Expert Probate Litigation Services in Florida

Navigating Probate Litigation with Confidence

Probate litigation can be a complex and emotionally charged process. When disputes or conflicts arise during the probate of an estate, having a skilled probate litigation lawyer by your side is crucial. At Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., we are here to guide you through these challenging situations and ensure your rights and interests are protected.

What is probate litigation?

Probate litigation occurs when conflicts, disputes, or legal issues arise during the probate process, which involves the distribution of a deceased person’s assets and the settling of their estate. These disputes can arise for various reasons, including disagreements among beneficiaries, concerns about the validity of a will, or suspicions of misconduct by an executor or personal representative

With a contested will, a deceased person’s estate is in question. This involves real estate holdings, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and all other items in their estate. 

The Role of a Probate Litigation Attorney

A probate litigation attorney specializes in handling legal matters related to contested wills, estate disputes, and issues that arise during the probate process. While a probate lawyer helps clients navigate the probate process itself, a probate litigation attorney handles disputes and conflicts that may arise.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

  • Contested Wills: A contested will is one of the most common reasons to seek the expertise of a probate litigation attorney. This occurs when someone challenges the validity of the will or its terms.
  • Undue Influence: If you suspect that a will was created under undue influence or coercion, a probate litigation attorney can help you investigate and challenge it.
  • Disputes Among Beneficiaries: When disagreements arise among beneficiaries regarding the distribution of assets or the interpretation of a will, a probate litigation attorney can help mediate and resolve these conflicts.
  • Executor Misconduct: If you believe that the executor or personal representative of the estate is mishandling assets, breaching their fiduciary duties, or acting improperly, you may need a probate litigation attorney to protect your interests.

Should You Start Probate Litigation?

Deciding to initiate probate litigation is a significant step and should not be taken lightly. It’s essential to consider the potential benefits and weigh them against the emotional and financial costs. Some common reasons to contest a will or engage in probate litigation include:

  • Suspected Fraud or Forgery: If you believe the will was created through fraudulent means or that the testator’s signature was forged, contesting the will may be necessary to ensure a fair distribution of assets.
  • Discrepancies in the Will: When the terms of the will, or other estate planning documents, are unclear, inconsistent, or contradict previous versions, beneficiaries may contest the will to seek clarity and fairness.
  • Undue Influence: If there is evidence that someone exerted undue influence on the testator to manipulate the contents of the will, contesting it may be the only way to address this issue.
  • Disputes Among Heirs: Beneficiary disputes, disagreements over asset distribution, or questions about the validity of specific bequests can lead to probate litigation.

At Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., we understand the sensitive nature of probate litigation and the emotional challenges it presents. Our experienced probate litigation attorney is here to provide compassionate and expert guidance while protecting your rights and interests.

Contested Probate FAQs

Q: What is a Contested Will?

A: A contested will is a legal dispute that arises when someone challenges the validity or terms of a deceased person’s will. It can involve disputes over asset distribution, the interpretation of the will’s provisions, or concerns about the document’s authenticity.

Q: How Can Someone Contest a Will?

A: To contest a will, an interested party, such as a beneficiary or heir, typically initiates the process by filing a legal challenge. Common grounds for contesting a will include claims of fraud, undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, improper execution, and more. Hiring an attorney is highly recommended. A probate litigation attorney can help guide individuals through the legal steps required for contesting a will.

Q: How Long Do You Have to Contest a Will?

A: In Florida, contesting a will involves the probate court. You must file a challenge within 90 days of receipt of notice that probate proceedings have been commenced. Challenges to a will generally need to be filed before the probate process concludes. If notice wasn’t provided or the probate process remains unresolved, the timeframe for filing may be extended. It’s essential to act promptly if you have concerns or wish to challenge a will to ensure compliance with the statutory deadlines. 

Q: Who Can Challenge a Will?

A: Various individuals may have legal standing to challenge a will, including beneficiaries, heirs, disinherited family members, and creditors. To challenge a will successfully, the person contesting the will typically needs to demonstrate a direct interest in the estate and legal grounds for the challenge. An experienced probate litigation attorney can evaluate your case and advise you on the viability of your challenge.

Ready to Discuss Your Probate Litigation Needs?

If you find yourself facing probate litigation or contemplating contesting a will, don’t navigate this complex process alone. Contact our probate and estate planning attorneys today to schedule an initial meeting and learn how we can help you achieve a fair resolution and protect your interests during this challenging time.

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