Preventing contests when leaving someone out of a will

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Estate Litigation

Effective estate planning requires ensuring that wishes are clear and legally binding. In Florida, leaving someone out of a will can be a sensitive issue that requires careful consideration.

There are some important considerations to keep in mind when excluding someone from a will to avoid potential issues in probate.

State intentions

Florida law allows you to leave your property to whomever you choose. However, if you wish to exclude a close family member, you must clearly state your intentions in your will. Failure to do so can lead to confusion and potential legal challenges after your passing.

One important note is a spouse has a right to a portion of the estate under Florida law and is not subject to disinheritance. Due to this, the court will not completely uphold an attempt to exclude a spouse from receiving a portion of the estate.

Communicate wishes

Communication is key. If you have decided to leave someone out of your will, it may be helpful to explain your decision to them in advance. This can help prevent hurt feelings and reduce the likelihood of litigation after your passing. You should also make sure the person who will handle the administration of your estate understands you left an heir out of the will so that there are no surprises for him or her.

Leaving someone out of your will in Florida can be tricky. However, it is usually possible to do it by following the right steps. Your goal should be to set it up in a way that prevents probate litigation while ensuring the honoring of your wishes.