Under Florida probate law, any interested party to a Miami decedent’s estate can contest the decedent’s will if the person can establish sufficient grounds supporting the contest. A will contest is established by filing a litigation claim against the decedent’s estate with the Miami-Dade probate court. The time in which to object formally to the will is within 90 days after a Notice of Administration has been filed and served or 20 days if the Notice of the probate proceedings is received prior to the will being admitted to probate.

Be very careful, there is an actual 20 day deadline involved! Address this Immediately!

Florida courts do provide for a caveat proceeding, so if you suspect that a will is being filed that you are going to object to, file a caveat and the court will (in most cases) notify you when a will is filed.

Sufficient Grounds for a Will Contest

Typically wills are contested for the following reasons:

• The will was not signed, witnessed or prepared properly in accordance with Florida law
• The testator was mentally incompetent at the time of making and signing the will
• The testator was under undue influence or coercion
• Duress
• Fraud

Will contests generally occur when an heir has been omitted from a will, feels they are entitled to a larger share or believe that they have not been treated fairly.

Formal Hearing

The Miami-Dade probate court has the jurisdiction to decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to support the petitioner’s will contest claim. A formal hearing will be set by the court at which time all interested parties may present their testimony, witnesses and documentation to support their case. The court will then make a determination on the matter and issue an order.

Miami Probate and Estate Attorney

Will contest matters are complex and require the assistance of a Miami probate and estate attorney. The attorney can prepare the necessary paperwork and represent the person making the will contest at the hearing. A Miami probate and estate attorney can also represent the estate of the decedent in fighting a will contest or in connection with other litigation matters or routine estate administration.

If you wish to speak to a Miami estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.