Under certain circumstances, it is possible for a family member or a person who was named as a beneficiary to challenge the provisions of an otherwise legally valid will. Examples of such situations include the unexpected disinheritance of close family members, duress or undue influence on the decedent, lack of capacity, fraud, errors, and/or the failure to properly execute a will in accordance with Florida law.
In Florida, a legally valid will must meet the following basic requirements:
- It must be created by a person at least 18 years of age, and of sound mind
- Wills must be in writing
- The signing of a will must be witnessed by at least two people
The legal basis for challenging a will typically stems from a failure to meet these requirements, though it can also arise from circumstances including:
- If an expected beneficiary was unexpectedly left out of a will, that person may have legal grounds to challenge the will.
- Undue influence. If a caregiver or other party illegally affected changes in the will late in the decedent’s life, surviving family members may contest the will.
- Lack of capacity. Similarly, if the decedent was not of sound mind when signing the will due to age or medical conditions, the existing will may be invalidated.
- Faked, forged, and altered wills can be voided by the probate court.
- Unintentional error. When individuals create wills without the assistance of an attorney, they may make errors that must be corrected by the probate court.
The experienced legal team at Pollack Pollack & Kogan can help surviving family members and beneficiarys contest wills on these and other bases. To discuss the particulars of your case, please contact the Pollack Pollack & Kogan team by email at info@PPKfirm.com, or call 305-373-9676.