Probate is the legal process in which a person’s assets are distributed and their debts are paid upon their death. Sometimes there is a will and sometimes there isn’t. While the probate process is overseen by the Florida court, there is usually not any need for a formal lawsuit. However, there are times when adversarial matters come about in probate.
In the case of probate litigation, the decedent’s last will and testament is offered for probate. There are many requirements that Florida law places upon the probate process. The heirs and creditors are all given various rights and privileges, as well as limitations that must be followed very closely. The will itself can be reviewed and not everyone involved will be satisfied with its provisions.
Effective Representation For Contested Wills
Probate litigation involves contesting the will. This is something that your Boca Raton civil litigation lawyer will be able to provide representation in. This is one of the most contested areas of probate law, as surviving family members use this to correct a number of injustices.
Typically, Florida probate litigation is first considered by a person when they receive the Notice of Administration. This formal document alerts all of the interested parties of the decedent’s death and the filing of the will for probate. It states that an objection to the probate proceedings must be started within a certain period of time or the process cannot move forward.
The recipient of the notice will have a dispute that has a number of legal bases, presenting them with a very unique situation. Once the notice is served, the time period is approximately 20 days in which action can be taken. If the 20 day period passes, any representations, promises, etc. are not enforceable unless the involved parties have entered into an official settlement agreement.
Knowledgeable Civil Litigation Attorney
There are different types of probate litigation. They include:
Mistake in Execution – If the provisions for the execution of a will are not met, the document may not be valid under Florida law.
Undue Influence – The will may not be enforceable if it is determined that the decedent was coerced into signing the will.
Lack of Testamentary Capacity – This claim is asserted based upon the belief that the person making the will did not have the mental capacity to understand it at the time it was executed. In other words, they were not aware of what the terms of the will was saying, which could mean the terms of the will would not have been their wishes if they would have understood it. This is different from general competency, as a person only needs to understand the extent and nature of their assets.
Other issues that probate litigation can cover include will construction, the determination of heirs, effective share litigation, breach of fiduciary duty, accounting, surcharge action, and removal of fiduciary. There are many matters that your Florida civil litigation attorney can litigate so that the right outcome can be had.
Contact A Florida Civil Litigation Attorney
Probate matters can be complex, which is why it can be beneficial to have the help of an attorney experienced in probate matters. Don’t wait, call us today at (516) 338-5297 for a free consultation.