Probate is the legal process in which your property is distributed after your death. Your estate executor (the person you designated to manage your estate) will typically initiate the process of legally transferring your assets to beneficiaries after a Florida probate court has validated your will.
In some situations, that will is contested by a beneficiary or someone who was left out of the will. That process of disputing a will can involve a wide variety of issues that we are going to take a look at in this installation of our Brevard County legal blog.
Probate litigation can involve a wide spectrum of legal issues, but the most common disputes include the following:
- A challenge to the validity of the will
- Challenges to the wording or construction of the will
- Contests over whether a guardian should be appointed
- Attempts to modify or reform or terminate a trust
- A lawsuit by a beneficiary against a fiduciary who fails to comply with the law
Certain types of factors or relationships are often in play in probate litigation, including the following:
- Sibling rivalries
- Second marriages
- Lack of a prenuptial agreement
- Family dysfunction
- Undue influence on the decedent
- Indications that the decedent was not of sound mind when the will or trust was created
- Omission of a child from a will or trust
There are many other circumstances and factors that trigger probate litigation, of course. While good planning with the help of an experienced attorney can prevent most litigation, there are some situations in which it is simply unavoidable.