The death of a loved one is challenging, and conflict during the probate process can make an already difficult time even more stressful. Even when your loved one had an estate plan in place, there may be questions about whether that estate plan has truly reflects their wishes. Bringing legal action could be the best way for you to ensure that you receive your fair share of your loved one’s estate and that your rights are protected.
What are common reasons for probate litigation?
While conflict can be common while families are grieving, some concerns are grounds for a probate dispute. Probate litigation can arise when there are questions about the validity of the will or how it was executed. Common reasons to contest a will include:
- The will is does not meet Florida’s legal requirements
- Your loved one’s testamentary capacity—their ability to make informed decisions about their estate plan—is in question
- The estate is being executed with an out-of-date version of the estate plan
- There is question of someone having undue influence over your loved one
Probate disputes can also arise if guardianship of children is in question or if the executor of a will did not do their duty properly.
For some, these legal challenges are fueled by strained relationships between the beneficiaries. Sibling rivalries can create conflict, especially when one sibling is chosen to be executor of the will. Estate plans that do not fully account for second marriages may leave second families with less support or some children left out of a will entirely.
Do you have concerns during the probate process?
If you believe that the executor of your loved one’s estate is not doing their legal duty or if you believe that the estate plan has neglected your needs, you may need to push back. During this emotionally challenging time, it can be helpful to speak to an attorney with experience in the probate process. Exploring your legal options, including litigation, will help ensure that your rights as a beneficiary are protected and that your loved one’s wishes are carried out.