Losing a loved one is never easy and finding out you were left out of their will can come as an unpleasant shock. When this happens, those in the Tampa area may want to contest the will especially if they believe their disinheritance was due to defects in the will, incapacity, undue influence or fraud. The following is a brief overview of these grounds for challenging a will.
Legal defects in the will
Wills in Florida must be executed with certain legal requirements. For example, a certain number of witnesses must be present at the signing of the will. The will must contain all necessary signatures. The failure to meet applicable state laws can invalidate a will.
Lack of testamentary capacity
When a person executes a will, they must understand the nature and value of their assets. In addition, they must understand who the logical heirs are. Finally, they must understand the legal significance of executing a will. If a person lacks the mental capacity to understand these topics the will may be deemed invalid.
As a person ages, their mental and physical faculties diminish. This can put them at risk of being taken advantage of by caretakers or loved ones. If the purported influencer puts a person under such extreme pressure and duress that the person loses their free will and thus succumbed to the will of the influencer, the will may be invalidated.
If your loved one was tricked into signing a will, the will is considered to be procured by fraud. For example, if your loved one is told that they are signing not a will but a different document, when they are actually unknowingly signing a will, this may be a will procured by fraud. Such wills are deemed invalid.
Learn more about wills in Florida
Challenging a will can be difficult, especially since once your loved one dies they are no longer around to communicate the circumstances under which they signed the will. Still, it may be worthwhile to contest your loved one’s will if you feel it should be invalidated. Our firm’s webpage on executing a will in Florida may be a good starting point for those who want to learn more about their options.