In Florida all interested persons have the right to contest how an estate or trust is being handled and to contest whether a deed, will or trust is valid. There are many reasons a deed, trust or will should be contested. The main reasons are undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, improper signing and witnessing of the document, and fraud. Each case is unique and there may be other reasons a court would set aside a will, trust, deed or other conveyance purportedly made by the deceased.
Undue influence will invalidate a will or trust and may be presumed if the person who influenced the making of a will or trust is a beneficiary, had a confidential relationship with the deceased, and actively procured the will or other document being challenged.
The maker of a will or trust must be “of sound mind.” This means the ability to understand generally the nature and extent of one's property, the relationship of those who would be the natural objects of the testator's bounty, and the practical effect of the will or trust.
Florida law requires that a will or trust be in writing and be signed at the end by the maker before two witnesses who also sign in the presence of the maker. If a will or trust is not properly signed, then it is not valid and can be contested by an interested party.
Having an attorney who has “been there and done that” is important when you have to deal with complex probate and estate planning issues.
Probate and Estate Planning can be confusing. Find the answers to common questions about estates in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
This site is a service of the law offices of
Byrd & Barnhill, P.L.
206 N. Collins Street
Plant City FL 33563