It is ideal for all interested individuals for the enforcement of a will and the distribution of assets to go smoothly. However, some circumstances can lead an affected party to worry about the will’s validity and force them to bring an action to the court. Proving the invalidity of a will can be difficult but still possible.
Reasons the court may consider
To contest a will, one must have a justifiable reason to do so and provide evidence to prove the same. The courts may consider the contest if at least one of the following can be established:
- The testator was a minor or lacked mental capacity when they created the document.
- The document does not conform to Florida’s legal requirements for creating a will.
- The testator was deceived, coerced or under undue influence at the time of the will’s creation.
- The document was subject to forgery.
- The contents of the will are unclear.
The courts consider these grounds for determining whether a will is valid. However, it is good to note that even if a ground exists, it does not necessarily mean the court will hold the document invalid. It may hold only a portion of the will invalid and retain the remaining contents as valid.
Who can bring action?
Not everyone can challenge a will. Only those with vested interests in the will may file an action to contest the document. These people may be spouses and children, beneficiaries and other relatives. In some cases, guardians of interested minors may also bring a suit on behalf of the child.
One cannot challenge a will merely because one thinks it is unfair or unreasonable. There must be justifiable ground for contesting the document. Understanding how will contests in Florida work may help determine whether one has a right to challenge a will.