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When Can You Contest a Will?

March 3, 2021

Your loved one’s will in Florida doesn’t have to be the last word on their estate. You can’t contest the will because you don’t like the outcome, but you could contest the will if you suspect that it’s not legally binding. A judge might use an earlier version of the will or distribute your loved one’s assets according to state law instead.

When Can You Challenge a Will?

During probate, you could contest a will if you believe that it’s not legally binding. Even a relatively minor issue like not having enough witnesses could invalidate their will. In Florida, your loved one needs to find two objective witnesses who can watch them officially sign the will. Your loved one also has to follow specific procedures to show that they’re acting of their own free will.

You could also contest the will if you suspect that you’re dealing with a fraudulent will. For example, a third party could have written a fake will that gives them most of your loved one’s assets. They might tell your loved one to sign the document, claiming that it’s something completely different. Your loved one signs the will without realizing that they just gave away most of their estate. A probate attorney could help you prove that your relative signed a fraudulent will.

Is Contesting a Will Worth the Effort?

Even with an attorney’s help, contesting a will is a long process that can delay probate for weeks or months. Some people contest wills because they’re not satisfied with the inheritance that they received. For a successful will contest, you’ll have to prove that your loved one was tricked or misled somehow. Otherwise, the judge might rule that the current will is valid even if the heirs aren’t happy with the outcome.