Winter Park Attorneys for Probate Litigation
Williams & Williams has been trusted throughout Central Florida for over 30 years to resolve various estate disputes. Our firm understands that this is a time of grief for your family, and our main objective is to help you resolve legal issues about your loved one’s estate without damaging relationships. Probate litigation can be complex and time-sensitive. Our firm can help you alleviate stress while navigating the judicial process and help you to meet deadlines and requirements. We work with creditors and beneficiaries on behalf of clients to mitigate and resolve disputes, pay off debts, and distribute the inheritance. We are prepared and experienced litigators that will empathetically defend your rights in court, if necessary.
Challenging a will – Under Florida Statute, chapter 732, a will is void if the execution is procured by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence. You may contest the validity of all or part of a will. If you need to contest a will, keep in mind that each will comes with specific requirements and timelines from the court. We can help you navigate Florida’s complex laws to protect your last wishes and estate. Here are a few common reasons defined:
Duress: Occurs when a person is coerced by the wrongful conduct or threat of another to enter into a contract under circumstances that deprive the individual of their volition.
Fraud: Wrongful or criminal deception that results in financial or personal gain.
Forgery: Falsely making or altering a writing by which the legal rights or obligations of another are affected.
Lack of mental capacity issues: Florida law defines an “incapacitated person” as a person who has been judicially determined to lack the capacity to manage or to meet their own essential health and safety needs.
Undue influence: is defined as virtually any act of persuasion that overcomes the free will and judgment of another person, including exhortations, importunities, insinuations, flattery, trickery, and deception.
Inheritance disputes: The decedent’s beneficiaries and/or families may dispute how the estate is settled. For example, if a beneficiary was removed from the estate but feels entitled to a portion of the estate, or if family members disagree with the distribution of assets.
Improper signing of the will: In Florida, a will is considered valid until it is changed or revoked in a manner required by law. The Florida Bar recommends updating your will after significant life changes such as getting married, having a child, or filing for divorce. The following are the legal requirements for wills in Florida:
- Must be written by a person that is at least 18 years old.
- The person must be of sound mind when signing the will.
- The will must be in writing.
- The will must be witnessed and notarized.
- The will must be proved valid by the probate court.
Breach of fiduciary duty: This occurs when the representative, trustee, or guardian fails to act responsibly in managing the estate, or acts against the best interest of the creditors and beneficiaries.
With Florida’s ever-growing population, probate litigation and the need for estate planning are on the rise. It is imperative to have a skilled probate litigation attorney who can assist you with any estate planning disputes. Our firm takes a detailed approach and will thoroughly review the facts of your case and counsel you on the best course of action. We will guide you step by step through the judicial process. We are here to protect your rights and the final wishes of your loved one.
Probate law follows strict timelines, and you may only have a short time window to file a grievance with the court. Uncontested probate matters may be resolved in as little as three months, but can take up to a year or longer if there are disputes or the estate is very large. Please schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys to discuss your options and formulate a plan for your estate.
Helpful Probate Links
- Florida Statute, Chapter 731: Estates and Trusts
- Florida Statute, Chapter 732: Probate Code: Intestate Succession and Wills
- Florida Statute, Chapter 733: Probate Code: Administration of Estates
- Florida Statute, Chapter 734: Probate Code: Foreign Personal Representatives; Ancillary Administration
- Florida Statute, Chapter 735: Probate Code: Small Estates
- Florida Probate Rules, Florida Bar
Get in Touch with a Winter Park Probate Attorney Today
Many families throughout Central Florida trust Williams & Williams to handle all of the legal steps required for probate. We want to give our clients peace of mind during this difficult time. We are available for evening and weekend appointments by request. Call our office today at 407-648-4333 to schedule a consultation, or use our form below.