When a person passes away, it is necessary to address their property and affairs. This may be completed through the probate process in Florida.
Often, a will lists the deceased person’s wishes regarding who should receive their property after their death, also referred to as the beneficiaries. There are situations when a beneficiary or another person does not agree with the will and wants to contest it.
While the outcome of the will challenge will vary depending on the circumstances of the situation, there is general information available about common reasons why a person might contest a will.
Reasons for a will challenge
Adults 18 years of age and older have the capacity to make a will, also known as testamentary capacity. When a will is challenged for lack of testamentary capacity, it may be because the deceased person had dementia, insanity or was under the influence of a substance when he or she created the will.
Also, if the deceased person was coerced into leaving their property to someone by fraud, forgery or undue influence that may also be a reason to contest the will.
Wills have signature and witness requirements. If these are missing, or there are other required portions of the will that are not complete, this may also lead to a challenge.
Usually, when a person creates a new will they need to destroy the older will or otherwise state that the new will is intended to take precedence over the older will. Sometimes, a will is contested because the terms of the old will are being carried out and no longer apply.
An experienced attorney can help anyone who has questions about contesting a will or other estate planning matters.