When someone files a will to enter the probate process in Florida, it’s essential to understand that there are a number of reasons one may want to contest it. However, they don’t always know the will has been filed, meaning they miss their opportunity to contest it. Luckily, Florida law allows you to revoke probate to contest the will. Keep reading to learn more about this process and discover how a probate lawyer in Pasco County, FL can help you navigate the process if you want to contest probate.
Why Might Someone Contest Probate?
When someone wants to contest a will, they may only do so before it enters the probate process.
There are a number of reasons why someone may want to contest a will. One of the most common reasons is that a beneficiary has grounds to believe the will was signed under duress, which means they agreed to the conditions in a will out of fear for their safety or the safety of others. Similarly, if someone commits fraud to convince the will’s testator to change the will by adding or removing conditions will influence the validity of the document.
Similarly, if a beneficiary has reason to believe the will was signed when the creator lacked the mental capacity to understand the terms of the will, it would be grounds to contest the terms.
What Does the Process Entail?
If a will enters the probate process before you had the ability to contest it, you must file a petition to revoke probate. The law allows any person, including beneficiaries disinherited, can begin a Revocation of Probate proceeding. When they file the petition, they must state the facts related to the grounds for revocation, as they must fulfill the burden of proof.
It’s important to understand that the estate administrator must continue their duties, barring the distribution of assets to beneficiaries who have violated the will.
If the petition is approved and probate is revoked, there are generally three outcomes. In instances where there is a prior, validated will, the court may admit that document for probate. As such, the executor distributes the estate according to the terms of that will. If there is no prior will, the revocation of probate means there is no valid document. As such, the will will enter the intestate succession process. Finally, the courts may determine that only a portion of the will is invalid, so the executor will continue to distribute the will, ignoring the terms deemed voided.
Unfortunately, the probate process can be complex and confusing. Luckily, you can enlist the help of the Law Office of Matthew J. Jowanna. Our dedicated legal team can help you navigate this process with as much ease as possible. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.