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What are reasons for challenging a will?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Estate Planning

People in Florida cannot take their property and assets with them when they pass away. Those possessions will remain and it is important for people to ensure that they know who will receive the property. They can do this by drafting a will. People do not have an obligation to inform people if they are putting them in a will or not though and can choose to give their property to whoever they wish to.

Many times the potential beneficiaries do not see the will until after people pass away. At that time people are left with only the written document and not the thought process of the deceased. People may first learn that they were left out of a will they believed they would be in or received much less than they expected after the person passes away. While it can certainly be legitimate, based on how the will was written, it could seem like the will was not the deceased’s true intentions.

Common reasons for challenging a will

Potential beneficiaries have a right to challenge wills through the probate process. Some of the common reasons that people challenge wills are:

  • If they believe that the mental state of the deceased was deteriorating at the time they signed the most recent will
  • If they believe that other people put undue pressure or influence on the deceased when they drafted the will
  • The will appears to be a fraud or the signature was forged
  • The legal requirements for a properly executed will were not followed. This includes rules regarding witnesses to the will and other factors

There are various reasons that potential beneficiaries to a will in Tampa would believe that the will is not the true intentions of the deceased. It is their burden though to prove what they believe is true. They will need to gather the evidence to prove that there was undue influence or the deceased was not mentally competent when they signed the will. Experienced attorneys understand how to challenge wills and defend estates against them and may be a useful resource.