Estate Planning Law | Business Law | Real Estate Law 
Medicaid Planning | Probate | Trust Administration
Trust and Estate Litigation

At Henderson Sachs P.A. we believe our expertise in law compliments one another and provides synergy offering our clients a better perspective to make the important decisions.

All information is based on Florida law, and the laws of other states may differ. Please remember that no information on our site is specific legal advice.

Always consult a lawyer to apply the relevant state’s laws to your specific facts.

Lake Eola, Orlando, Florida

About Henderson Sachs

Henderson Sachs, P.A., provides a uniquely personal service to all of our clients, whether a couple in need of a new estate plan, an individual with real estate concerns including family members dealing with the death of a loved one while trying to navigate the complexities of administering their estate, or a foreign corporation needing local representation. Henderson Sachs, P.A., appreciates you visiting this web site but reminds you that the information contained herein is based on general facts and may not apply to specific factual situations you present.

Henderson Sachs Law Team

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Hablamos español en Henderson Sachs.
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Anaiz Rivas joined Henderson Sachs in 2016 before embarking on her journey to pursue a Juris Doctor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Tampa, FL. Upon graduating, she returned to our office with a fervent commitment to delve deeper into estate planning and probates until she achieves licensure as an attorney in Florida. Originally from Venezuela, Anaiz’s proficiency in Spanish enhances her ability to connect with clients on a personal level. Since immigrating to Florida in 2004, Anaiz has steadily climbed the ranks in the legal field, transitioning from a receptionist to a paralegal, with her sights set on becoming an attorney. Her immigrant background underscores her dedication to serving diverse communities, ensuring that her clients feel heard and understood by offering consultations in their native language.

2023 Florida Statues General Definitions for Estates and Trusts Title XLII

Probate and Trust

731.201 General definitions.—Subject to additional definitions in subsequent chapters that are applicable to specific chapters or parts, and unless the context otherwise requires, in this code, in s. 409.9101, and in chapters 736, 738, 739, and 744, the term:

(1) “Authenticated,” when referring to copies of documents or judicial proceedings required to be filed with the court under this code, means a certified copy or a copy authenticated according to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(2) “Beneficiary” means heir at law in an intestate estate and devisee in a testate estate. The term “beneficiary” does not apply to an heir at law or a devisee after that person’s interest in the estate has been satisfied. In the case of a devise to an existing trust or trustee, or to a trust or trustee described by will, the trustee is a beneficiary of the estate. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the beneficiary of the trust is not a beneficiary of the estate of which that trust or the trustee of that trust is a beneficiary. However, if each trustee is also a personal representative of the estate, each qualified beneficiary of the trust as defined in s. 736.0103 shall be regarded as a beneficiary of the estate.

(3) “Child” includes a person entitled to take as a child under this code by intestate succession from the parent whose relationship is involved, and excludes any person who is only a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild, or a more remote descendant.

(4) “Claim” means a liability of the decedent, whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, and funeral expense. The term does not include an expense of administration or estate, inheritance, succession, or other death taxes.

(5) “Clerk” means the clerk or deputy clerk of the court.

(6) “Collateral heir” means an heir who is related to the decedent through a common ancestor but who is not an ancestor or descendant of the decedent.

(7) “Court” means the circuit court.

(8) “Curator” means a person appointed by the court to take charge of the estate of a decedent until letters are issued.

(9) “Descendant” means a person in any generational level down the applicable individual’s descending line and includes children, grandchildren, and more remote descendants. The term “descendant” is synonymous with the terms “lineal descendant” and “issue” but excludes collateral heirs.

(10) “Devise,” when used as a noun, means a testamentary disposition of real or personal property and, when used as a verb, means to dispose of real or personal property by will or trust. The term includes “gift,” “give,” “bequeath,” “bequest,” and “legacy.” A devise is subject to charges for debts, expenses, and taxes as provided in this code, the will, or the trust.

