Contesting a will in Florida is not easy, but it can be done. If you were not given your rightful inheritance or were left out of a will when you should have been a beneficiary, you may be able to pursue a Florida will contest. There are many circumstances that would indicate that a will is not valid, which are summarized below.
A Florida will can be challenged based on the following:
A will can be contested if the person making the will, known as the testator, did not have mental competency at the time the will was created. Florida law requires that the testator has mental competency to make the will and that he or she has the ability to understand the nature of his or her assets and the individuals to whom the assets will be distributed. Mental incapacity can be proven by a statement from a physician who examined the individual close to the time in which the will was written. Witness testimony confirming the person’s mental state or conduct around the time of the will can also be used as proof.
Sometimes a person is coerced into making a will by a caregiver, friend or relative. Such a person often has the power to exercise undue influence over the testator. There have been some cases where the testator was influenced by someone who befriended the testator before he or she died. A will can be contested based on undue influence.
Improper Execution of Will
For a will to be valid in Florida, certain elements are required. For example, a valid will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign the will. If the statute of wills is violated, it can be grounds for a will contest, as the will may be invalid.
If you have questions regarding the validity of a will or want to contest a will in Florida, contact the Law Offices of Lilly, O’Toole & Brown, LLP at (863) 683-1111 to review your case.