Is There A Deadline When Contesting Wills in Florida? A Florida Probate Attorney Gives Advice
Amazingly, more than half of all American adults have no will. In fact, 55 percent have no estate plan at all. This is very worrying news, especially for the families of the deceased. However, any Florida probate attorney will tell you that, in fact, even when there is a will, problems may arise.
You may think a will makes matters simpler for your loved ones. However, there are a number of reasons why a person may contest a will. In some cases, family members believe the deceased loved one lacked testamentary capacity. In others, they claim undue influence or fraud. Sometimes, they discover a will at a later time. There may even be too few witnesses to the document itself.
However, what happens if you have realized there is a problem with your loved one’s will? What action should you take? Most importantly, how long do you have to challenge the will? Here, a Florida probate attorney gives his expert advice.
Is There A Time Limit to Contest Wills?
Typically, legal actions all have their own statute of limitations. This is the specific time frame as set by the law during which the affected parties must act. This means there is only a limited period in which families can enforce rights or seek redress.
In the state of Florida, there is a statutory time limitation when it comes to challenging a will. Florida allows several years to pass on any claim before barring any action with statutes of limitation. However, when it comes to contesting a will, the state only allows three months. There is a clear outline in Florida Statute 733.212 for the deadline and process of filing objections. Our Florida probate attorney points out that all interested parties have to object to the will’s validity within three months. Should this not occur, the court can bar any objections forever.
The clock for objections begins soon as the court has served the notice of the administration of the will. This paperwork tells all interested parties the will is going to probate. The term “interested parties” refers to anybody on whom the will’s administration outcome will have an effect.
In general, as previously stated, if more than three months have passed without any objections, the court bars them forever. There is one exception to this – a misstatement from the deceased’s personal representative.
What Are the Grounds for Contesting A Will?
It’s possible to contest a will in Florida for a number of reasons. These include:
- When the will doesn’t represent accurately the wishes of the deceased.
- When the will doesn’t comply with state law in terms of execution. This means the two witnesses who were present didn’t sign the will. It also means there is no notary authentication of those signatures.
- When there is evidence of incapacity, undue influence or fraud.
Can A No-Contest Clause Apply?
In Florida, a person cannot enforce a no-contest clause. This means, in Florida probate court, challenging a will is easier than in other states.
How Do I Contest A Will in Florida?
In order to challenge a will in Florida, you have to file the Petition for Revocation of Probate. Once filed, the person who is handling the administration of the estate can continue with his or her administrative duties. The court cannot distribute any of the estate’s property, however, if it is likely it will go elsewhere. Planning to challenge a will in Florida? Then, you’ll need evidence to prove to the court that it must revoke the will.
If you need to challenge a will, it is essential to seek advice from probate attorneys in Miami, Florida. Contact our team today to obtain more information in this respect.