Most parents choose to pass on their estates to their children. Unfortunately, some children are cheated out of an inheritance. These cases can involve being written out of a will, or the transfer of valuable property to one heir, poor management, or overspending of assets in the estate.
If one child has used the parents’ assets as their own private bank account, the estate can be reduced to the point where there is little left to distribute to the other children. Alternately, elderly parents often lose some degree of mental capacity, and become susceptible to influence from others, possibly motivated by greed. Under Florida state law, “undue influence” is when an improper level of influence is used to coerce another.
Are you now dealing with the consequences of a lost inheritance because your parent was manipulated by one of your siblings? Were you shocked to find out that your parents chose to leave only a minimal amount to you, if anything, while one or more of your siblings gained thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even more? It may be possible to successfully challenge a will, or recover estate assets through an action filed in probate court. A judge in probate court will rule upon the validity of the will.
Filing a Will Challenge
It is advised that you connect with a probate litigation lawyer immediately: If you fail to file your case with the probate court within the time limits, you lose your right to seek your rightful portion of the estate. You have only three months in which to gather the information and file your challenge.
Get in touch with the Florida estate lawyers at Stern Zwelling. We have extensive experience in estate litigation and deep knowledge of all aspects of Florida estate law. We can quickly evaluate your situation to determine if you have valid grounds for a will contest. If one of your siblings is guilty of financial crimes, has exerted undue influence over your parents, or engaged in fraud, we can help you to file a legal action to challenge the will in probate court.
Do I Have Grounds to File a Will Contest?
Are you unsure whether you have grounds to file a will contest? Not everyone has the right to challenge the validity of a will. Some of the issues that must be evaluated include:
- Was undue influence exerted to coerce a parent or parents to change a will?
- What was your parent’s level of mental capacity when the change to the will was made?
- Were your parents aware of, and capable of understanding, any transfer of valuable assets?
- Were assets illegally transferred out of the estate?
- Was the will correctly executed?
- Were there any fraudulent acts?
Talk to Us and Get Legal Help You Can Trust
What did your parents originally intend? Was there an existing will that was later changed to benefit just one of your siblings? Were your parents’ bank accounts, stock accounts, or other assets spent, or valuable assets transferred to another person? Let our team at Stern Zwelling get your case moving forward. Call us for legal representation so we can help you fight for what you deserve.