(11) “Devisee” means a person designated in a will or trust to receive a devise. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, in the case of a devise to an existing trust or trustee, or to a trust or trustee of a trust described by will, the trust or trustee, rather than the beneficiaries of the trust, is the devisee. However, if each trustee is also a personal representative of the estate, each qualified beneficiary of the trust as defined in s. 736.0103 shall be regarded as a devisee.

(12) “Distributee” means a person who has received estate property from a personal representative or other fiduciary other than as a creditor or purchaser. A testamentary trustee is a distributee only to the extent of distributed assets or increments to them remaining in the trustee’s hands. A beneficiary of a testamentary trust to whom the trustee has distributed property received from a personal representative is a distributee. For purposes of this provision, “testamentary trustee” includes a trustee to whom assets are transferred by will, to the extent of the devised assets.

(13) “Domicile” means a person’s usual place of dwelling and shall be synonymous with residence.

(14) “Estate” means the property of a decedent that is the subject of administration.

(15) “Exempt property” means the property of a decedent’s estate which is described in s. 732.402.

(16) “File” means to file with the court or clerk.

(17) “Foreign personal representative” means a personal representative of another state or a foreign country.

(18) “Formal notice” means a form of notice that is described in and served by a method of service provided under rule 5.040(a) of the Florida Probate Rules.

(19) “Grantor” means one who creates or adds to a trust and includes “settlor” or “trustor” and a testator who creates or adds to a trust.

(20) “Heirs” or “heirs at law” means those persons, including the surviving spouse, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent.

(21) “Incapacitated” means a judicial determination that a person lacks the capacity to manage at least some of the person’s property or to meet at least some of the person’s essential health and safety requirements. A minor shall be treated as being incapacitated.

(22) “Informal notice” or “notice” means a method of service for pleadings or papers as provided under rule 5.040(b) of the Florida Probate Rules.

(23) “Interested person” means any person who may reasonably be expected to be affected by the outcome of the particular proceeding involved. In any proceeding affecting the estate or the rights of a beneficiary in the estate, the personal representative of the estate shall be deemed to be an interested person. In any proceeding affecting the expenses of the administration and obligations of a decedent’s estate, or any claims described in s. 733.702(1), the trustee of a trust described in s. 733.707(3) is an interested person in the administration of the grantor’s estate. The term does not include a beneficiary who has received complete distribution. The meaning, as it relates to particular persons, may vary from time to time and must be determined according to the particular purpose of, and matter involved in, any proceedings.

(24) “Letters” means authority granted by the court to the personal representative to act on behalf of the estate of the decedent and refers to what has been known as letters testamentary and letters of administration. All letters shall be designated “letters of administration.”

(25) “Minor” means a person under 18 years of age whose disabilities have not been removed by marriage or otherwise.

(26) “Other state” means any state of the United States other than Florida and includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession subject to the legislative authority of the United States.

(27) “Parent” excludes any person who is only a stepparent, foster parent, or grandparent.

(28) “Personal representative” means the fiduciary appointed by the court to administer the estate and refers to what has been known as an administrator, administrator cum testamento annexo, administrator de bonis non, ancillary administrator, ancillary executor, or executor.

(29) “Petition” means a written request to the court for an order.

(30) “Power of appointment” means an authority, other than as an incident of the beneficial ownership of property, to designate recipients of beneficial interests in property.

(31) “Probate of will” means all steps necessary to establish the validity of a will and to admit a will to probate.

(32) “Property” means both real and personal property or any interest in it and anything that may be the subject of ownership, including causes of action of the estate and causes of action the decedent had at the time of death.

(33) “Protected homestead” means the property described in s. 4(a)(1), Art. X of the State Constitution on which at the death of the owner the exemption inures to the owner’s surviving spouse or heirs under s. 4(b), Art. X of the State Constitution. For purposes of the code, real property owned in tenancy by the entireties or in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship is not protected homestead.

(34) “Residence” means a person’s place of dwelling.

