The concern, when an estate goes to probate in Florida, is that it may get tied up in litigation. The more people who have the ability to sue, the higher the likelihood of a delay. However, there is a limitation on who can file a lawsuit. People must be an interested party in order to have the court hear their case.
The universe of interested parties is not an unlimited one. One must have an economic interest that is affected by the probate hearing in order to get into court. This would certainly include immediate family members, both those named in the will and those who have been left out of it. Many people end up challenging a will because it omits them. It also includes non-family members such as creditors who are owed money by the estate.
The court will decide at the outset of the proceeding who is an interested party. Thus, deciding who is an interested party will not add a long delay to the case. Those who are in the will have an interest in limiting interested parties while those not in it are trying to find a way to get the court to listen to their arguments.
When there is probate litigation, the process can be time-consuming and stressful. Probate court has its own detailed set of rules that many people do not know. A probate litigation lawyer could help protect their client by representing their interests throughout the process. A lawyer may actually help reduce the scope of the litigation by negotiating with the other parties during the process and trying to settle the case before it goes to trial.