Will Contests

A will is a legally binding document, created and signed by an individual for the purpose of distributing their property and assets upon their death.

If you feel your loved one was a victim of fraud, abuse, and undue influence which influenced their decisions related to their will, please consult a probate attorney specializing in estate litigation to determine if the will might be contested.

Who Can Contest a Will?

Under current state law, anyone named in the decedent’s current or former will and their living heirs are able to contest the will. This includes an executor, personal representative, trustee or beneficiary in a current or former will and the decedent’s spouse, children, and sometimes their siblings, aunts and uncles, parents, and grandchildren.

What is Undue Influence?
There are two common legal grounds for disputing or challenging a will in Florida. The first being mental competence of the decedent, and the other is that the decedent was a victim of “undue influence”.

Undue influence means that the will does not properly reflect the victim’s freely made choices. This is a method of one person taking advantage of a position of power over another person.

There are various examples of undue influence. A common scenario for suspicion of undue influence may include a new spouse or “friend” of the decedent suddenly inheriting their entire estate, even though it had been promised for many years to the children, other relatives or beneficiaries of the decedent.

What is Mental Capacity?
A person making a will must have a general understanding of their estate and the identity of beneficiaries (who they are and their relationship to him or her). If you feel your loved one’s will included suspicious circumstances such as hastily drafted wills, wills drafted by a layman, wills drafted with the active participation of the influencer or in the procurement of an individual to draft the will, please contact us.

Especially, if there is evidence of your loved one having a physical or mental weakened condition.

No matter the circumstance, time is of the essence in a Florida will contest. A will is admitted into probate court about 30 days after a petition is filed concerning the will, unless a written objection is filed. After the will is admitted to probate, will contests can become more complex and expensive.

Wills and trusts are common areas of contention. Disputes can arise among beneficiaries or between fiduciaries and beneficiaries for various reasons. If you are dealing with a dispute regarding the trust or will of a deceased loved one, please call us for a consultation at 866-230-0036.