(35) “Residuary devise” means a devise of the assets of the estate which remain after the provision for any devise which is to be satisfied by reference to a specific property or type of property, fund, sum, or statutory amount. If the will contains no devise which is to be satisfied by reference to a specific property or type of property, fund, sum, or statutory amount, “residuary devise” or “residue” means a devise of all assets remaining after satisfying the obligations of the estate.

(36) “Security” means a security as defined in s. 517.021.

(37) “Security interest” means a security interest as defined in s. 671.201.

(38) “Trust” means an express trust, private or charitable, with additions to it, wherever and however created. It also includes a trust created or determined by a judgment or decree under which the trust is to be administered in the manner of an express trust. “Trust” excludes other constructive trusts, and it excludes resulting trusts; conservatorships; custodial arrangements pursuant to the Florida Uniform Transfers to Minors Act; business trusts providing for certificates to be issued to beneficiaries; common trust funds; land trusts under s. 689.071, except to the extent provided in s. 689.071(7); trusts created by the form of the account or by the deposit agreement at a financial institution; voting trusts; security arrangements; liquidation trusts; trusts for the primary purpose of paying debts, dividends, interest, salaries, wages, profits, pensions, or employee benefits of any kind; and any arrangement under which a person is nominee or escrowee for another.

(39) “Trustee” includes an original, additional, surviving, or successor trustee, whether or not appointed or confirmed by court.

(40) “Will” means a testamentary instrument, including a codicil, executed by a person in the manner prescribed by this code, which disposes of the person’s property on or after his or her death and includes an instrument which merely appoints a personal representative or guardian or revokes or revises another will. The term includes an electronic will as defined in s. 732.521.

History.—s. 1, ch. 74-106; s. 4, ch. 75-220; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 85-79; s. 66, ch. 87-226; s. 1, ch. 88-340; s. 7, ch. 93-257; s. 6, ch. 95-401; s. 949, ch. 97-102; s. 52, ch. 98-421; s. 11, ch. 2001-226; s. 106, ch. 2002-1; s. 2, ch. 2003-154; s. 2, ch. 2005-108; s. 29, ch. 2006-217; s. 3, ch. 2007-74; s. 8, ch. 2007-153; s. 1, ch. 2009-115; s. 4, ch. 2010-132; s. 1, ch. 2012-109; s. 16, ch. 2013-172; s. 30, ch. 2019-71; s. 2, ch. 2020-67.

Note.—Created from former s. 731.03.

Our Practice Areas


 Most clients come to us with one major goal in mind… to avoid Probate.  They have heard through the grapevine that Probate “takes forever” and “the Government takes all the money.”  But most clients, unless having gone through a Florida Probate before, have very little understanding of what Probate actually entails. 

Trust Administration

It is very important to find the right person that you can trust your personal assets, someone who could give justice to the word “trust”. Henderson Sachs, P.A. offers high quality services to all clients that are in need of a trust administrator that will manage assets and protect a person’s property while he is unable to take care of it. A trustee must possess reliable skills and competence to meet the requirements of quality service in order to build loyalty to all beneficiaries.

Trust and Estate Litigation

While disputes over a loved one’s estate are never desirable, having an experienced attorney representing you in such a dispute can make the difference in achieving a desirable result.  Our experienced trust and estate attorneys will help you fight for the outcome that accurately reflects your loved one’s wishes.

 Small Business Representation

Henderson Sachs, P.A. is uniquely staffed to represent business owners in both the negotiating of sophisticated business contracts, as well as the enforcement or defense of those same documents.

Real Estate and Construction

The experience of Henderson Sachs, P.A. provides a unique outlook to effectively represent its clients in most every facet of real estate acquisition, development, and ownership.


Trusts, in particular Revocable Living Trusts, are becoming more and more popular with clients as a probate avoidance tool. Of course Trusts have a multitude of other uses and benefits, but most clients share a common goal to avoid probate altogether after hearing about another person’s probate nightmare.


