Testamentary Capacity and Contesting a Will in Palm Beach
There are numerous ways that a will can be contested in the state of Florida. A probate litigation lawyer or a trust attorney can help you to understand the reasons that a will can be contested. Understanding these reasons can help to reduce the chances of a dispute among heirs. Also, knowing the ways a will can be contested will become very important if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to know your legal rights when it comes to a will challenge. One of the main reasons a will could be challenged is if the testator, the person who signed the will, did not have what is called “testamentary capacity” to sign a will in Florida.
What is Testamentary Capacity in Florida Trust and Estates Litigation?
There are four main components to show testamentary capacity (sometimes called “sufficient mental capacity”) in Florida:
- understanding that he or she is creating a distribution of his or her property after death,
- knowing the nature and extent of his or her property,
- knowing the named heirs and members of his or her family
- understanding in a reasonable manner the general nature and effect of the act of signing the will.
While this legal test for testamentary capacity may sound complicated, experienced trust and estates lawyers can help make sense of it, and whether it can be met in your case. Having an experienced estate planning attorney be a witness to and stand behind the will is often a determining factor in will contest cases in Florida.