Contested Wills in Melbourne, Florida

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Melbourne, FL

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

Occasionally, testators leave out of their wills people who might naturally expect to inherit a significant 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 large 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 often 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 Melbourne, Florida?

Courts in Melbourne, 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.

One big reason to invalidate a will is the fact that the will was made under duress. "Duress" simply means forcing somebody to do something they don't want to, using some kind of threat. Usually, the threat involves some type of physical harm. The most obvious example would involve putting a gun to somebody's head and telling them to write a will containing the terms desired by the gunman. Such a will, assuming the underlying facts can be proven in court, will never be valid. Of course, the validity of a will rarely becomes an issue until the testator has died, which may be years after the will was drafted. This means that proving the circumstances under which the will was made can often be very difficult. However, there are certain facts, such as the devise being to an "unnatural" beneficiary (somebody the testator didn't know very well, for instance), and the beneficiary being in a position of power over the decedent, are enough to at least create a suspicion that something is wrong.

Another reason why a will might be invalid is the maker of the will being mentally incompetent at the time the will was made. In order to make a legitimate will, the individual making it must have enough of his or her mental faculties to understand what they're doing, and the consequences of it.

If a Melbourne, Florida will is successfully challenged and thus invalidated, there has to be some system for orderly distribution of the decedent's property. Usually, 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 Melbourne, Florida Contested Will Attorney Help?

Because this can involve complicated legal issues, and be very emotionally draining, this is not something you want to go at alone. A reputable lawyer in Melbourne, Florida can be very helpful in making sure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.

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

Life in Melbourne

When people think of Melbourne, they think Australia. However, the state of Florida also has a city named Melbourne. Melbourne was named in honor of its first postmaster, Cornthwaite John Hector. Hector had spent a majority of his life in Melbourne, Australia. Hence, the name Melbourne arose!

Popular employers in the city include DRS Technologies, General Electric, Harris Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Collins and Embraer. Many of these companies are in the defense field. Therefore, much of Melbourne's workforce labors towards providing our country with top-notch defense.

Some popular attractions in Melbourne include the Foosaner Art Museum, the Historic Rossetter House Museum, Brevard Zoo, Wickham Park, and the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum.

Melbourne is filled with many small law offices, where attorneys work hard to provide excellent legal services and personalized attention!

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