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Barrett v. Kapoor

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

August 28, 2019

Wanda Barrett, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Vivienne Caserta, Appellant,
v.
Bettina Caserta Kapoor, Individually, as Beneficiary and as Trustee of the Guido T. Caserta Trust dated October 6, 2008, and Roger Caserta, Individually and as Beneficiary, Appellees.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Barbara Areces, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 17-9462

          Wasson & Associates, Chartered, and Roy D. Wasson; Metnick Levy & Dyson, and Peter A. Dyson (Delray Beach), for appellant.

          Silverberg & Weiss, P.A., and Kraig S. Weiss (Weston), for appellees.

          Before SALTER, LOGUE, and LINDSEY, JJ.

          LINDSEY, J.

         Wanda Barrett, as personal representative of the Estate of Vivienne Caserta, appeals a final summary judgment entered in favor of Bettina Caserta Kapoor and Roger Caserta in this action arising out of the administration of the Guido Caserta Trust. Specifically, the parties dispute the distribution of the Residuary Trust Estate, which was funded by the net proceeds of the sale of the Trust Property. Because, the Co-Trustees properly distributed the Residuary Trust Estate in accordance with the provisions of the Trust, we affirm.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Guido, [1] an unmarried widower, executed the Trust at issue herein on October 6, 2008, conveying a parcel of property on Miami Beach to himself as Trustee. Bettina and Vivienne, Guido's daughters, were named Successor Co-Trustees under the Trust. Meanwhile, Roger, Guido's son, was named as an alternative Co-Trustee in the event of one of his sisters' demise. All three children were named beneficiaries under the Trust.

         The issue in this case concerns the interpretation of Article V of the Trust, which clarifies that the Estate should be distributed upon Guido's death. Article V provides:

         ADMINISTRATION AFTER GRANTOR'S DEATH

After Grantor's death, the Residuary Trust Estate shall be administered and the principal and income shall be distributed as hereinafter provided:
A) Sale of Real Property. Upon the death of the Grantor, Bettina Caserta Kapoor shall have the right, per stripes, to purchase the Real Property as defined in Schedule A of this Trust on the following terms and conditions: The purchase price for the Real Property will be $670, 000.00 payable in cash at closing free and clear of all liens and encumbrances. The closing shall occur within one (1) year after the death of the Grantor subject to extension of time in order for the trust to resolve any title claims or issues that may exist as it relates to the Real Property…..The net profits from the sale of the real property, after deducting the expenses of the sale (the "Net Proceeds") shall be added to the Residuary Trust Estate and distributed in accordance with the provision of Section B below.
B) Residuary Trust Estate. Upon the death of the Grantor, the Residuary Trust Estate shall be divided into shares to create one share for each beneficiary named herein, per ...

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