You can contest a will when you believe that someone you know has been forced to sign or create a will under pressure, force, or physical threat which is known as duress.
Orlando and Winter Haven, Florida, attorney L. Reed Bloodworth explains that duress occurs when a testator is under the threat of physical harm or coercion and is forced to change to a will.
If a person is forced to create or change a will, there are grounds for probate litigation.
Litigation is when one party tries to defend or enforce legal rights vs. another party in a lawsuit, or legal dispute.
Litigation occurs during formal probate. So litigation in probate can have many types of causes of action related to different statutes.
Florida Statutes say that “a will is void if the execution is procured by duress, mistake, fraud, or undue influence.”
If duress is proven in the creation of a will, Florida Statutes also say that “A will is void if the execution is procured by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence.”
What factors prove duress in a Florida will dispute?
- The mental condition of the person under duress was caused by some improper and coercive conduct by the other side.
- That the act of the person under duress was involuntary and was not exerted under will or free choice.
If you feel that there is a problem with a loved one’s will and want to contest it, or if the will is currently in probate, you need to act quickly. If you are an interested person and have received formal notice of the Florida probate case, there is a time limit for you to act to challenge the will.
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