When And How to Fight Probate Disputes
Bloodworth Law handles many probate litigation cases and attorney L. Reed Bloodworth talks about when and how to fight probate disputes.
Florida probate litigation – which is a legal action pertaining to a will — is usually first considered by an individual when they receive a Notice of Administration.
When you receive a Notice of Administration, don’t waste time. There’s a short window to dispute a will sometimes as few as 20 days.
What is a Notice of Administration?
A Notice of Administration is a formal document served by the Personal Representative that alerts all interested parties that the decedent’s will is being probated before a Court. It includes the name of the decedent, the estate’s case number, informs the interested person in which court the proceedings are taking place, and provides the interested person with a deadline to contest the Will.
Note: If a beneficiary fails to contest a will within the specified timeframe, their claims are forever barred.
The recipient of a Notice of Administration could have a unique situation and a dispute that may have a variety of legal bases including:
- Lack of Mental Capacity
- Undue Influence
- Intentional Interference with a testamentary expectancy; or
- Improper execution of the will
No matter how simple or complex a claim, or any promises made to a beneficiary that things will even out in the estate, or that someone will take care of him or her, a Notice of Administration will be enforceable in court and serve as a heard deadline to challenge a will.
90 Days to Challenge the Will
Once an individual is served with a Notice of Administration that person has 90 days to challenge the will or some portion of the will. Following those 90 days, the window is closed.
If you are the Personal Representative, you can’t control family fights over an inheritance or insulate yourself from potential arguments and complaints from unhappy family members. What you can do is communicate early and often.
Here Are a Few Easy Guidelines
There are a few ways to make sure that things will go more smoothly with a probate dispute that involves several or many members of a family:
- Tell everyone what’s going to happen.
- Let family members know that there are going to be some decisions that require collaboration.
- Family will have the opportunity to provide input at that time.
- There are going to be decisions that you as a personal representative will have to make on your own, and you should keep them informed of those, too.
Before things get out of hand, or if they already have, give Reed a call. Reed Bloodworth is Founder and CEO of Bloodworth Law with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Winter Haven, Florida. Talk with Reed about how he can help you or your family resolve your probate dispute.Consider sharing this post