The process of writing a will is often painstaking. When you decide to create your will (and you should), you do so with the goal of protecting your loved ones’ future while eliminating any uncertainties that may arise regarding your estate.
However, there are situations when your will can become the subject of dispute. A will dispute can sow discord and create untold anguish for your loved ones. As such, it helps to understand some of the reasons why your will can be contested. This way, you take appropriate measures to ensure that you protect your will and, by extension, your loved ones, from unnecessary conflicts.
Here are three common reasons why wills are contested in Florida.
When the will is not properly executed
If your will was not properly drafted, signed and witnessed as required by Florida law, someone could contest it in court. Under Florida statutes, you must be at least 18 at the time of creating the will. Additionally, you must properly sign the will in the presence of two witnesses who must also append their signatures on the document.
When you lack testamentary capacity
Florida wills laws also require the testator to be of sound mind at the time of creating and executing the will. In other words, you must be able to comprehend your assets, where they are, your beneficiaries and the legal implications of including them in your will. One of the common reasons why your will may be contested on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity involves a situation where you executed your will while suffering from a late-life disease like dementia.
When you are unduly influenced
Your will can be contested on the grounds of undue influence if it is established that a third party manipulated you into altering it to their advantage. This may happen in the form of removing a beneficiary or reallocating the assets you originally apportioned to them to another party.
A will is one of the most important legal documents you can ever create. Find out how you can create a will that reflects your wishes without leaving room for disputes.