Contested Wills in Margate, Florida

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Margate, FL

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

Occasionally, 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 instance). This might lead them to assume, truthfully or not, that the will was some kind of mistake.

If a considerable amount of money is involved, someone who was left out of a will, or not given what they were expecting, might believe that contesting the will is worth the time, money, and energy that doing so would require.

Nonetheless, this is a matter that should not be approached lightly - will contests can frequently foster strife and infighting within families who are already mourning the loss of a loved one. This can permanently damage or alter family relationships.

When Can a Will be Contested in Margate, Florida?

Courts in Margate, 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, typically 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.

A will can also be denied because the decedent was not mentally competent to draft it at the it was made. A court will look at the person's mental capacity at the time the will was made, so even if the testator is now perfectly sane, if he or she was incapacitated for whatever reason (by way of intoxication, for instance) at the time the will was made, the will can still be invalidated.

If the contest is successful, a court in Margate, Florida might find the will or part of it invalid. Of course, that leaves the question of how to distribute the property in the absence of a valid will. All states have laws that address this situation, typically passing the property to the decedent's closest living kin. All states have laws governing the order in which property is passed on in this manner. Normally, it goes to the spouse first. If there is no living spouse, it goes to the children. If there are no children, it goes to the decedent's parents, and so on. Most laws on this subject are written in such a way that almost everyone will have at least one relative entitled to inherit, even if that person is very distantly related to the decedent. In the very rare case where no living relatives exist, or none can be found, the decedent's assets usually go to the state.

Can a Margate, Florida Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because a will contest can sometimes involve complicated legal and factual questions, as well as some very raw emotions, a skilled Margate, 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 Margate

Margate is a part of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metropolitan area. Margate has an approximate population of 54,000 people.

Two of the most popular attractions in Margate include Sparez and the Eagle Lakes Golf Course. Margate is filled with many naturistic spots where residents and tourists can sit back, relax, and enjoy nature!

Being so near Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Margate residents have available to them a plethora of law firms that train excellent attorenys. These attorneys are highly-qualified to handle both simple and complex legal matters.

All in all, Margate offers residents a small town feel with a unified, community-like spirit.

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