St. Petersburg Probate Litigation Attorney
Our population is aging and we are seeing an increase in probate estates administered in Florida courts. With that comes litigation. Heirs and family members may challenge the validity of a will. Many times these wills were executed many years before death. Or, a loved one was vulnerable at the end of his or her life. This opens the person up to being taken advantage of by a family member, caregiver or close friend.
In order to set aside a will, you may need to prove the following in court:
- Fraud – Did someone use fraud to induce the person to make changes to his or her estate-planning document? Promises may have been made to the person in order to secure a larger share of the estate.
- Undue Influence – Did a caregiver, family member or close friend assert him or herself into the vulnerable individual’s life to the point where he or she was able to exert undue influence on the decisions being made at the end of life?
- Lack of mental capacity – Did the person have the legal capacity to execute estate-planning documents? The heirs may have been led to believe the person was capable when mental illness, Alzheimer’s or dementia may be the cause for changes in their estate plan.
- Coercion – Unfortunately, unscrupulous people may use their positions to coerce vulnerable adults to make changes to their estate planning documents.
We also see abuses of the estate administration process. Individuals named in the documents need to accept fiduciary responsibilities that cannot be overlooked. When you retain counsel to assist you in protecting your rights as a potential heir, some of the issues we will look at include:
- What is the administration fee being charged by the personal representative or attorneys hired to administer the estate?
- Is the personal representative following all of the court orders regarding timelines and reports?
- Are assets being distributed without the heirs being informed?
- Are you being shown all of the documents related to the estate?
- Was the will properly executed?
- Did the decedent tell family members there was a different distribution plan than what was written in the estate planning documents?
If you have been named the personal representative of an estate, we can also help you navigate all of your responsibilities and reduce the possibility of litigation by potential heirs. It is worth a phone call to our office to make sure that your interests are being protected.
Call Kovar Law Group today for a FREE Florida Estate Litigation consultation. Dial 727-827-7777 and have all of your questions answered.
Get your questions answered – call me for your initial Consultation (727) 827-7777