Mar 25, 2022
Is there an inheritance tax in Texas?
While there may not be an inheritance tax in Texas, your estate may be subject to the federal estate tax...read on to find out more.
The process for contesting a will in Florida is similar to that in other states. You need to have valid grounds for contesting the will, and only those with some connection to the estate are allowed to contest. The following information can help you to understand what you need to do if you choose to contest a will.
To contest a will in Florida, you must file a petition with the probate court where you outline your concerns and petition for the will to be ruled invalid.
After a will is submitted to the probate court and probate proceedings start, the executor sends a so-called “notice of administration” to anyone connected to the estate, including heirs and trust beneficiaries.
If will disputes were to arise, this tends to be the time: A relevant party may feel suspicious of the will’s contents, or doubt the will’s legitimacy, and can then file a petition in the probate court where the will is being probated.
In general terms, anyone who is associated with the estate can contest a will.
More specifically, this means:
Are all able to contest a will if they see fit.
A will must meet certain legal conditions to be valid.
If the will does not meet these conditions, you can contest the will on the basis that it is not legally valid.
There are usually several main reasons for which you can contest a Florida will:
You can also contest a will that you believe is a forgery or fraudulent document. This might involve, for example, proving that the signature on the will is not that of the testator.
A person must have "testamentary capacity" or be "of sound mind" in order to make a will. In 1953, the Florida Supreme Court held that being "of sound mind" means that at the time of making the will, a person must have enough mental capacity to know what their property includes, know who their heirs are, and understand the consequences of making a will. If you believe that someone did not have this capacity when they made their will, then you can challenge it.
If you believe that someone forced or coerced the deceased person to change their will, then you can contest it on the basis of undue influence.
For example, if you believe that an abusive partner forced your relative to change their will to disinherit you for their own benefit, then you can go to court to make the argument that your family member was coerced into making the changes. You need to show evidence that the influencer had significant control over the will maker's decision, not that they were merely persuasive.
If you plan to contest a will on the grounds of undue influence or lack of capacity, you must do so within three months. In certain cases of fraud, the time limit can be extended.
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