Stephen Bilkis
Protecting your interests
and your loved one’s wishes
561-710-4000 Request A Free Consultation

Proving Undue Influence in a Will

A proving undue influence in a will lawyer in Florida is the person you should turn to when you believe that a loved one recently passed away with a will that was inappropriately put together or amended. Challenging the validity of a will on grounds of undue influence is not easy undertaking, and it should only be handled by an experienced attorney. Any kind of will contest can lead to lengthy proceedings in court.

These cases often require very skilled trial lawyers who are familiar with how to litigate complex will contest cases. There are strict procedural requirements and statutes of limitations with regard to undue influence challenges, which means as soon as you discover that this may be a possible issue, you need to consult with a will contest attorney to verify that you have appropriate legal rights under Florida law and that you are still eligible to pursue a claim. In conjunction with other planning tools like avoiding probate, proper attention is important with regard to putting together a will to avoid claims of undue influence.

Florida statutes clarify that when the execution of a will has been procured by fraud, mistake, duress, or undue influence, the will is voided. Heirs, beneficiaries and any other interested individual can contest a will on grounds of undue influence, so long that they have sufficient evidence to show that another person influenced or coerced the individual who created or amended the will. In cases in which a petitioner can prove that the maker of the will did not act voluntarily and freely because he or she was threatened, forced or coerced to execute a will, the last will and testament is void for undue influence and purposes. Before challenging the validity of a will on grounds of undue influence, you must establish a presumption of undue influence.

A preponderance of the evidence may be brought forward by your undue influence attorney in Florida. An undue influence lawyer in Florida will assist you to show that the alleged undue influencer was a substantial beneficiary of the version of the will that is being challenged, that the alleged undue influencer stood in a confidential relationship with the person who was making the will that is now challenged, and that the undue influencer actively procured the will that is indeed being challenged.

Florida courts have long recognized that there are numerous challenges associated with this third element. You may need to consider issues such as witnesses to the will, physical presence, the recommendation of an attorney, knowledge of the will, instructions on preparing the will and safe keeping of the will in order to indicate that someone was under undue influence at the time that they created or amended a will. Since the maker of the will is no longer alive to testify regarding the actions of the undue influence testimony from witnesses such as family members, in addition to documents and records, will be necessary to prove your case, you will need the support of an attorney who has a strong knowledge of litigation in this field. Whether you are defending or pursuing a wealth contest claim, these cases can be extremely challenging if you don't have the right evidence and are not clear about how the laws in Florida directly impact your case. It can be difficult to find yourself in this position if you don't know how to move forward, but the support of an attorney who can guide you regarding your standing in the case and how to collect the appropriate evidence to support your claim can make a big difference in coming forward with getting the support you need.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Living in NYC with nobody to take care of my sick uncle 1,400 miles away, I found the expertise and compassion of Howard Krooks and his wonderful firm to be incredible. I would highly recommend them to anyone and already have. D.L., New York, NY
★★★★★
I needed knowledgeable, responsive lawyers and attentive staff to help my aging and overwhelmed aunt and uncle with their family planning and Medicaid problems. With them in Florida, and me living and working in the Mid-Atlantic, I knew it would be a challenge. Elder Law Associates PA met my needs, and the attorney's fees were worth every penny. K.R., Laurel, MD
★★★★★
Very well satisfied. The service was great in communicating all documents and proceedings with us to fully understand everything. The staff was AWESOME! In the future, (if) I know anyone, I will refer you. J.M., Boca Raton, FL