WHEN CAN YOU CONTEST A WILL?

The death of a loved one is hard enough without estate planning disputes adding to the emotional upheaval. Unfortunately, if you feel like you were slighted in your family member’s will, you are not alone. Many Miami residents have discovered, after their loved one’s death, that they did not receive what they had hoped or that they were left out of the will completely.

Being unhappy with the contents of a will does not necessarily mean that you are being selfish or petty. For most people who are slighted in a will, it comes as a shock and may even feel like they were not loved or cared for as much as other beneficiaries. According to AARP, will contests are becoming more common today as the older generation begins to pass away. Disputes among family members – siblings especially – often occur when someone is unhappy with a will.

The following situations may give you legal grounds to question what was in your loved one’s will:

  • Incapacitation – This might have occurred if your loved one was mentally unable to consider and write the details of the will.
  • Undue influence – If someone pressured your family member into changing his or her will, you may be able to contest it.
  • Improper execution – Occasionally a will was prepared or executed improperly under Florida law.
  • Fraud – Your loved one may have been the target of fraud if someone tricked him or her into signing a will, saying it was another type of document instead.

It is important to understand that many of these scenarios are difficult to prove. Also, disputing a will may cause additional family contention. However, there may be instances in which contesting the will is in your best interests. The content of this post is meant for informational purposes, but is not intended as legal advice.

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Written by Luis E. Barreto

Luis E. Barreto

Luis is a probate and guardianship litigator with over 23 years of experience in the field. Determination of heirs, will contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, removal of personal representatives, guardians and trustees are just some of the types of litigation he addresses. In addition, he administers non-contested estates and guardianships.