If you plan to contest a will in a Florida court, the time you spend preparing can make a considerable difference in your outcome. Courts will assess all angles of what your family member would have wanted. Doing your due diligence can improve your case and help the courts to see your logic.
Knowing how to prepare for the process of contesting a will can help you identify your strategy. While adequate preparation is necessary, you will also need to move quickly before the courts finalize everything.
Once your family member passes away, any assets remaining in his or her name and that lack instructions regarding an automatic succession, will move to probate court. According to the Florida Office of State Courts Administrator, some assets commonly addressed in probate include real estate holdings, bank accounts, life insurance policies and other retirement benefits. It is during this probate process that you can file a contest to dispute the terms and conditions of your family member’s will.
Presenting your case
Research Florida law and understand the conditions that may render your family member’s will invalid. Pick apart the will and highlight the areas you want to bring attention to. Look for evidence to support your claim. Document inconsistencies between statements from your loved one and the content reflected in his or her will. Organize the evidence you have so it is ready to go once probate court begins.
Next you will file a petition with the court to notify them of your intent to challenge the will. Following your loved one’s death, Florida law permits you 90 days to contest a will. You may consider working with an attorney to facilitate the process and help you make sure you do not miss anything critical to your case.