What Happens if the Intent of the Testator is Not Clear in His or Her Florida Will?
If you ask any estate litigation attorney, they will tell you that Florida probate court judges focus repeatedly on one thing: the intent of the decedent. What was the intent of the person who passed away, and how was that intent expressed in their Florida will? What if the intent of the decedent was not clear in the will? Can evidence be used to prove what the testator, or person who wrote the will, wanted? Can the Palm Beach estate planning attorney who drafted the will testify in probate court ? Can your probate or trust lawyer depose the witnesses who watched the testator sign his or her will?
In a June 20, 2012 opinion, the Third DCA stated the following: ‘As always, the polestar of will interpretation is the testator’s intent, which is “ascertained from the four corners of the document through consideration of ‘all the provisions of the will taken together, rather than from detached portions or any particular form of words.’ Do you know the secret of getting evidence into a will contest trial if those four corners of that document don’t tell you what the decedent intended? Do you know the exception to the rule? How can a Florida trust and estates lawyer get other evidence in when its appropriate? How do you get in parole evidence when interpreting a will? To read the case and find out, click here.