Attorney Represents Executors, Trustees, Beneficiaries and the Overlooked in Estate Litigation
Clearwater attorney works hard for you throughout the entire process
In medieval England, probate litigation was the last element in the probate process of “devising, dying and dispute.” Although society has changed a lot since then, the probate legal process is very much the same: a testator devises a will, a testator dies, and then there is almost always some legal proceeding. Sometimes the will and other testamentary documents are clear, and the “dispute” is limited to a pro forma probate proceeding. Other times, there are some serious questions about the authenticity of these documents. Litigation is the best way to answer these questions.
Susan Charles holds an LL. M., an advanced law degree in Elder Law. Her passion for knowledge makes her a very effective probate litigation attorney, and one who truly understands all of the issues involved in such a proceeding.
How does one contest a will in Florida?
The testator may have left a will that appears to be valid on its face, but the inquiry into the will’s validity does not end with the ink on the paper. A Florida estate planning and probate litigation attorney may challenge a will, trust or other probate document on one of several grounds:
- Undue influence: It is not illegal to nag a person about making changes to a will. It is illegal to apply pressure that causes the testator to lose free will and submit to the demands of a third person.
- Lack of capacity: Traditionally, lack of capacity means that the testator did not understand the legal effect of signing the will, nor the amount and nature of the property or the heirs who would receive it.
- Improper signing: There are instances in which a will is not properly signed or witnessed, especially in the case of a nontraditional will, such as a holographic will, an Internet will or a deathbed will.
- Fraud: A testator may be tricked into signing a will. For example, a testator may be told that the document is a power of attorney when, in fact, the document is a will codicil.
Can a guardianship be contested in Florida?
The most common basis for contesting a guardianship is in Section 744.309: conflict of interest. Unless the court finds otherwise, a person may not serve as a guardian if that person provides professional services to the ward, is a creditor of the ward or is a healthcare provider for the ward.
What legal duty is involved in testamentary documents?
There is a fiduciary duty in the relationship between guardian and ward, trustee and beneficiary, and related areas. The people who owe this duty must place the interests of the other party before their own interests in any matter that concerns the guardianship, trust or related matter.
Work with an experienced St. Petersburg lawyer who can provide comfort in difficult times
Make sure your probate litigation matter is being handled by a competent attorney. Contact The Charles Law Offices at 727-683-1483 or online to schedule your free consultation. All matters are kept in the strictest confidence.