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COVID-19 Update: We are working and here to help. The probate courts are open and we are continuing to file cases. Please email Attorney Nicole Morris at [email protected] if you have questions. Stay safe, we will get through this stronger together.

What are the most common reasons for will contests?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2020 | wills

In Florida, state law and the state courts preside over matters of the estate. This includes wills. In particular, a court may need to get involved if someone takes issue with the will. This can lead to a will contest. 

But what are the most common reasons for a person contesting a will? Exactly how common is a will contest in the first place? 

Improper filing 

The Balance discusses the grounds on which you can contest a will. There are several reasons you can legally make this move. First is if the will in question does not follow state laws. This can include an incorrect signature, improper means of filing and more. 

Taking advantage of lack of mental clarity 

Another common issue involves the argument of the testator lacking the capacity to sign their own will. This often happens if the testator suffered from a physical or mental illness or disability. In these cases, the courts may not have considered them “sound of mind” at the time of their signing, which invalidates the will. The same holds true for claims of undue influence, in which a third party might have used manipulative tactics on the testator. They do so with the intent of getting the testator to change the will in their favor. 

Use of trickery 

Finally, you can contest a will if you believe someone procured it through fraudulent means. In this scenario, someone may have tricked a testator into signing a will through deceitful means. One example involves presenting a will as a different document to get the signature needed. 

If you believe any of these circumstances took place, you can decide to contest the will. You may want to seek advice from a legal professional before doing so, as this process is sometimes complex.