Will Litigation and Trust Contest
Planning for the future can be challenging. Anything can happen after you are gone, and protecting your estate is crucial. Appointing the right personal representative or trustee can help everything run smoothly. Likewise, if a loved one has passed away and you are being denied your rightful inheritance in their estate, you need a qualified wills probate attorney fighting for you.
Jerry B. Wells Has the Experience
With 38 years experience handling legal wills in Ocala, Daytona Beach, Orlando and all of Central Florida, probate lawyer Jerry B. Wells knows probate and trust laws in Florida inside and out. He is an executive committee member of the Florida Bar on matters of Probate and Trust and has represented clients in 60 Orlando will disputes and trust contests.
Jerry Wells represents clients in all manner of Daytona Beach probate, Orlando probate and Central Florida probate as well as trust administration and litigation, including:
- Will contests
- Will administration
- Probate litigation
- Trust contests
- Trust administration
- Trust litigation
- Removal of personal representatives
- Removal of trustees
- All probate matters addressed under Daytona Beach, Ocala, Orlando and other Central Florida cities law
Typical Will and Trust Contests
Will and trust contests are usually brought by family members of the deceased. Central Florida will disputes generally follow one of two patterns:
- The family has a prior will dividing the assets of the decedent equally among the family members, and a stranger to the family shows up in a later will as the main or substantial beneficiary of the decedent.
- Similar to the first, except the decedent leaves everything to his children equally in the first will and a later will gives substantially all the assets to only one of the children, while the remaining children receive little or nothing.
There are, of course, as many variations as there are family situations in Daytona Beach, Orlando and Central Florida. Most of these situations can exist with either a will or a trust.
Will litigation and will contest in Orlando, Daytona Beach and all of Central Florida are serious legal matters that a layperson should not address alone. If you are involved in any manner of will litigation in Daytona Beach, Orlando, or Central Florida, contact the wills and probate law firm of Jerry B. Wells today.
Manner of Attack for Contesting Central Florida Wills and Trusts
The law provides three basic methods to initiate will contest or trust contest:
- Improper execution of the instrument:
- The first method is based on improper execution of the will or trust. Florida has specific statutory requirements concerning the execution of wills and trusts. This is probably the rarest method of successfully contesting a will, but it must always be thoroughly investigated.
- Incapacity of the decedent:
- The person signing the will must have the capacity to do so. Lack of capacity of the person executing the will can render the will invalid and subject it to contest. The person signing the will is called a testator. In order to be considered competent to sign a will, a testator must be of sound mind. Sound mind means the testator has the mental ability to understand the nature and extent of the property to be disposed of and the relation between the testator and those who would naturally claim a substantial benefit from the will, as well as a general understanding of the practical effect of the will. The will is presumed valid, and the contestant must prove that the testator was not competent by a preponderance of the evidence.
- Undue influence:
- This is the most likely ground for contesting a will or trust. Undue influence insinuates that the testator was so controlled by persuasion, pressure, and outside influences that he or she did not sign the will or trust voluntarily, but was subject to the will of another when the will or trust signing took place. Generally it is necessary for the petitioner or will contestant to show that the person committing undue influence maintained a confidential relationship with the testator, was active in the procurement of the will or trust, and was a substantial beneficiary of the will or trust.
Most will and trust cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. Other types of will and trust litigation are handled on an hourly basis.
Contact Jerry B. Wells Today
In legal matters, there is no substitute for experience, especially those regarding Ocala, Daytona Beach, or Orlando will dispute. Contact the probate law firm of Jerry B. Wells an Orlando, Ocala, Daytona Beach and Central Florida area attorney and counselor at law