FactsMitchell and Virginia Habeeb were married for approximately fifty years until Virginia died in 2008. In 1973, the couple took title to a Key Biscayne condominium unit as tenants by the entireties. The condominium unit was their residence and Florida homestead. In 1979, Mitchell and Virginia executed a warranty deed granting to Virginia a fee simple interest in the homestead property. The deed did not include a provision containing the terms “waiver” and “homestead rights,” but it did contain the traditional, sweeping terms of a warranty deed.
In 2006, Virginia executed a will devising a life estate in the condominium unit to Mitchell, with the remainder to her sister Betty. Under the will, Mitchell also received the residuary estate. The couple continued to live in the Key Biscayne property until Virginia passed away in November 2008. Virginia was survived by both Mitchell and Betty. Mitchell died in January 2009, survived by six nephews, including Richard Habeeb (appellant and personal representative of Mitchell’s estate). Betty died in July 2010, survived by her daughter Catherine Risk Linder (appellee and personal representative of Virginia’s estate).
Mitchell’s estate challenged the devise of the homestead property under Virginia’s will. Mitchell’s estate moved for a summary judgment striking the devise and determining that Virginia’s fee simple interest in the condominium passed to Mitchell as her surviving spouse. The trial court denied the motion, and instead granted the appellee’s cross-motion for summary judgment. The trial court concluded that Mitchell had relinquished his entire interest in the property in the 1979 warranty deed, including any spousal rights in the homestead. This appeal followed.
Judge(s): Vance E. Salter
Jurisdiction: Florida Court of Appeals, Third District
Related Categories: Domestic Relations
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Court of Appeals Judge(s)|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|George Elias, Jr.|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|
|Robert Goldman||Goldman Felcoski & Stone PA|