Why You Need a Probate Attorney to Contest a Will in Central Florida
There are cases, after the death of a beloved one, that an heir or entity with an interest in the estate may contest, challenge or dispute the entire will or a portion thereof. While family members desire to ensure the estate is distributed as per the wishes of the decedent, Florida law does permit wills to be contested in cases of mental incapacity, undue influence or fraud. Due to time limits and other required documentation, it is best to consult with an experienced probate lawyer in Central Florida, to contest a will.
Florida allows individuals to challenge a will prior to the end of the probate process. The probate process involves the submission of the will and other related documents to the probate court in the county where the deceased resided. For instance, if the decedent resided in the Central Florida area, then either Seminole County Circuit Court or Orange County Circuit Court will have jurisdiction of the probate process.
In addition, Florida law permits individuals to contest a will if they have evidence that the will does not precisely reflect the wishes of the decedent. A probate attorney in Central Florida can examine the will and offer advice on whether or not there are sufficient grounds for contesting the will in question. You may have adequate grounds to challenge the will if it contains some unexpected bequest or testamentary scheme. For instance, if the testator left everything to someone he or she hardly knew rather than leaving the estate to rightful heirs like family members, a probate court may draw a conclusion that these circumstances are suspect.
To challenge a will in Florida, your probate lawyer will file a Petition for the Revocation of Probate with the probate court in the county of jurisdiction. After the petition is filed, the executor of the estate or personal representative may continue to proceed with their administrative duties until the disposition of the case or otherwise directed by the court. Also, the State of Florida does not recognize no-contest (“in terrorem”) clauses. States that enforce these clauses assert that someone will be completely disinherited if they challenge the will. Given that no-contest clauses are not enforceable in Florida, an individual cannot be threatened with disinheritance for challenging a will.
If you are trying to contest a will in the Central Florida area, contact Jerry B. Wells, PL at (386) 253-3676 or visit us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced probate and trust attorney today!