Challenge Will Documents
In Florida, after family members learn of the contents of a will, it is not uncommon for some family members to be dissatisfied and upset. In extreme cases, they are so upset they want to challenge the validity of the will. In Florida, there are specific requirements that must be followed in order to launch a will contest. The objectant must be an interested party, the objectant must have grounds for the challenge, and the objectant must file the will challenge within the required timeframe. If you believe that a will of a loved one is invalid and would like to learn the process for filing a challenge to it, immediately contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale will challenge lawyer. The timeframe for filing a will challenge is exceptionally brief. It is critical that the process is started as quickly as possible.Interested Parties
Under the Florida Probate Code in order to petition the court to object to will documents you must be an interested party. This means that you must have legal standing. If you file a petition to object to a will and you are not an interested party, your petition will be dismissed regardless of whether or not there is a strong basis for your challenge. Interested parties are limited to those who have a stake in the outcome of the challenge, such as beneficiaries under the will, beneficiaries under prior will, and those who would inherit based on the rules of intestate succession. If you are still unsure as to whether or not you have legal standing to contest a will, contact a Fort Lauderdale will challenge attorney right away.Grounds to Challenge a Will
In addition, in Florida in order to challenge will documents you must have legal grounds to do so. It is not enough that you are simply unhappy that you did not receive the decedent’s condo, that you did not receive the decedent’s art collection, or that you are upset that your cousin received large part of the estate. Legal grounds for filing an objection to a will include improper execution, duress, lack of mental capacity, and undue influence.
If a will is not properly executed, it is an invalid. In Florida in order to properly execute a will it must be signed by the testator in the presence of at least two witnesses who also must sign it. , and it must be signed and witnessed by at least two individuals. A will would not be valid if the testator was mentally incapacitated at the time he or she executed the will. . If you have evidence that the testator did not understand what it means to make a will, did not understand the value and extent of his estate, and had no idea who his natural heirs were, then there is a strong case for you to challenge will documents. Another reason to object to probate is evidence that the will was made based on undue influence by a person whose aim was to influence the testator into making a will that he or she would not have otherwise made. For example, a friend of the testator who over time convinces a vulnerable testator to disinherit his children, and instead leave his estate to the friend’s children, there may be a case for a will contest.Timeframe for Filing a Will Challenge
Florida law provides a very short timeframe for filing an objection to a will. You must file your will challenge within 3 months of the date of service of a copy of the notice of administration This is a strict deadline. If you fail to file your petition in time, you will be barred from objecting to the will, even if there is merit to your claim. Thus, if you believe that a will should not be probated, immediately contact an experienced will challenge attorney in Fort Lauderdale. Any delay may result in you forfeiting your right to challenge will documents of your loved one.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If you have reason to believe that the will of a family member or friend does not truly express the his or her wishes because of fraud, undue influence, or duress, discuss your concerns with an experienced will challenge attorney serving Fort Lauderdale. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully representing clients in estate disputes. We are here to help. Contact us attorneys at 561-710-4000 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.