Contested Wills in Tampa, Florida

Find the right Contested Wills attorney in Tampa, FL

In Tampa, 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.

You should remember that a will contest often results in adversarial legal proceedings, which can be very combative. 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 Tampa, Florida?

There are various reasons that a Tampa, Florida court might hold a will to be invalid.

For instance, 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 significant initial suspicion of something improper happening. Of course, those facts alone are not nearly enough to prove duress.

Another thing to consider is the mental capacity of the person making the will. If, at the time the will was made, the testator was insane or heavily intoxicated, the will is likely to be held invalid by a court, if the underlying facts can be shown.

If a Tampa, 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 Tampa, Florida Contested Will Attorney Help?

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

Tampa is the seat of Hillsboro County, Florida. Tampa is home to nearly 350,000 residents including a number of professional athletes who play on local Tampa based teams. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers who won Super Bowl XXXVII champions in 2002 play at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa is also home to the Tampa Bay Lightning professional NHL hockey team. The only team claiming the "Tampa Bay" location that does not play within city limits is the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team who play in nearby St. Petersburg.

Downtown Tampa has been undergoing a revitalization project that started in 2007. Residential, hotel, and mixed use building have been constructed in an effort to revamp the downtown region and increase housing values. Rents have reduced and average of 4% in the United States but Tampa has only seen a 2% decrease. The discrepancy could be a result of the new downtown projects, however, Tampa offers outstanding transportation routes including railroad, high speed rail, sea ports, 3 nearby airports, and well maintained streets and highways.

The MacDill Air Force Base is home to the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) as well as an impressive fleet of cutting edge aircraft. Tampa residents and visitors frequent the annual air show that resumed after a 2002 and 2003 hiatus resulting from the 9/11 attacks.

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