What is the burden of proof in contesting a will?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2022 | Estate Litigation, Estate Planning

When someone contests a will, he or she is saying it is not valid. To do this, you must have proof to back up your claims.

According to the Florida Statutes, the burden of proof lies with you when you contest a will. The court will need to see evidence that supports your claims and shows that what you say is the reality.

The burden of proof

The reason why you have the burden of proof, which means you must prove your claims, is because the person who wrote the will is no longer alive. The court can only assume a will that is properly filed is valid unless there is some evidence to the contrary. So, if you wish to contest, you must be ready to prove your case.

The court does not like to strike down a will because the person who wrote it cannot testify his or herself. It is a difficult situation where the court is choosing to override the apparent wishes of the deceased, so that is why the burden of proof exists.


The evidence you provide to back up your claim must be substantial. You cannot simply use your opinions to show an issue. The court wants something tangible, such as medical records or professional witness statements. You need to be able to remove any doubt that the will is valid by providing the court with high-quality information, documentation and other evidence.

You cannot object to a will based on feelings you have or assumptions you make. You cannot contest a will because you felt you were shorted or you did not get what you thought you would. The court will require strong proof that there was a legal issue with the will that makes it invalid.