It has been the law in Florida for many years that Florida judges must make every effort to respect the wishes of the person who has passed away and whose property is being probated. As explained by a Florida judge back in 1927, “ … wills should be given effect except on clear showing of deception, undue influence, or other fraud or disposition of property contrary to law.” Hamilton v. Morgan, 112 So. 80, 93 Fla. 311 (1927). With that being said, one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to executing a Last Will and Testament is: “What happens if someone wants to contest my Will after I die?” This can be seen in cases where beneficiaries believe that they were entitled to more of the individual’s estate, or someone was not included in the will, but believe they should have been. If this is something that you have worried about or currently are concerned about, worry no more! In Florida, if someone wants to contest a Will, they must be willing to file this contest as a formal lawsuit and they must be willing to work with their attorney to find witness and documents that support the reasons why they are challenging the Will in the first place. They must provide strong evidence that is authenticated and admissible. Florida Statute 732.5165 states that ”A Will is void if the execution is procured by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence. Any part of the will is void if so procured but the remainder of the will not so procured shall be valid if it is not invalid for other reasons. If the revocation of a will, or any part thereof, is procured by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence, such revocation is void.” This statute makes it very difficult for someone to successfully contest a Will and win since proving those circumstance is challenge.
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