When somebody in Florida dies, it is not uncommon for relatives or others to be surprised about the person’s wishes as laid out in a will. People may have been verbally told that the wishes were different than they appear in the final will. Family members may even have reason to believe that the decedent was exploited in some way or coerced into making some of the decisions noted in a will. These are just some of the reasons that may lead people to contest a will.
As outlined by AARP, there are four basis upon which people may attempt to challenge or change a will after a person’s death. One of these is by proving that some sort of fraud has occurred such as having a person sign a will but telling them it is something else. A second basis for challenging a will is showing mental incompetence on the part of the decedent at the time that the will was created. Issues regarding the method by which a will was created or filed offer yet another avenue through which a will’s contents may be challenged.
The use of some undue influence or coercion by another party is the other grounds upon which people can attempt to have a will’s orders deemed invalid. The Florida legislature notes that anyone challenging a will on this basis must be able to provide documentation supporting the claim. On the other side of the coin, any persons in support of the will as it was recorded should be able to provide documentation supporting the final will’s legitimacy. This might include the affidavit of a will signing witness, for example.
When a will contest involves a dispute between family members, the emotional as well as financial consequences should be considered.