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Tampa Business Litigation Attorneys / Tampa Will Contests Attorney

Tampa Will Contests Attorney

Probate has many purposes in Tampa, and throughout Florida. Probate is a court-supervised process that oversees and administers a person’s estate when they pass away. One of the first steps in the probate process is to prove, or validate, a decedent’s last will and testament. In many cases, this is fairly straightforward and the will can be proved quickly before probate proceeds. Sometimes, though, individuals with an interest in the estate contest the will. There are many grounds on which a person can contest a will. Below, our Tampa will contests attorney explains what these are.

The Validity of the Will

One of the most common reasons people contest a will is on the grounds of the document’s validity. A will may be invalid for many reasons. For example, if there are previous wills, or wills that have been drafted since the creation of the will that was submitted, this can provide grounds for contesting a will.

Undue Influence

Using the grounds of undue influence to contest a will essentially alleges that a third party coerced the testator, or person who created the will, into drafting or changing the document for their own personal gain. To prove undue influence during a will contest, a person must prove certain elements of their case. These include:

  • The third party must have significant benefit under the will,
  • The third party must have had a confidential relationship with the deceased, and
  • The third party was active in obtaining the will.

Removal of a Beneficiary from the Will

When a beneficiary was once mentioned in the will but was later removed, this can provide grounds to contest the will. However, testators have the right to leave an inheritance for whoever they choose and so, contesting a will on these grounds typically involves proving another ground for contesting a will, too. For example, if a testator suffered from dementia and another person coerced them into removing another beneficiary so they could receive more property, that could be grounds for contesting a will.

Lack of Mental Capacity

When drafting, signing, witnessing, and executing a will, a person must have the proper mental capacity to do so. This means they must fully understand what they are signing or executing, the provisions within the will, and the purpose of the document. When a disability, mental impairment, or intoxication was a factor when executing the will, this can help prove that the testator did not have the required legal capacity.

Improper Execution of a Will

State law outlines certain requirements for the execution of any will. For example, all wills must be properly signed, drafted, and witnessed. All wills must also be in writing. If a will does not meet any of the law’s requirements, it can be contested.

Our Will Contests Attorney in Tampa Can Provide Sound Legal Advice

Whether you need to contest a will or defend against a challenge, you need sound legal advice. At BBDG Law, our Tampa will contests attorney can help you through the process, advise you of your options, and build a strong case that will give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at (813) 221-3759 or contact us online to request a consultation.