Contested Wills in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, there is a procedure through which a person can challenge the validity of a will. This is identified as a "contested will" or "will contest."

Sometimes, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a substantial portion of the testator's estate (spouses and children, for example). 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 basic 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.

You should remember that a will contest frequently results in adversarial legal proceedings, which can be very contentious. Considering the likelihood that other members of your family might be on the other side, it's clear that this can really damage a person's relationship with his or her family.

When Can a Will be Contested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?

Of course, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida court will not invalidate a will without a very good reason, but there are some cases which render a will clearly invalid.

For example, if the will was obtained through duress (threat of some kind of harm), then it is invalid. Duress, however, is difficult to prove. If a named beneficiary was in some position of power or trust with the decedent, and is not someone who one would ordinarily expect to get a large gift in a will, that might raise substantial initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly 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 really voluntary unless the testator knows what they're doing. Accordingly, 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 a Fort Lauderdale, Florida will is successfully challenged and therefore invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Typically, if a will is held invalid, all of the property will be treated as if the decedent had never written or will. This means that it goes to the decedent's closest living relative, or, if there are not relatives who can be located, the state.

Can a Fort Lauderdale, Florida Contested Will Attorney Help?

Contesting a will is never particularly easy or enjoyable. However, a knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale, Florida attorney can help take some of the burden off of you, and handle some of the most difficult aspects of this process.

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

Life in Fort Lauderdale

There are many exciting things to do in Fort Lauderdale. For starts, visitors can enjoy a day at the Lady Helen Fishing Charters, the Antique Car Museum, the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, the Beachfront, Stranahan House, or the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. For some great shopping and fine dining, Las Olas Boulevard is the place to go!

Fort Lauderdale has an approximate population of 165,521 people. The area is commonly known as it is a South Florida metropolitan area. Another reason for its popularity is its nickname--"the Venice of America." Fort Lauderdale gets its nickname because the city is filled with many intricate canal systems. This is so to compliment the major yatching center of the city, with 42,000 resident yachts and 100 marinas and boatyards.

There are many great law firms located in Fort Lauderdale. Primarily, there are many small to mid-size law firms located in the area. These firms house excellent attorneys who provide their clients with efficient and personalized legal services. For clients who require large, multinational law firm services, Miami is very near! Larger firms in Miami can serve those specific needs. All in all, Fort Lauderdale proves that there is more to Florida than Disney World and South Beach!

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