HOW A WILL MAY BE CONTESTED

There may be times when a Florida resident is surprised by the contents of a relative’s will after the person dies. Sometimes this surprise is pleasant but, in other cases, it not. When a problem may exist with a will, the option to contest it does exist. AARP notes that this may be difficult but there are four avenues via which people can pursue the revocation of a will after the creator’s death.

One reason to challenge a will is when the decedent is believed to have been mentally incompetent at the time the will was signed. Another situation is the suspicion of fraudulent actions. An example would be when a person signs a will but is told by the person asking them to sign that it is another document entirely. Problems with how a will was drafted or even filed could also warrant a challenge or contest to the will.

The fourth situation that may be put forth as a reason for a will contest is the use of undue influence over the decedent. This would include any manipulation to get the person to agree to things that they may not otherwise have done. The Florida legislature explains that any contest based upon these grounds requires the contesting party to clearly outline or show the reasons that a contest should be considered. It also requires those supporting the will as it is to prove that the will is legally binding. This may be done by providing documentation such as the affidavit of a person who witnessed the will signing.

People are also encouraged to consider the financial and emotional impacts of contesting a will. The cost can be high in dollars and also in the strain it can cause to other relationships.

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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.