Will contests happen when potential heirs or beneficiaries get little or nothing from a Will. For example, an infirm elderly family member changes his Will late in life to leave his entire estate to his nurse. This leads to a Will challenge by the man’s eldest daughter, who claims that her father was under the undue influence of the nurse when the Will was changed and it should therefore be invalidated. A Will contest is filed in probate court.
Wills can be invalidated for a number of reasons, including:
- The Will was not properly drafted, signed or witnessed, according to the formal requirements of Florida law
- The decedent did not have the necessary mental capacity when the Will was created
- Fraud, force or undue influence was exerted on the decedent when the Will was created
- The Will is a forgery.
If the probate court finds that the Will is invalid, the probate court either invalidates it in its entirety or invalidates particular portions of the Will. When the entire Will is found to be invalid, the proceeds are usually distributed under the Florida laws of intestacy
Representative Will Contests Cases
Wall Estate, Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
- $1,136,000 settlement of will contest.