When to Challenge a Will
Challenging a will can be a difficult task, but well worth it if you believe a loved one’s will is invalid. Situations in which you might choose to challenge a will include the following:
- Lack of capacity. You might argue that the person who passed away did not have the sound mind or capacity to create a valid will. The decedent must also meet the requirement for the minimum age to develop one. A will challenge based on capacity requires the challenger to prove the decedent did not or could not fully comprehend the nature of the property in question or the identity of his or her heirs.
- Undue influence. A person under undue influence did not make the will of his or her own volition, instead having been improperly influenced by another party. This could occur when a single sibling cares for a parent or when a new, unrelated person suddenly wields significant influence over the decedent’s decision making.
- Fraud or mistakes. Wills may be challenged on the basis of fraud in a variety of circumstances, such as when pages were inserted after the decedent signed the document or if the signature itself was forged. Other issues include wills that had been previously revoked being submitted for probate, whether accidentally or on purpose.
Probate courts handle all challenges to wills, and the process varies based on the type of challenge, the evidence involved and the size of the estate. If you are unsuccessful in challenging the will, a no-contest clause could prevent you from receiving what your inheritance would have been under the will.
For more information on when and how to challenge a will, contact the knowledgeable Florida will and trust attorneys at the Charles Law Offices right away.