In Florida, as in all states, the probate process is in place to ensure the assets belonging to a deceased individual are distributed correctly. In some cases, wills and trusts created by the decedent are used to distribute assets, while in cases in which the decedent failed to create estate plans, state law determines the distribution of assets. In cases in which wills or trusts were created, but their contents are questionable, the immediate family members of the decedent have the right to dispute the distribution of assets via litigation if they feel valid reasons are in place to do so.
One of the most common reasons cited by those involved in probate disputes is fraud. Cases in which family members feel wills or trusts were created under fraudulent circumstances are filed based on the belief that the decedent was coerced into the creation or modification of their will. This is commonly called "undue influence."
Another reason commonly cited in disputes over supposedly fraudulent wills is the "lack of testamentary capacity." This term is used to describe situations in which the decedent created or modified their will without the mental capacity needed to make important decisions. This is a common reason for probate disputes that arise due to wills that were changed by people at very advanced ages or by those with questionable mental states.
If you recently lost a loved one and the will or trust he or she left behind has made you question the circumstances in which it was created, you may want to consider disputing the will or trust via litigation. At the law firm of Frese, Hansen, Anderson, Anderson, Heuston & Whitehead, P.A., we have helped countless individuals and families find justice through probate litigation, and we can help you as well. If you would like more information about our firm or the services we offer, please visit our website.