are to be paid from the estate under this section, s. 733.6171(4), s. 736.1005, or s. 736.1006, the court, in its discretion, may direct from what part of the estate they shall be paid.
(a) If the court directs an assessment against a person’s part of the estate and such part is insufficient to fully pay the assessment, the court may direct payment from the person’s part of a trust, if any, if a pour-over will is involved and the matter is interrelated with the trust.
(b) All or any part of the costs and attorney fees to be paid from the estate may be assessed against one or more persons’ part of the estate in such proportions as the court finds to be just and proper.
(c) In the exercise of its discretion, the court may consider the following factors:
1. The relative impact of an assessment on the estimated value of each person’s part of the estate.
2. The amount of costs and attorney fees to be assessed against a person’s part of the estate.
3. The extent to which a person whose part of the estate is to be assessed, individually or through counsel, actively participated in the proceeding.
4. The potential benefit or detriment to a person’s part of the estate expected from the outcome of the proceeding.
5. The relative strength or weakness of the merits of the claims, defenses, or objections, if any, asserted by a person whose part of the estate is to be assessed.
6. Whether a person whose part of the estate is to be assessed was a prevailing party with respect to one or more claims, defenses, or objections.
7. Whether a person whose part of the estate is to be assessed unjustly caused an increase in the amount of costs and attorney fees incurred by the personal representative or another interested person in connection with the proceeding.
8. Any other relevant fact, circumstance, or equity.
(d) The court may assess a person’s part of the estate without finding that the person engaged in bad faith, wrongdoing, or frivolousness.
History.—s. 1, ch. 74-106; s. 49, ch. 75-220; s. 984, ch. 97-102; s. 82, ch. 2001-226; s. 1, ch. 2015-27.
Note.—Created from former s. 732.14.