Can you contest a will?

| Apr 26, 2021 | Estate Litigation

Florida residents who have constructed a will may have it contested upon their death. The reality is that not just anyone can contest a will. For a person to legally contest a deceased person’s will, they will need to have standing and grounds for doing so.

Who has proper standing?

For will contests and estate litigation to get underway, a person must have standing. Standing is defined as having a financial interest in the estate. This could be a listed beneficiary, a creditor that wouldn’t get paid according to the existing will or even someone who would be entitled to an inheritance according to state laws if a will is not present.

What are adequate grounds?

A second necessary component that one will need to contest a will is adequate grounds to do so. Grounds are defined as legally supportable reasons for why the will should not be validated. For example, one may claim that the grantor of the will lacked sufficient mental capacity to understand the consequences of their writing of the will. Some other common grounds include fraud, undue influence, or even a procedural mistake when constructing the will.

Contesting pre- or post-probate

A person may contest a will pre- or post-probate depending on the specific laws in their state. If a will is contested pre-probate, it’s referred to legally as a caveat. In most states, those with standing can legally contest a will for a period of 30 to 90 days before they give up their legal right to do so.

Contesting a will may be something that you need to do upon the passing of a loved one. As long as you have standing and grounds for doing so, you can proceed. It’s best to consult an attorney to assist you with the entire contesting process.