A last will and testament can be challenged for a number of reasons during probate. Our Florida probate team outlines everything you need to know about will contests below.
Who Can Contest a Will?
Those able to contest a will are also referred to as “interested parties”, and there are three main categories of these individuals.
- Beneficiaries that have been named in a previous version of the will who were either written out of the current iteration or had their portion substantially reduced.
- Individuals that were not named in the will, but would be eligible for an inheritance if a will was not established. This can include spouses, children, or next-of-kin
Just because someone is eligible to contest a will does not mean they are immediately able to without the proper reason.
Legal Reasons to Contest a Will
If someone were to take advantage of the testator by persuading them to award them a larger portion of the estate or removing someone from it entirely, this is considered having undue influence. If this can be proven, the will can be challenged in court.
Lack of Testamentary Capacity
Anyone who wishes to create a will is required to be deemed mentally competent when the will is written. If the testator is proven to be of sound mind when writing the will, they have what is called testamentary capacity, the understanding of the implications within the writing of the will.
There is no official process of proving someone’s testamentary capacity, so the burden of proof will always be on the individual that wishes to challenge the will. They must also prove the testator was not of sound mind on the exact day and exact time the will was signed.
Contact Our Estate Litigation Team Today
Contesting a will can be a challenging and confusing process. At Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A., we are committed to finding creative and efficient solutions to make the process as seamless as possible.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, schedule a free consultation with our team today by contacting us through our website or give us a call at (800) 776-3103!