Common Will Challenges In A Florida Probate Case
After a loved one passes, their estate goes through the probate process in court. During this process, there may be a dispute about the distribution of the estate, which is known as a will challenge. There are many reasons why a will might be challenged in court, and regardless of what side you are on in the case it is critical that you have an experienced attorney protecting your interests. At Bubley & Bubley, our skilled Tampa probate lawyers are prepared to help. Call or contact the office today to schedule a consultation of your case.
Lack of Testamentary Capacity
One of the most common challenges to a will is that the person who wrote and signed the will lacked the mental capacity to do so. A person must possess what is known as testamentary capacity in order to create a valid will, and in most cases this type of challenge arises when the deceased suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia in their final years.
Another common challenge is that someone exerted undue influence and altered the contents of the will. Typically, a person accused of using undue influence is someone that was close to the deceased, such as a family member or caretaker. Undue influence is more than simply making a suggestion; the pressure must be so extreme that the will of the person creating the estate plan must be overcome by the wishes of the person exerting undue influence.
Fraud or Forgery
Fraud and forgery are two more reasons why a will may be challenged in Florida probate. Fraud occurs when some level of deceit is used to create or alter a will, such as hiding the signature page in a stack of documents for the person creating the estate plan to sign. Forgery occurs when some or all of the will is falsified. Common examples include inserting false pages or creating an entirely fake will.
The final common challenge to a will is that procedural issues render the will invalid. In order to create or amend a valid will, certain steps must be taken. Common examples include being at least eighteen years old, signing the will, and having two disinterested witnesses sign, as well. If one of these steps is not done correctly, the entire will can be thrown out during the probate process. To learn more about the various challenges to a will in Florida, talk to our office today.
Call or Contact Us Now
Will challenges happen more often than most people realize, and regardless of what side you are on in a will challenge it is important that you have someone with experience in these legal matters on your side. At Bubley & Bubley in Tampa, our experienced and skilled probate attorneys are prepared to zealously advocate for your legal interests. Call the office or contact us today to speak with one of our lawyers and schedule a consultation of your case.