Many clients come to us whom have never had a Will. Others are moving here from another State and would like to have their Wills reviewed. Others simply would like to make changes to an existing Will. One thing most clients share is that they do not understand their Wills or what a Will does for them.

Powers of Attorney

Florida’s rules regarding Powers of Attorney have become quite specific and strict over time.  It is important when executing a Power of Attorney to not only think about yourself, but also the audience to which the Power of Attorney may be presented in the future.  Powers of Attorney can be established for very specific situations or more general purposes, though even the more general Powers of Attorney should be specific regarding the individual powers they convey.

Living Wills

There are only certain medical circumstances under which “life support” may be removed from a person who is unable to communicate.  A Living Will allows a person to make his or her intentions clear regarding life-prolonging procedures in the event he or she is unable to communicate those intentions in the future.

Medicaid Planning

With long-term care costs skyrocketing, qualifying for Medicaid to help pay for your long-term skilled care needs can help to make sure that your loved ones are not left paying for your care needs if you run out of money.  Our Elder Law Attorneys  are ready to assist you with making plans to ensure your care needs are covered.

Short Sale Negotiation

At Henderson Sachs P.A. we use our legal and negotiating skill to find common ground agreeable to both you and your lender. Of course after an initial consultation we will advise you of our strategy and plan regarding your specific situation.

Foreclosure Defense

Hope is not lost! In the past, homeowners found themselves in an untenable position with few real defenses to a foreclosure action. Today, however, it is often the lender that finds itself in a difficult position.

Homeowners’ Associations and Condominium

 We understand that Associations in Florida are not for profit corporations and do not budget significant sums to legal matters. As a result, we at Henderson Sachs, P.A. offer a different solution: with an in depth understanding of the limitations and challenges faced by Association Boards—often individuals who volunteer their time for such purpose—we provide cost-conscious services that often allows for the deferment of a portion of our fees.

Loan Modification

Loan modifications are becoming more popular as real estate prices continue to be depressed throughout much of Florida. A successful loan modification involves working with your lender directly to reduce the monthly payment you have to pay. Some combination of extending the term of the loan, reducing the rate of interest, converting the loan to a fixed rate of interest, or forgiving a portion of the principal can each be used to reach the desired outcome.

Meet the Partners

“Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true law.” – Anonymous

Orlando, Florida

Daniel S. Henderson Esq.

Dan manages the firm’s estate planning, probate, and trust administration practices. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in architectural design and later graduated from Brooklyn Law School. After working in the towering law firms of New York City, Dan moved to Florida to join a boutique estate planning firm in South Florida for a more “hands-on” legal experience. He knew he found it in the first month, as it involved significant time hanging out on the office roof to install big blue tarps to repair damage from Hurricane Charley. In May of 2006, Dan and Josh founded Henderson Sachs, P.A., with personal service in mind. 

Orlando, Florida

Joshua M. Sachs Esq.

Josh manages the firm’s real estate and business practices. After graduating from Emory University Josh was a paralegal in the Capital Markets department of a large New York City law firm before attending and subsequently graduating from Brooklyn Law School. Upon his admission to the New York and New Jersey bars, Josh practiced largely employment and labor law for a few years before joining the “dot com” boom and heading up a number of start-up business development departments.

Orlando, Florida

Andrew M. Berland 

Andrew M. Berland graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Mr. Berland then spent two years working with Central Florida youths before deciding to pursue a career in the legal profession. He attended Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida where Mr. Berland was a Senior Editor of the Barry Law Review. He graduated from Barry University School of Law in May of 2010, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in September of 2010. Since then, Mr. Berland has worked as an Associate Attorney for Henderson Sachs, P.A., handling foreclosure litigation, short sale negotiations, and other real estate and transactional related matters. Mr. Berland also handles probate litigation, trust administration, and estate planning for firm clients.

We have successfully defended our clients against some of the biggest financial institutions in the United States.

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