Challenge a Will Florida
Challenge a Will Florida is a plain-English Florida probate commentary. Get some thoughts about a will challenge. Maybe you are a family member who got cut out of a last minute will. Or, a beneficiary under a prior will that was changed just before death. We have previously posted a FREE WILL CONTEST VIDEO for heirs to view. Now, if you have been dis-inherited or have questions about a last minute will change, keep reading. (To learn about a probate contingency fee, CLICK HERE.)
Start with the Basics
Challenging a will in Florida typically means that you object to the validity of a will. You believe a will is not valid. To contest the will, to challenge it, you need to go to Probate Court. Why? Well, most people are simply not going to agree to set aside a will if you ask them politely. So, you have to file a Petition in the Probate Court for the county where the person was a resident. If there is no probate proceeding, that means you have to open up a probate. That’s done by filing a petition for administration. You will tell the court whether you believe there was a valid prior will or no valid will at all. When there is a valid prior will, you have to file it or offer it up. If you have a valid will that was lost or destroyed, that’s a different petition. Remember that where there is no valid will, heirs inherit under the Florida Laws of Intestacy.
Probate Laws Needed to Challenge
You should read and understand the Florida Probate Code. That lists all the statutes, definitions and things you need to know to challenge a will Florida. But don’t stop reading there. You also need to focus on the INTESTACY LAWS in case there is no valid will. Of course, if you are not an “heir” and there is no valid will, you are out of luck and don’t inherit. In Florida, if a resident dies without a will, her HEIRS inherit. Heirs is/are defined in the probate code and includes a spouse and descendants. If the spouse signed a valid prenup or postnuptial agreement, he probably gets cut out. But, keep reading! You need to know the Florida Probate Rules. Those will tell you procedures and rules for your petitions. Remember. If a probate was already opened up. You need to file a response to that Petition for Administration. You also need to file a counterpetition. Your counterpetition will be to revoke probate. Now, you can begin the DISCOVERY phase of your challenge. Have a serious, focused and experienced probate trial attorney issue subpoenas. You will want to see documents like an estate planning file, notes on a will or a trust. And financial statements. After all, don’t you want to know how much you are fighting over. And if there were deathbed transfers of money and property?