A Florida Probate Attorney Guide to Contesting Wills in Florida
Every year, Florida sees more than 100,000 probate dispositions. Most involve wills guiding the court in the way in which the deceased wanted to distribute his or her assets. Sometimes, however, the will doesn’t accurately reflect the wishes of the deceased. Perhaps the testator was improperly influenced because of vulnerability or, perhaps, there was another problem. If this happens, knowing how you can contest the will could prevent somebody from profiting inappropriately. As a Miami probate attorney, this is our expert advice to help in such a situation.
How Can I Contest My Loved One’s Will?
When someone dies in Florida, there are two ways to distribute his or her possessions. Should the person die without making a will, the court will follow intestate distribution legislation. On the other hand, if there was a will in place, the court will follow the directions in the will.
Should you wish to contest the contents of a loved one’s will, it is necessary to petition the court. This means you will need to file a Revocation of Probate Petition.
The deceased’s estate continues through the process of distribution by the personal representative or administrator. However, the representative or administrator won’t distribute any property that could have gone to another person because of the contest.
If you contest a will, you must provide all evidence to support your argument. The law requires you to show your proof that the court must revoke the will.
What Is the Deadline for Contesting A Will?
It’s possible to contest any will as long as the process of probate remains uncompleted. If there was no will submitted, contesting it is possible regardless of the amount of time that has passed. When an administrator submits a will, the deadline to contest is three months after receiving notice. If you do not receive a notice, you can contest until the end of probate. The only exception is in the case of fraud. This would prevent you from contesting. In such a case, contesting after the discharge of the estate is still possible.
What Grounds Are There for Contesting A Will?
You can contest a will if you’re able to prove it doesn’t accurately represent the wishes of the deceased. Contesting is also possible if it is invalid under Florida law. Incapacity, undue influence, and fraud are other grounds on which a person can contest a will.
What Happens If You Contest A Will?
If you can argue the petition to contest the will, it’s possible the court will find all or part of it invalid. You will need to have an effective argument and evidence to support it. If the court finds any undue influence, it may only invalidate one provision. On the other hand, if mental incapacity is the finding, the court could invalidate the whole will. All property related to invalid provisions then passes according to the intestacy laws.
Some states permit no contest clauses in wills. The state of Florida, however, does not permit these clauses. Therefore, it is easy to contact a probate attorney in South Miami and contest a deceased person’s will.
Seeking Help from A Probate Lawyer in Miami
If you want to contest your loved one’s will, contact us today. We can help you to make sure you have carried out your loved one’s true wishes. If you haven’t drawn up your own will, you should make sure a probate lawyer handles the job for you. People are more likely to contest DIY wills after you pass away. When you use our legal services to draw up your will, your rights will be well-protected.