Florida probate litigation attorney Randy A. Bryant provides quality legal representation to residents of Miami-Dade county and the surrounding areas who are involved in probate litigation. The Bryant Law Firm understands the many issues that can arise during a will contest or an accounting action and will work with you to protect your rights and those of your loved ones.Florida Probate Litigation
During the probate process, the estate of a deceased and the assets of the estate may be distributed to many different individuals. Creditors may make claims based on old or outstanding debts, beneficiaries may be named in a will, and other individuals may submit that they have a right to some part of an estate. Disputes may arise among these different individuals and other interested parties or family members may dispute the validity of any or all claims. These various contests can often give way to probate litigation.Types of Probate Litigation
Disputes or problems in probate proceedings can take many forms and may include:
- Objections to how the will has been interpreted. This can arise where provisions of the will are vague or open to multiple interpretations.
- Determination of beneficiaries/heirs where there is no will or no immediate family members.
- Objections to the actions of the personal representative assigned to administer the estate, such as a failure to properly administer the estate.
- Objections to the accounting of the estate or a request to have the assets of the estate properly accounted for.
However, the most common source of probate litigation is a will contest. Wills are frequently challenged in Florida courts for several reasons, and this can be a source of lengthy and emotional litigation for Florida residents.Will Contests
Under Florida law, beneficiaries, heirs and other interested parties to an estate have 90 days from a Notice of Administration to file a lawsuit contesting a will. This is a very short time period in which to review a will, consider potential legal options and move forward with a lawsuit. For this reason, if you believe you may wish to raise an objection to a will it is important to consult a Florida probate attorney as quickly as possible.
Will contests can be based on several different grounds under Florida law. An individual may raise one or more of these issues before a court.
- Mistake in Execution: If a will is not properly executed as required under Florida law, the will is not valid and cannot be used during probate administration.
- Undue Influence: A will must be signed when an individual is free from influence and capable of making an independent decision. If there is reason to believe that the deceased was coerced in making the will by a person who was in a position of trust and control, the will may be subject to undue influence.
- Lack of Testamentary Capacity: In order for a will to be valid the person making the will must have had the necessary mental capacity to understand the true nature of a will, the assets in their possession and the family members or loved ones who should normally receive such property.
Will contests based on these grounds may result in extensive litigation, including testimony by family members and interested parties, use of medical records and family documents and possibly use of experts.Helping You Navigate The Litigation Process
Miami probate litigation attorney Randy A. Bryant understands that the prospect of probate litigation can be daunting, and that will contests can often become emotional and adversarial. The Bryant Law Firm has over a decade of experience assisting Florida residents through the probate process and is prepared to provide you the assistance you need. We pride ourselves on thoughtful yet forceful litigation representation that will help you protect your loved one’s estate or claim the assets you deserve. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your probate issues, call our Coconut Grove office at 305.456.2777. You can also contact us online.