Contested Wills in Coral Springs, Florida

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Coral Springs, FL

In Coral Springs, Florida, there is a process through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is recognized as a "contested will" or "will contest."

Occasionally, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a considerable portion of the testator's estate (spouses and children, for instance). This might lead them to assume, truthfully or not, that the will was some kind of mistake.

If the decedent was fairly well-off, their will might involve a great deal of money or property. This is one of the general reasons, besides a general sense of exclusion, that a family member might expend the great deal of time and money necessary to contest a will.

Bringing legal action against anyone, let alone a family member, is not a decision that you should rush into. Contesting a will, particularly if another family member stands to lose out if you are successful in the contest, can permanently alter or even destroy family relationships. Evidently, this is something to consider.

When Can a Will be Contested in Coral Springs, Florida?

Courts in Coral Springs, Florida will not let a person contest a will unless they have an excellent reason. There are, nonetheless, some allegations which will always invalidate a will, if they are proven.

For instance, a will obtained through duress (a threat of harm, normally physical) is invalid. Of course, duress is very difficult to prove after the fact, and the issue may not even come up until many years after it allegedly occurred, making proof even more difficult. Nonetheless, if the named beneficiary was in some type of position of power or trust with respect to the decedent, and is not someone who one would normally expect to get a large gift in a will (they're unrelated to the testator, for example), those facts alone might be enough to raise the suspicion of impropriety. Of course, those facts by themselves are not enough to prove duress.

Another fact that might invalidate a will is the mental incompetence of the testator. Wills must be a product of a person's volition. A will cannot be honestly voluntary unless the testator knows what they're doing. Therefore, if the testator is mentally incompetent at the time he or she makes the will, the will cannot take effect. You should be aware, however, that this test applies at the time the will is made. So, if the testator is not mentally competent at the time of death, but was when the will was made, the will is valid.

If you successfully contest the will in Coral Springs, Florida, the court will likely distribute the property as if the decedent had died without a will. This usually involves giving it to the closest living relative. While the exact intestacy schemes (the order in which property is distributed to relatives) vary from state to state, they are usually pretty similar. If possible, the property will go to the decedent's spouse, and if the decedent has any minor children with that spouse, it is with the understanding that the money will be used primarily for their care. If the decedent did not have children or a spouse (or outlived them), the property typically goes to the decedent's parents. If neither of them are alive, it goes to grand children, grandparents, or siblings. After that, it typically goes to cousins, nieces/nephews, step-children, former spouses, etc. Intestacy laws provide a line of succession long enough that just about anyone will leave at least one person behind who is entitled to inherit from them, even if they're an extremely distant relation. Sometimes, however, people make multiple wills, to account for the many personal and financial changes that normally happen during a person's life. Normally, the most recent will purports to revoke all past wills, to avoid any conflict between them. In such cases, if a will is entirely invalidated, a court can sometimes revive the second most recent will.

Can a Coral Springs, Florida Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because a will contest can sometimes involve perplexing legal and factual questions, as well as some very raw emotions, a skilled Coral Springs, Florida attorney can be invaluable in helping this process go as smoothly as possible.

Talk to a Wills, Trusts and Estates Law Attorney now!

Life in Coral Springs

Coral Springs, Florida, is part of Broward County and has a population of about 126,000 people. Coral Springs has received many accolades for its family-friendly atmosphere, low crime rates, and overall quality of living.

The city of Coral Springs, Florida is known for having a distinct, unique appeal amongst other Florida cities. Part of the city's charm may be attributed to strict zoning and housing codes that enhance its aesthetic appeal. Also, Coral Springs was master-planned and developed primarily by Coral Ridge Properties, which is also where the city gets its name from. Much of the city's economic success can be attributed to excellent planning.

Coral Springs also maintains several parks, museums, and recreation centers. A popular attraction is the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, which also contains a theater capable of seating over 1,400 people. Art classes and community programs are held at Coral Springs Museum of Art. The city also hosts the "Our Town" festival, which attracts over 200,000 visitors yearly. Participants in the festival enjoy a mix of activities such as carnival rides, a parade, and a beauty pageant.

Lawyers in Coral Springs, Florida are available for consultation and representation in court. Attorneys in Coral Springs, Florida contribute their services to the progress and well-being of the city and its residents.

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