Here’s What You Need to Know About Challenging a Will in Naples, Florida
Challenging a will can be a complex – and emotional – process. These cases can be a lengthy, difficult process, oftentimes leading to drama within a family. In Naples, Florida, wills are settled in probate court. Probate Court deals with the execution of wills, estates, conservatorships, and guardianships. If you are challenging a will in Naples, Florida, here is what you need to know.
Grounds for Contesting a Will
Challenging a will is not an easy task, but it is possible to reverse the terms and validity of the will. This can be done for many reasons, but here are the most common:
The writer of the will wasn’t of sound mind.
In order to draft a will, the writer must be of sound mind when planning the distribution of their assets for the will to be valid. If you can prove that the will was written by someone without the mental capacity to make sound decisions, there is a chance you can change the outcome.
The will is incomplete.
A complete and legal will must be signed by the will-maker. It also needs to be approved by two different witnesses who aren’t mentioned in the will. If the will is missing any of these elements, it may create a basis to nullify the will.
The writer was under the influence of someone else.
If the writer of the will was pressured, manipulated, or threatened in any manner, therefore skewing the will in any way, you can challenge the validity of its terms. Whether it was a caretaker or family member, this is highly illegal and will result in the will being discarded.
Who Can Contest a Will
Not everyone can contest a will. In order to challenge the legality of a will, to reverse its inheritances, you must be an “interested party.” An interested party is anyone that would have a potential stake in the will, has already been named as a beneficiary, or was previously named in a prior document and then removed. Examples might include a close family member or an extended member of the family.
Time is of Essence
In the state of Florida, there is a statute of limitations for contesting a will. Known beneficiaries and/or known interested parties must file a will contest within 90 days of being served the Notice of Administration. If you are not a known beneficiary or interested party, then you will not be served with the Notice of Administration from the personal representative and the 90 days begins when the Notice of Administration is filed by the Court. Despite popular belief, the 90-day deadline does not start after the will-maker’s death.
Hire an Attorney
Challenging a will can only be done through an attorney. In order to prove that the will is not valid and that the beneficiaries should be revised, it will require in-depth research and expertise in the legal processes behind a probate trial.
If you are looking to challenge a will in Naples, Florida – trust Bonaquist | Allen Law. With over 40 years of experience in the Southwest Florida market, Bonaquist | Allen is the name you can depend upon to settle any will, trust, or estate disputes.
Located in Naples, our estate lawyers are also experienced in business and real estate litigation, which is an added bonus to those filing for wills and trusts that involve land, real estate or rights to a family company.
At Bonaquist | Allen, we understand that time is of the essence when challenging a will, which is why your case will be considered a top priority. As a small firm, we are committed to working on your behalf so that you can receive the justice you deserve.
If you are looking to challenge a will or trust in Naples, Florida, hire Bonaquist | Allen Law. Contact our office today at 239-276-7127 or by visiting BonaquistAllenLaw.com.