Florida Comon Law gives Guardian Ad Litem of Child Priority of Mother’s Disposition

Arthur v. Milstein. et al, 949 So.2d 1163 (Fla. 4th DCA February 28, 2007)

In this dispute regarding who controlled the disposition of the body of Anna Nicole Smith, the trial court ruled that the guardian ad litem for her minor daughter Dannielynn had priority over Anna Nicole Smith’s mother based upon interpretation of Florida Statutes section 406 defining a “legally authorized person” upon whom a funeral home can rely to receive burial instructions. The appellate court indicated section 406 simply protects a funeral home from liability, and Florida common law applies regarding who has the right to possession of the body. The court found the trial court’s ruling was “the right result, but for the wrong reasons,” and based upon evidence indicating the intent of Anna Nicole Smith, affirmed the trial court ruling.

This issue could have been avoided with a properly drafted Florida Will. If you would like your Florida Will reviewed please Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer.

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